Thursday, October 1, 2009

More on the Shames-Yeakel vs. Citizens Bank Decision

It is time to log-in to online banking sessions the same exact way we access our cash at an ATM.  The good news is with HomeATM's SLIM, there is no threat from either skimming devices or hidden camera's deployed to capture our card information and PINs, respectively!

With the recent discovery of dangerous online banking Trojans, URLZone, Clampi and Zeus, our chances on winning the war against fraudsters is:  SLIM and None!   Here's a closer look at the recent U.S. District Court in Illinois Decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

I've got a copy of the first page of the court's decision below. Click it to enlarge and read...If you want to read the entire decision... Wired has it here

Meanwhile, there has been: Another Lawsuit Filed Against Weak Online Banking Authentication (

U.S. District Court in Illinois says bank customers can sue for security breach

By Murphy, Pat

Publication: Lawyers USA

Plaintiffs who had funds stolen from their online home equity account can sue their bank for failing to implement adequate security measures, a U.S. District Court in Illinois has ruled.

An unknown person gained access to the plaintiffs' online bank account with the defendant and stole $26,500

The plaintiffs sued for negligence under Indiana law, alleging that the defendant breached its duty to sufficiently secure its online banking system.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that security measures were inadequate because the bank protected access to online accounts simply by means of a user name and password, or "single-factor identification."

The court concluded that this was sufficient to support a negligence claim based on evidence that that a federal banking industry panel recommended that financial institutions use "multifactor identification" checks for online accounts.

The court observed that the federal guidelines "described single-factor identification (username/ password) as 'inadequate' to secure the online transactions of financial institutions. Although [the defendant] notes that it had begun to implement additional security measures at the beginning of 2007, a vice president of the bank admitted that only single-factor identification protected plaintiffs' account at the time of the theft. In light of [the defendant's] apparent delay in complying with [the federal] security standards, a reasonable finder of fact could conclude that the bank breached its duty to protect plaintiffs' account against fraudulent access."

In addition, the court concluded that the defendant could be sued under the Truth in Lending Act for charging interest on the stolen funds after the plaintiffs had disputed the debt, and under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for reporting to credit bureaus that the plaintiffs were delinquent on their home equity line of credit.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Shames-Yeakel v. Citizens Financial Bank, No. 07 C 5387. Aug. 21, 2009. Lawyers USA No. 993-1119.

Credit: Pat Murphy

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US Bank to Use RemitEnterprise from Meta...oops...FIS

Minneapolis, Oct. 1, 2009 -- (BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Bank is upgrading its wholesale lockbox technology platform to create a national network of lockbox locations that will provide consistent delivery of services to its wholesale customers. This new image-based lockbox platform allows business and government customers to more effectively bridge the gap between paper and electronic payments.

The new platform, Metavante’s RemitEnterprise, will be implemented at nine U.S. Bank lockbox sites, including Chicago; Cincinnati; Denver; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; St. Louis and St. Paul, Minn.

Once the implementation is complete, this new nationwide lockbox network will allow U.S. Bank’s wholesale lockbox customers to take advantage of having access to identical processing systems, no matter which network locations they use.

Customers of all sites can also use a range of new electronic services like online decisioning, which lets them view images of an exception item and immediately determine whether to reject it or process it, scannable lockbox processing, allowing users to accept in one lockbox both wholesale remittances and retail-type remittances accompanied by scannable coupons, split deposits, allowing users to have one lockbox but split individual deposits into separate accounts, and accounts receivable matching, which provides automatic reconciling of receivables.

U.S. Bank remains focused on growing its core treasury management and payments businesses in support of its business and government customer base. U.S. Bank is investing in lockbox technology to create a state-of-the-art lockbox product that can serve companies as they make the gradual transition from paper to electronic payment processing.

“Our customers are telling us that wholesale lockbox is still an important tool for enhancing cash flow and operating efficiency, and we’ve built our products directly around that feedback from customers,” said Les Young, vice president and lockbox team lead at U.S. Bank. “While it’s true that electronic payments are on the rise, the reality is that paper checks continue to dominate business-to-business payments. That’s why we’re investing in this technology to truly give our wholesale lockbox customers the best of both worlds – a way to manage the millions of paper payments they still receive, while also allowing them to take advantage of the many benefits of electronic payments, like faster processing and easier access to information about receivables.”

“With the implementation of RemitEnterprise, we’ll be able to provide our customers with a high-quality national network of wholesale lockbox sites that will give them an even higher caliber of service than ever,” added Young. “Our customers have always been pleased with our dedicated customer service department located within each of our lockbox sites, and this new platform will be an extension of that focus on excellent customer service.”

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with $266 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 2,850 banking offices and 5,173 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

Source: Company press release.

FIS and Metavante Acquisition is Completed

Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 1, 2009 --PIN Payments News Blog --Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (NYSE:FIS):

Quick Facts

  • Combined company will be known as FIS

  • FIS launching new corporate identity and logo

  • Serving community banks and credit unions; mid-tier and large financial institutions; international banking; government; healthcare; and education payments

  • Metavante shareholders to receive 1.35 shares of FIS common stock for each share of Metavante common stock

Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (NYSE:FIS) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Metavante Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:MV). Under terms of the merger agreement, FIS acquired all of the outstanding shares of Metavante common stock, with each Metavante shareholder receiving 1.35 shares of FIS common stock for each share of Metavante common stock held.

Today, the company also introduced a new corporate identity and logo. The combined company will be known as FIS, reflecting a strong global financial technology brand. This combination reinforces FIS’ position as the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology.

“The combined scale, complementary product capabilities and market breadth of these two great companies will drive significant competitive advantages in the increasingly dynamic marketplace,” stated William P. Foley, II, FIS chairman. “This transaction will further strengthen FIS’ competitive position as a leading global provider of technology solutions and enable us to generate increased value for shareholders and customers.”

“With the completion of this strategic and transformative transaction, FIS has now enhanced its ability to deliver products and services, execute on a client cross-sales business model, and continue to grow globally,” said Frank Martire, FIS president and chief executive officer. “We will continue to make business and product investments and we will strategically integrate our products, where it makes sense to do so in order to deliver high-value solutions to our clients and prospects.”

“The new FIS will continue to serve individual market segments, including community banking and credit unions; mid-tier and large financial institutions; international banking; specialized payments in government, healthcare, and education; and focus on driving operational efficiencies and scale in order to serve our clients around the world,” said Gary Norcross, FIS corporate executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The FIS name conveys game-changing innovation, breadth and depth of products, and service with a local sensibility on a global scale.”

In addition to Martire and Norcross, the new FIS leadership team includes the following executives:

  • Mike Hayford, Corporate Executive Vice President – Chief Financial Officer

  • Frank Sanchez, Corporate Executive Vice President – Strategic Solutions

  • Brent Bickett, Corporate Executive Vice President – Business Development

  • George Scanlon, Corporate Executive Vice President – Finance

  • Ron Cook, Corporate Executive Vice President – Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

  • Mike Oates, Corporate Executive Vice President – Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Anthony Jabbour, Executive Vice President – Financial Solutions

  • Frank D’Angelo, Executive Vice President – Payment Solutions

  • Jim Susoreny, Executive Vice President – Sales and Client Relations

  • Mark Davey, Executive Vice President – International

  • Brian Hurdis, Executive Vice President – Technology Services

  • Ram Chary, Executive Vice President – Global Commercial Services

  • Marcia Danzeisen, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing and


“The combined experience of this leadership team, will ensure that we minimize risk as we integrate our organizations, as well as accelerate our return on this transaction benefiting clients, employees, and shareholders,” said Martire.

About FIS

FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in more than 90 countries worldwide. FIS provides financial institution core processing, and card issuer and transaction processing services, including the NYCE Network. FIS maintains processing and technology relationships with 40 of the top 50 global banks, including nine of the top 10. FIS is a member of Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500® Index and has been ranked the number one overall financial technology provider in the world by The American Banker newspaper and the research firm Financial Insights in their annual “FinTech 100” rankings. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs approximately 30,000 on a global basis. FIS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “FIS” ticker symbol. For more information about FIS see .

Source: Company press release.

PayPal Adds Three Banking Execs

San Jose, Calif. and Luxembourg, Sept. 30, 2009 -- PayPal today announced that it has hired three industry veterans to help drive the company’s continued global growth.

John McCabe is now senior vice president of worldwide operations for PayPal, responsible for risk operations, customer support and payment operations. Ed Eger is senior vice president of transaction management, covering risk management and core payment processing worldwide.

Renier Lemmens will lead PayPal’s business in Europe, where he will be responsible for expanding usage of PayPal on eBay and on other e-commerce sites across the region, as well as supporting European developer adoption of PayPal X, PayPal’s platform initiative. All three executives will report to PayPal President Scott Thompson.

“PayPal has a clear goal to power e-commerce around the world,” said Scott Thompson, president of PayPal. “To achieve this, we’re focused on driving a better experience for our customers and increasing usage around the world. I’m confident that John, Ed and Renier are the right people to help PayPal realize the tremendous opportunity that’s ahead for our business.”

McCabe joins PayPal from Wachovia Corporation, where he was executive vice president of Wachovia Direct Access. In this position, he led Wachovia’s contact centers in 15 domestic and global locations, serving 20 lines of business and approximately 15 million customers. A financial services and technology professional with more than 33 years of global experience, McCabe brings vast knowledge and expertise in customer service transformation and retail banking operations.

Eger joins PayPal from Citigroup, where he was the CEO of the company’s international consumer credit card business. In that role, he was responsible for an organization that spans 50 countries and serves more than 40 million customers worldwide. In his 25-year career, Eger has run a range of financial service businesses in North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Lemmens brings more than 20 years experience in financial services and technology to his role as head of PayPal Europe. Recently Lemmens served as chief operating officer of the International Retail and Commercial Banking Division at Barclays Bank PLC, covering all functional areas across 23 markets globally. A native of The Netherlands, Lemmens has extensive international business experience having worked in the Benelux region, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Hungary, India and North America.

PayPal’s total payment volume, the total value of transactions in 2008, represented nearly 9 percent of global e-commerce*. Over the next three years, PayPal expects more than half of its growth from outside the U.S. About 43 percent of PayPal’s revenue comes from its international business, with most of this revenue coming from PayPal’s European markets. PayPal processed more than $15 billion in TPV in Europe in 2008 and is offered on more than 165,000 European merchant e-commerce sites.

About PayPal

PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or personal financing. With more than 75 million active accounts in 190 markets and 19 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce. PayPal is an eBay company and is made up of three leading online payment services: the PayPal global payments platform, the Payflow Gateway, and Bill Me Later. More information about the company can be found at .

Source: Company press release.

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HomeATM Featured in Secure Payments Magazine

HomeATM Featured in Secure Payments Magazine's Q3 Product Guide. published by the Aegenis Group

Click to enlarge:

You can also view the magazine online at

The publication focuses on the technologies, regulations and practices that impact the protection of consumer data within the payments ecosystem.  Secure Payments is written by and for Payment Security Professionals™. 

About the Aegenis Group

The Aegenis Group is the leader in providing training, risk management, and strategic consulting in the Payment Card Industry (PCI). The Aegenis Group has developed eLearning to meet the unique needs of the Payments Industry.  The eLearning leverages  Aegenis'  expertise in PCI DSS compliance and data security, as well as the company's expertise in Training and Instructional Design.  Each eLearning Course is created in accordance with The Aegenis Group's proprietary Educational Methodology.  To enroll in the courses, please visit Aegenis Training

The Aegenis Group also offers:

  • Product Evaluation and Marketing Strategy

  • Regulatory Intelligence Services

  • Onsite Training on Data Security and Privacy Issues

  • Strategic Risk Management for Acquirers

Secure Payments Magazine

The Society of Payment Security Professionals is proud to provide Secure Payments, a quarterly peer-reviewed magazine dedicated to the practice of information security in the Payments Industry. 

The publication focuses on the technologies, regulations and practices that impact the protection of consumer data within the payments ecosystem.  Secure Payments is written by and for Payment Security Professionals™. 

The magazine is offered on a complimentary basis to members of the Society of Payment Security Professionals. 

Non-members can purchase a subscription by visiting our catalog page.  

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Jack Henry & Associates Completes Goldleaf Acquistion

Monett, Mo. – Oct. 1, 2009 -- Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (Nasdaq: JKHY), a leading provider of integrated technology solutions and data processing services for financial institutions, today announced that it has closed the transaction initiated to acquire Goldleaf Financial Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: GFSI), a provider of integrated technology-based solutions primarily for the financial services industry. As a result of the acquisition, Goldleaf Financial Solutions became a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack Henry & Associates and each outstanding share of GFSI common stock automatically converted into the right to receive $0.98 in cash.

Goldleaf will be assimilated into ProfitStars®, Jack Henry & Associates’ third primary brand which was established to encompass the companies acquired to support its focused diversification strategy and to broaden its reach well beyond the company’s traditional markets.

According to David Foss, president of ProfitStars, “This acquisition clearly supports our strategy to acquire companies that provide proven solutions that we can cross sell to our Jack Henry Banking™ and Symitar™ clients, that generate new cross-sale opportunities among our respective client bases, and that expand the specialized products and services ProfitStars sells to virtually any financial services organization regardless of core processing platform or asset size. This acquisition positions ProfitStars with a broader array of products and services, gives our clients and prospects more technology options, and immediately increases our market presence and potential.”

Kevin Williams, CFO of Jack Henry & Associates, said, “We also expect this acquisition to increase the value we provide our shareholders. We anticipate significant near-term cost synergies and long-term organic revenue growth, and a more diversified revenue stream. This acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive in the first full year and improve as we recognize the full impact of estimated cost synergies”.

This transaction received unanimous approval by the Goldleaf Board of Directors and majority approval by the company’s shareholders.

About Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (Nasdaq: JKHY) is a leading provider of computer systems and ATM/debit card/ACH transaction processing services primarily for financial services organizations. Its technology solutions serve more than 9,800 customers nationwide, and are marketed and supported through three primary brands. Jack Henry Banking supports banks ranging from de novo to mid-tier institutions with information processing solutions. Symitar is the leading provider of information processing solutions for credit unions of all sizes. ProfitStars provides highly specialized products and services that enable financial institutions of every asset size and charter, and diverse corporate entities to mitigate and control risks, optimize revenue and growth opportunities, and contain costs. Additional information is available at .

Source: Company press release.

Report: The "Web" Has NEVER Been More Dangerous!

APWG Report: The "Web" Has Never Been More Dangerous

Rogue Anti-Malware Programs, Infected Computers and Crimeware Break New Barriers as Electronic Crime’s Sophistication and Ambition Grows Unchecked

eCrime Congress | Tacoma

LOS ALTOS, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--PIN Payments News Blog--The APWG’s latest Phishing Activity Trends Report illustrates electronic crime’s innovation and apparently unchecked ambition with new records being reached for such felonious instrumentation as rogue anti-virus software, phishing websites and crimeware designed to target financial institutions’ customers.

The APWG H1, 2009 report found that the numbers of detected rogue anti-malware programs, fake security software that actually infects computers to animate assorted electronic crimes, grew 585 percent between January and the end of June 2009.

The number of unique phishing websites detected in June rose to 49,084, the highest since April, 2007’s record of 55,643, and the second-highest recorded since APWG began reporting this measurement.

The number of hijacked brands ascended to an all-time high of 310 in March and remained, in historical context, at an elevated level to the close of the half in June.

The full report is available here:

APWG Chairman David Jevans said, “The Internet (Editor's Note:  The Internet isn't the problem, it's the WEB, there's a big difference and it's important to make that distinction) has never been more dangerous. In the first half of 2009, phishing escalated to some of the highest levels we've ever seen.  Back to the difference...quickly:

Of even greater concern is the skyrocketing sophistication and proliferation of malicious software designed to steal online passwords and user names.

Editor's Told Ya:  Told Ya!!!  (May 10th)

Online Banking’s Innate Security Flaws June 3rd: 

Editor's Told Ya 2: Don't Say I Didn't Warn You on Dangers of Online Banking!

The Next Question is whether banks will be held liable...
Is Logging In with Username/Password "Careless and Negligent?"

New malicious software such as the Zeus trojan, exhibit a level of sophistication that would make the best software programmers envious.” Editor's Note: I think that URLZone would make the Zeus programmer envious!

Indeed, APWG Trends Report correspondents at Panda Labs’ research detected 152,197 different strains of rogue anti-malware in June, 2009, soaring from just 22,218 in January, 2009.   According to Luis Corrons, PandaLabs Technical Director and APWG Trends Report contributing analyst, rogue anti-malware program proliferation “is experiencing an exponential growth.

In the first quarter of 2009 alone, more new strains were created than in all of 2008. The second quarter painted an even bleaker picture, with the emergence of four times as many samples as in all of 2008.

The primary reason for the creation of so many variants is to avoid signature-based detection by legitimate antivirus programs.”  In addition, the number of unique brand-domain pairs (indicative of the general number of unique URLs that occur per domain) rose to an all time high of 21,085 in June, increasing 92 per cent from January’s reported 10,980.

Blake Hayward, Vice President, Product Marketing, MarkMonitor and APWG Trends Report contributing analyst said, “In Q2 we experienced a marked increase in phishing activity with record high brand-domain pairs and a near new high total unique phishing URL’s detected. This increase in phishing activity can be attributed to more fast-flux phishing attacks.”

With this issue of the APWG Trends Report, a new metric has been added, using data contributed by Websense, measuring proliferation of three categories of malevolent software: Crimeware (code designed to victimize financial institutions’ customers); Data Stealing and Generic Trojans (designed to send information from the infected machine, control it, and open backdoors on it); and Other (commonly auto-replicating worms, dialers for telephone charge-back scams, etc.)

According to Dan Hubbard, APWG Trends Report contributing analyst and Websense Chief Technology Officer, “Due to evolution of attack sophistication, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate and report on attacks that are specifically designed to steal customer banking information.  Additionally, attacks that only look for credentials from popular social networking, web mail, and even gaming sites, can lead to attacks for banking theft and crimeware.”   This metric replaces counts of "Password-Stealing Malicious Code URLs" and "Password Stealing Malicious Code - Unique Applications" which, due to incongruent sources and counting methods became systematically unreliable. (Translation: There are so many avenues used by Hackers to steal our banking information, that they can't keep count.  Therefore,  Our Chances to Defeat Hackers are: SLIM and NONE!...SLIM, being HomeATM's PCI 2.x Certified PIN Entry Device.

Highlights of the H1, 2009 Phishing Activity Trends Report include:

● Unique phishing reports submitted to APWG recorded a high of 37,165 in May, around 7 per cent higher than last year’s high of 34,758 in October.

●The number of unique phishing websites detected in June rose to 49,084, the highest recorded since April, 2007’s record of 55,643.

● The number of banking trojan/password-stealing crimeware infections detected increased during more than 186 percent between Q4, 2008 and Q2, 2009.

● The total number of infected computers rose more than 66 percent between Q4 2008 and the end of the half, 2009 to 11,937,944 – now more than 54 percent of the total sample of scanned computers.

● Payment Services became phishing’s most targeted sector, displacing Financial Services in Q1 & Q2.

The results of the half-year report are of grave concern to the global membership of the APWG and the research centers, treaty organizations, law enforcement agencies, government agencies and industry associations with which the APWG corresponds.

Those members and researchers from around the world will be considering the results of the H1, 2009 report at the eCrime Congress | Tacoma on Oct. 19-21, a three-day event that combines the APWG’s General Members’ Meeting (member-restricted) on the 19th and the eCrime Researchers Summit on the 20th and 21st, (open to the public) a peer-reviewed research conference on electronic crime that the APWG holds annually in conjunctions with the IEEE Standards Association.

About the APWG

The APWG, founded in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group, is a global industry, law enforcement, and government coalition focused on eliminating the identity theft and fraud that result from the growing problem of phishing, email spoofing, and crimeware. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs, the law enforcement community and solutions providers. There are more than 1,800 companies, government agencies and NGOs participating in the APWG and more than 3,300 members. The APWG's Web site offers the public and industry information about phishing and email fraud, including identification and promotion of pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection. 

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Online Banking is Weak Week Continues!

There's writing on the wall and then there is writing on the wall! 

Take a look at the chart on the left. Specifically, take a gander at the dramatic rise in Trojans over during the months of July, August and September.

Wow! Right?  So what are the chances we can defeat this growing threat?  SLIM & NONE!

First, the NONE:  Take into account that Clampi was only discovered in July.

Now take into account that URLZone was only discovered "Yesterday!"

URLZone, which not only steals online banking log in credentials, but then actually has the audacity to rewrite the text in the HTML code in order to cover up the fact that money is being siphoned out. Yes, the online statements show that money is still there!

The only good thing about his particular online banking Trojan (URLZone) is that it appears to have ended the argument about which online banking trojan (Clampi, Zeus, Conficker) posed the gravest danger to the online banking sector. Hands down...URLZone Wins. (for now...what will the bad guys come up with next?)

Speaking of winning.  The only way to "win" the "War of the World Wide Web" is to authenticate the online banking customer outside the browser WITHOUT typing.  Eliminate Typing...Start Swiping.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times.  Browsers are not safe for eCommerce transactions. 

Agree or disagree with this statement:  If your cardholder data is going to be
swiped wouldn't you prefer being the one doing the swiping? 

The SLIM Argument:  Doesn't it make 100% logical sense to log in to your online banking account the same way you access cash at an ATM?  HomeATM's SLIM 100% replicates that procedure for online banking, using Existing bank rails, Existing cards, Existing PINs, "Better Than" Existing Security. 

In fact, the "only" difference between accessing cash in real-time at an ATM and logging on to your online banking session is that there is no risk of "skimmers" or "hidden cameras" to record your PIN entry.

Our chances to beat the hackers and these online banking trojans? 


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PandaLabs Q3 Malware Report Released Today

According to a new PandaLabs report the HackAttackers broke records in creating new web/browser threats.

Five million new strains of malware have been recorded. Most of these were banker Trojans.  (click graphic on left to enlarge)

“We are currently receiving some 50,000 new examples of malware everyday, this compares to 37,000 just a few months ago. There is no reason to believe that the situation will improve in the coming months,” explains Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. 

Q3 report released

Posted by Luis Corrons at  01 October 09 09:51    

We've just published our latest quarterly report. We'll show the different figures about malware in Q3, and some interesting articles.  If you want to know what has happened in the last 3 months download it and enjoy!



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Verifone Investment in Semtek Includes Option to Purchase

SoCal Tech

San Diego-based Semtek Corporation, a developer of security technology used for protecting magnetic stripes on credit cards, has scored an investment from VeriFone Holdings, VeriFone said Wednesday. Amount of the investment was not disclosed.

According to VeriFone, it was the lead in a Series B financing for Semtek, doubling its investment in Semtek and also acquiring an option at a future date to purchase the remaining shares in Semtek.  The deal also includes a worldwide distribution agreement between the firm for licesing Semtek's encryption technology to point-of-sale hardware vendors. Other investors in the round included Venrock Capital and RRE Ventures. Link to more information

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Australia: One in Five Fall Victim to Card Fraud/Hackers

Nick Gardner | October 01, 2009

A FIFTH of all Australians are victims of credit card fraud or computer hackers, a crime report said.

IDENTITY theft has reached epidemic proportions in Australia, more than one in five people falling victim to credit-card fraudsters or computer hackers.

The Identity Crimes Report, commissioned by Veda Advantage and conducted by Galaxy Research, found more than 1.5 million people had their credit cards skimmed, and 1.2 million had their bank accounts illegally accessed.

Australia's lapse in deploying anti-fraud technology, and the economic slowdown, are blamed for the rapid rise in crimes – up at least 23 per cent on a year ago.

Continue Reading at Australian IT

Press Release:


1 October 2009:  New research shows credit card theft and unauthorised bank account access is rife across Australia, with more than one in five Australians aged 16 years or older reporting that someone had: stolen their identity; illegally accessed, or tried to access their bank accounts; stolen or skimmed credit cards; or tried to steal their bank account PIN (personal identification number).                                           

Veda Advantage's Identity Crimes Report*, conducted by Galaxy Research, found more than 1.5 million Australians had credit cards illegally skimmed, and 1.2 million had bank accounts illegally accessed. Almost 1.2 million (7%) Australians had personal mail stolen.

Kelvin Kirk, Veda Advantage Head of Marketing and Communications, said the results also indicate younger Australians are at increased risk of identity theft. "Australians older than 50 years are less likely to have ever experienced bank account or credit card crime, compared to those aged  25 to 49 years, a quarter of whom  have been personally affected by identity crime, including: having bank accounts and credit cards illegally accessed; or mail; and or PIN numbers stolen.

"Credit card crime is especially prevalent, with almost 10% of Australians surveyed falling victim to someone either stealing or skimming their credit card. People aged from 25 to 49 years are the most impacted by mail theft," Mr. Kirk said.

The report also indicates more than one third (34%) of Australians surveyed reported losing their wallet or purse containing personal identification documents and credit cards,  leaving them particularly vulnerable  to identity theft.

A separate Veda Advantage study conducted by Galaxy Research in April this year found identity theft in Australia is increasing, with 4.4 million Australians (26%) affected by identity theft*, compared to 3.8 million (23%) for the same period in 2008. However, despite this growing crime rate, almost 70% of Australians had failed to take even simple measures to protect their identity. 

Mr. Kirk said many people don't realise they can take simple steps to help protect themselves against identity crime. "Every credit-active Australian has a credit file, which is like a financial passport. A credit file includes applications for credit over the past five years - from water and mobile services to mortgages, personal loans and credit cards. By setting up an alert service, which is linked to your credit file, you can be notified if someone commits identity theft and makes a credit application using your identity documents. This should be a protective routine measure for all credit-active adult Australians.

"Services such as SecureIdentity* provides proactive assistance, including a credit file alert service, and a cancellation and replacement service for financial cards, as well as temporarily blocking lost or stolen mobile phones and acting as a contact point for the return of lost keys and luggage. The service extends to offering an emergency cash advance and a 24-hour phone hotline from anywhere in the world.

"Generally, people don't start worrying about identity crime until it happens to them. However, by taking the initiative and putting simple procedures in place to minimise this risk, Australians may not have to experience the cost and inconvenience of identity crime. We encourage everyone to visit and complete the identity risk test to help gauge your personal level of risk to identity crime," Mr. Kirk said.

Other Galaxy Research findings include:

  • In South Australia almost one quarter (24%) of people had either been victims of identity theft through illegal access to their bank accounts or PIN number; or alternatively; had mail stolen; or had lost their purse or wallet containing valuable ID documents. This was followed by Queensland (22%), New South Wales (20%), Victoria and Tasmania (18%) and Western Australia (17%).

  • White-collar Australians (22%) are more likely than blue-collar Australians (16%) to be victims of bank account and credit card crime.

  • 5% of Australians have personally experienced identity theft; 9%, or 1.55 million, have had someone steal or illegally skim their credit card, 7% have experienced someone illegally accessing their bank accounts and 7% have had their personal mail stolen.

  • More than one -third (34%) of Australians have lost their purse or wallet containing ID and credit cards.

Veda Advantage has devised the C.A.L.M. strategy - four simple steps to help minimise Australians' exposure to identity crimes:

  1. Check- your credit file, which is like your financial passport. Make sure your address is correct and your file is accurate. If you move house, notify everyone about your change of address, as mail sent to the wrong address could be used to steal your identity.

  2. Alert - sign up to a service which allows you to cancel your credit cards and helps retrieve valuables such as luggage or house/car keys in the event they are lost or stolen. A credit file alert service may also help minimise your risk of identity crime and financial loss.

  3. Lock - your mailbox and hide your passwords. Keep your PIN number private, change your online passwords every few months and lock your mailbox to reduce the threat of mail theft. Shred important documents after use. 

  4. Monitor - your mail and credit file. Stay alert to make sure you are receiving all mail and monitor your bank statements for any irregularities. Sign up to the SecureIdentity service to receive credit file alerts, which help you monitor your credit file. Cancel important financial cards if they are lost or stolen.

- Ends-

Media Information:

Sally Robertson (02) 9270 0289 or mobile: 0400 927 003.

Veda Advantage Information Services and Solutions Limited ABN 26 000 602 862

* About the Identity Crimes Report: This study was conducted on the Galaxy Omnibus on the weekend of 4-6th of

September, 2009. The sample was 1,100 respondents aged 16 years and older distributed evenly throughout Australia, Interviews were conducted using CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) with telephone numbers randomly selected from electronic White Pages. All interviewers were personally trained and briefed on the requirements of the study. Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the sample. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

* SecureIdentity is a service offered by Secure Sentinel which is part of the Veda Advantage Group.  Terms and conditions apply.

About Veda Advantage:

Veda Advantage has been at the forefront of the information business for many decades. Issues such as privacy, data security, fraud and business intelligence are part of our commercial landscape. A division of Veda Advantage, Information Services and Solutions Ltd (VISS)* holds the country's largest database of credit files for more than 14.5 million credit-active Australians. The vast majority of applications for credit in Australia are checked against the files held by Veda Advantage - providing businesses with the information and knowledge to assist them in making informed decision in customer acquisition and credit risk management.

Fiserv Launches Acumen: New Account Processing Solution for Credit Unions

New platform uses latest Internet technologies and a state-of-the-art architecture to offer large credit unions premium flexibility and scalability -

Brookfield, Wis., October 1, 2009 - Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions and the largest provider of business-driven technology solutions for credit unions, announced today that it has developed a new global account processing solution designed to transform the way large credit unions do business. Acumen, the newest choice in the Fiserv portfolio of account processing solutions, supports rapid growth with its server deployment model that allows credit unions to scale their operation quickly and cost effectively. Acumen was built from the ground up using Internet technologies like Java and AJAX.

"Acumen was designed for a very specific segment of the credit union market and with the unique needs of some of our largest clients in mind. It was built for those seeking to transform and differentiate their strategies and services through technology," said Scott Butler, president of Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv. "Open at every architectural level, Acumen gives large, IT-savvy credit unions total ownership and control over their technology strategy. Acumen is a great example of Fiserv innovation at work, and showcases our investment in next-generation platforms that will change the game for the largest, most progressive credit unions."

Acumen is the first account processing solution to feature a ubiquitous browser interface for both front-end and back-office applications, providing superior ease-of-use, while its 360-degree member views support enhanced service. The solution's first-of-its-kind architecture also gives credit unions unmatched capabilities for creating and implementing custom applications. Acumen is deployed on Linux servers, which support rapid, simple and affordable scalability for unlimited growth. Continuous database replication allows Acumen to achieve premium uptime, as well as provide the industry's most rapid disaster recovery capabilities.

"It's great to see new core systems introduced in the U.S. market," said Robert Hunt, Senior Research Director in the Retail Banking practice at TowerGroup. "Credit unions need modern core systems that will allow them to offer innovative services and expand their membership while minimizing operational costs."

Originally launched in Canada under the name iSpectrum, Acumen offers multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities that can help large credit unions differentiate their services. The solution was renamed in honor of its expansion into the U.S. market. In Canada, the solution has quickly gained traction as the preferred choice with proven technology.

"It's very rare that you can use the words 'new' and 'proven' in the same breath, but we make a point of learning from every new way in which we apply technology," said Sara L. Brooks, senior vice president, strategy and offerings development for Credit Union Solutions at Fiserv. "In this instance, we're taking what we've learned from our deployments in Canada, and evolving the solution to suit the needs of the U.S. industry."

"Acumen has been and will continue to be a critical tool for the Canadian credit union system, one that offers premium technology support. We're proud to have been with Fiserv every step of the way as they introduced this new solution to the market," said John Lahey, chief executive officer for $2 billion Alterna Savings and Credit Union, which serves 130,000 members in Ontario. "And now that Fiserv is offering the solution to credit unions in the U.S., we are excited to have access to even greater resources and added functionality from a stable provider we know we can depend on."

About Fiserv

Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, driving innovation that transforms experiences for financial institutions and their customers. Ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry, Fiserv celebrates its 25th year in 2009. For more information, visit


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