Biometrics meets e-commerce

Monday, 23 June 2003, 12:40 PM EST

Scammers, spammers, e-grifters -- E. Lee Falls has encountered them all, and he has the bruises to prove it. Falls is CEO of Electracash, a Long Beach (Calif.) company that processes checks for e-merchants. That means he handles payments for a chunk of the 20% of Web shoppers who choose not to put their credit-card numbers online every year. Electracash processed 1.2 million payments in 2002, and Falls says 5% to 10% of them came from cheaters and crooks.

His problem, which lies at the root of e-commerce, is simple: Neither he nor anyone else can identify the person making a purchase on a distant computer. Passwords and PIN codes can be stolen, or even guessed. Know what the most common password is? PASSWORD. For PIN codes it's 0000, followed by 1234.

In an e-commerce arena with such flimsy defenses, fraud is inevitable. It raises costs for the industry and scares away consumers. Falls, whose five-year-old company booked revenues last year of $1.6 million, says his outfit and the industry would be far bigger if they could just verify who their customers are.

[ Read more ]


Credential manager system used by Cisco, IBM, F5 has been breached

Pearson VUE is part of Pearson, the world's largest learning company. Over 450 credential owners (including IT organizations such as IBM, Adobe, etc.) across the globe use the company's solutions to develop, manage, deliver and grow their testing programs.

Weekly newsletter

Reading our newsletter every Monday will keep you up-to-date with security news.

Daily digest

Receive a daily digest of the latest security news.

Wed, Nov 25th