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September 12, 2014

Here are the selections Tech Talk Editors George Milner and Teri Wesley have collected from this week's tech news:
  • ATM fraud building
  • A call for FTC action
  • Encrypted phishing sites
  • Benefits of Apple Pay
  • What's on your mobile device?
  • The mobile-bank connection
  • A token solution
  • Bank's take on Bitcoin
  • Biometric Bitcoin ATMs
  • Spam, Scams & Breaches
  • Updates, Patches and Alerts
  • and on the lighter side...
ATM fraud building
It's official. The nation's largest home improvement retailer is the latest victim of yet another high-profile data breach that has compromised the card numbers of millions of consumers. Signs of the breach that affects thousands of Home Depot stores in the U.S. and Canada have already surfaced as banks report ATM fraud being perpetrated with stolen card data from Home Depot customers, reports Krebs on Security. In the wake of this latest attack on their home soil, the Home Depot has announced that it will roll out EMV technology to all U.S. stores by the end of this year.

A call for FTC action
On the heels of confirmation that Home Depot's payment systems have been breached, two U.S. senators are calling for a probe into the company's data protection practices. In a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT-D) and Ed Markey (MA-D) urge the FTC to investigate and address the incident they say raises questions about the retailer's security measures. Computerworld has the details.

Encrypted phishing sites
Fighting cyberccrime is often an ongoing battle of tit-for-tat. Banks, businesses, and consumers deploy stronger security measures, and cybercriminals devise new ways to circumvent those security controls. The latest move taken by fraudsters to disguise their phishing expeditions is their deployment of NIST's (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Advanced Encryption Standard on phishing sites to evade automatic phishing detection tools. Help Net Security has the details.

The benefits of Apple Pay
Apple dominated tech news this week with its launch of the iPhone6, the Apple Watch and its latest foray in the mobile payments market with its Apple Pay technology. Using fingerprint scanners to verify users and a one-time dynamic security code that replaces the static data on a traditional card's magnetic strip, the new pay system will go a long way in mitigating fraud. Additionally, the technology gives card networks and banks significant market access that could drive increased card usage. Bloomberg has the details.

What's on your mobile device?
Traditional wallets stuffed with credit cards and cash are so blasť these days. Apple announced its new Apple Pay program with the image of a leather billfold posted on its website and the message "Wallet, your days are numbered." Prior to Apple's big news, PayPal launched its "One Touch" mobile payments service that enables users to make one-click payments in mobile shopping apps, and announced that its customers will soon be able to pay with virtual currency, reports Bank Systems & Technology.

The mobile-bank connection
As evidenced by all the hoopla surrounding Apple Pay and PayPal's announcement of their newest digital payment offerings, the adoption of mobile payments is gaining traction. Industry research experts predict a significant increase in contactless payments, up to nearly $5 trillion by 2019. A recent report revealed that consumers would feel more secure shopping via their mobile devices if they could use apps provided by their financial institution. Supporting their own mobile payments platform would give banks an advantage in the digital payments market, reports ATM Marketplace.

A token solution
In the spirit of jumping on the digital payments bandwagon, global payments company Visa is rolling out its solution for more secure online and mobile payments in the U.S. Beginning next month, Visa Tokens (or digital account numbers) that can be securely stored online or on mobile devices in lieu of card numbers will be available to issuing financial institutions, reports Finextra.

Bank's take on Bitcoin
The virtual currency controversy continues to swirl around the globe. The Bank of England (BofE) has released a new report weighing in on the risk of fraud presented by the Bitcoin cryptocurrency and its potential impact on the UK economy and financial system. The Wall Street Journal has the details.

Biometric Bitcoin ATMs
Security is a growing concern for everyone in the industry – even for those dealing in virtual currency. Bitcoin ATM manufacturer Robocoin is adding biometric authentication to Bitcoin ATMs that will enable users to quickly and securely conduct transactions at the virtual coin kiosks without the use of a PIN. Finextra has the details.


Updates, Patches and Alerts...


On the lighter side ...
These days, everything is enhanced by technology. Some might say that we have gone too far. In its recent marketing campaign, iconic Swedish furniture company IKEA decided to go back to the basics.
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