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Visa Tests New Anti-Fraud Card Device, But What About The Data Leaks?

from the finger-in-the-dike dept

Visa is testing a new type of credit card that's got additional security measures built in as a means of cutting down on "card not present" (CNP) fraud -- the fraudulent sales rung up using stolen credit-card numbers and the security codes that are normally printed on the cards. Visa's new cards have a small screen on the back that displays a six-digit code when the cardholder enters a PIN on the card's keypad, making it sound like Visa has basically built in a tiny version of something akin to the SecurID, a popular two-factor authentication device for corporate computer networks. The devices generate an additional one-time password using an algorithm synced with the system on the other end; the user enters this password when they attempt to log on, or in Visa's case, make a CNP transaction. If the passwords match, the transaction goes ahead. It sounds like a good way to cut down on CNP fraud, but is it just a way to try and gloss over the massive data leaks that see millions of credit-card numbers lost out into the world? It almost seems that if these new anti-fraud cards make it to market, the party line will be "the data leaks don't matter anymore" -- but criminals will still be able to obtain credit-card numbers and make fake cards with the stolen info (for card-present fraud). It might make criminals' lives a little more difficult, but it won't make credit-card fraud impossible. Raising the level of security on credit cards is, without question, a good thing. But unless it involves doing more to stop massive data leaks, it's not enough.
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Filed Under: anti-fraud, credit cards, fraud
Companies: visa


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  1. identicon
    Bettawrekonize, 15 May 2009 @ 12:11am

    I think a one time password generator is a great idea. Corporations already do this. Everyone can have a device that has a key and every 5 or 10 or whatever minutes it creates a new password based on the time. Every device has a different key and some devices can have multiple keys for multiple different uses (ie: three different credit cards using three different keys). When someone goes to a store to buy something they tell the device how they want to purchase an item (ie: they select which credit card to use) and the device generates the appropriate password based on the time and the appropriate key. Then the person types it in and the purchase is made. The person gets a receipt. That specific password CAN'T ever be used again to purchase anything else, even within the 5 minute time frame that the password is valid. If the person wants to purchase something else they would have to wait for five more minutes for a new password to be generated. (One could develop ways around this if this is a huge inconvenience). This way no one can purchase a bunch of other stuff within the next five minutes. If the device is ever stolen then the person has to report it as such and the keys in the device are simply deactivated and the person gets a new device with new keys (and they may need to pay a fee). This is basically what many corporations already do.

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