Are financial institutions creating a more lucrative market for hackers?
Among the many things I’ve learned from security blogger extraordinaire Brian Krebs is the startling way that banks and credit card issuers uncover big data breaches these days.
When financial institutions see a fresh wave of fraud reports on consumers’ cards, they search for a common point-of-sale source on affected cards. To obtain more cards/data for this search, legitimate (and I assume regulated) financial institutions actually go onto black market websites and purchase stolen card numbers from the thieves themselves or the thieves’ agents.
For example, in the latest data breach that Krebs investigates, FIs purchased geolocated cards on the black market and found common charges at Dairy Queen. They infer from this that at least a portion of the Dairy Queen chain was breached. They then alert the authorities, who in turn alert the retailer.
This is a common method of inquiry used to discover most of the recent big retail data breaches of customer card info.
1) Aren’t there legal barriers to regulated financial institutions doing business with black market card thieves?
2) Does the presence of large financial institutions in this black market - with persistent demand and deep pockets - actually raise the prices of stolen credit cards, and therefore the incentive for hackers to perpetrate large data breaches?
Update: Brian and other security folks on his site respond to my questions.
Where Americans think Ukraine is and how that correlates to opinions on intervention.
(via The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene)
Source: Washington Post
I’m joining BillGuard, because awesome
Thrilled to share that I’m joining the fabulous* BillGuard team as head of marketing, starting next week.
Backstory: I distinctly remember watching Yaron and Raphael unveil BillGuard at TechCrunch Disrupt in May 2011 and thinking “That is how it’s done. Solve a real consumer problem through innovative means and with a gorgeous, intuitive UI.” They got the runner-up prize, and should have won the thing.
Since then, BillGuard has shifted focus to its iPhone app, which retains the credit/debit card security functionality (e.g. push notifications for suspicious charges) and adds slick real-time spend tracking.
It’s already a must-have if you don’t happen to enjoy sneaky charges against your card. And next week, we’re revealing something huge that takes BillGuard to another level entirely.
It’s been three terrific years at Covestor, and I’ll so miss the team there. But I’ve never been as excited to start a new job than this.
* 20 people who are all brilliant, tireless, unconventional, imaginative and nice? Who build with extreme attention to detail and crack you up all the way? Get outta here.
I don’t say that the average Israeli consciously lives the adventure called Israel on a daily basis, either. Israelis live their lives as people do everywhere. They think about their families, their work, what they will have for dinner, how they plan to spend the weekend. They don’t go about pondering the great historical drama of which they are part. But they are a part of it. And I think there are moments in which most of them, however they may conceive of it or phrase it, realize how privileged this makes them despite all the strains and tensions of their existence. I know I do.