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?
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.
“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.”—
I read Halkin’s book in college in the early ’90s and it definitely influenced my decision to make aliya. As he writes now, nobody else raised the issues he did at the time, and the letter exchange format was perfect for it.
“When Republicans are in the White House, Americans tend to fixate on vampires – the idea being that vampires are an expression of an anxiety that was under threat of a parasitic elites. When Democrats are in the White House, zombies loom large; here the idea is that zombies express a fear of the unwashed masses, of mob rule.”—The Political Economy of Zombies — The Airship
Like so many others I listened to the “I have a dream” speech today. I also heard the speech discussed on Israeli radio.
I found it sad that the talking heads did not even note that Dr. King was a man of religion and that his speech was intensely spiritual and even biblical, that it drew its power from religion in so many ways.
On further reflection, it dawned on me that perhaps Israelis are incapable of viewing men of religion as leaders of change. For so many Israelis, the associations of religious leadership are the opposite of agitation for a better nation and a better world. They can’t fathom how a freedom fighter like Dr. King can also be an ordained minister.
“In the book Paypal Wars, Eric M. Jackson talks about how PayPal grew a base of sellers who accepted PayPal by creating demand for the service among buyers. When Paypal figured that eBay was their key distribution platform, they came up with an ingenious plan to simulate demand. They created a bot that bought goods on eBay and then insisted on paying for it using PayPal. Not only did sellers come to know about the service, they rushed onto it as it already seemed to be getting popular. The fact that it was way better than every other payment mechanism on eBay only helped repeated usage.”—
“An honest religious thinker is like a tightrope walker. He almost looks as though he were walking on nothing but air. His support is the slenderest imaginable. And yet it really is possible to walk on it.”—Wittgenstein, Culture and Value
“Waze for Android has grown strongly right alongside Google Maps for Android over the last couple years because the two services address very different use cases,” Bardin explains. “We focus on the daily drive to work — avoiding traffic jams and hazards on a route you know — while Google helps you find places outside of your daily routine. Nobody uses Google Maps to get to work, because it doesn’t bring any particular value there in the way Waze does.”—
That’s what Noam Bardin told me last year. Google was also the only mapping service that he expressed respect for, due to the thorough way they collect data.
“Another friend, who works on Wall Street, is so conscious of overlap with other parents that he has broken down the list of possible names for his forthcoming baby into trader-speak categories like “momentum stock,” “oversold” or a “value play.””—
Our little Naveh was definitely a value play - with significant Grahamian margin of safety.
“The startup scene has become the “Kolel” of secular Israelis. This is where we, the middle class hi-tech folks are ruining the economy. Instead of working and producing money, people collect unemployment while working on some silly idea they had for yet another mobile social BS.”—
There’s a huge kerfuffle going on in Israel now over the selection of Ashekenazi literary giants only for a new set of paper currency. The wild thing is how the discussion quickly shifts from questioning the socio-political hegemony to details of literary theory. It reminds me of the great debate over the Western canon that I caught the end part of as an English student in the early ’90s in the states.
“Many of them like the thought that they are rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures, though they tend to gloss over the fact that many of those cultures had never heard of Pampers… “I have absolutely been at parties and witnessed people putting their baby over the sink””—
“During the second world war, experts needed to decide whom to train as RAF fighter pilots. Today this would mean a battery of complex tests. Back then they used two simple questions: 1) Have you ever owned a motorcycle? 2) Do you own one now? The ideal recruits were those who answered 1) Yes and 2) No. They wanted people who had been brave enough to ride a motorbike but were sane enough to abandon the habit.”—The Wiki Man: If you want to diet, I’m afraid you really do need one weird rule » The Spectator
“There are now more than two dozen services that sell fake Twitter accounts, but Mr. Stroppa and Mr. De Micheli said they limited themselves to the most popular networks, forums and Web sites, which include Fiverr”—
Don’t understand why Fiverr doesn’t just stop this already.
“Following the ceremony, Obama and his delegation will board 12 Blackhawk helicopters that will fly them to Jerusalem. The Israeli officials will reportedly follow them by car. When he does travel by land, the US president’s convoy will comprise dozens of vehicles, including armored limousines, traffic police motorcycles, a SWAT team vehicle, several ambulances, and police cars. Every interchange will be blocked and secured by snipers.”—