Friday, May 15, 2009

McAfee "Planning" iPhone Security

CBR Online:Published:15-May-2009 | By Kevin White
CEO reveals protection products in the pipe

The chief of security software supplier McAfee Inc has told Reuters that the company is planning to produce protection programmes for the Apple iPhone line of smartphones.

CEO Dave DeWalt told the news service that the company’s intention is to broaden its product offering to Apple users, and that its new security software will be in addition to technology it already supplies to protect Apple desktops against viruses. Noting that a billion programs had been downloaded from Apple's App Store within 9 months of its launch in July 2008, DeWalt said,

"The more applications become available, the more the threat of security and the threat of identity and data loss is there.
The iPhone is slowly making inroads into the enterprise but security administrators are wary about connecting to a secure corporate network. The "lack of encryption" on the device itself worries some.

Security ISVs also have issues over not being able to access the list of applications that are sandboxed on an iPhone.

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Wolfram|Alpha Launch Live Webcast

Wolfram|Alpha Launch Webcast Beginning this Friday @ 7pm U.S. CDT

Watch a Quick Introduction to Wolfram|Alpha »

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Politicians Told to Change PINs in Card Data Leak - Scotland Yard Involved?

Source: The Register
Complete item:

MPs and staff are reportedly being advised to "change bank PIN numbers" in order to guard against incidents of fraud arising from the leak of Commons allowance claims.

Andrew Walker, director general of resources, has reportedly warned MPs that the expenses claims, complete with lists of transactions, are still in the hands of whomever leaked the data to the press.  It is possible that the data could be used for purposes which are harmful to the individuals to whom the data relate through exposure to identity theft and fraud," Walker warned, The Times reports.

"The details which may be at risk as a result of the leak include bank and credit card details, personal addresses, the names and details of suppliers you have used, personal account details and details of transactions," he wrote. "If you have made claims for the reimbursement of staff costs, the data will also include details of staff names and their bank account details."

Politicians are being warned to keep a close watch on their bank accounts for fraudulent activity as well as (more puzzlingly) to change "PINs and other access codes".

It's possible to speculate that bank details were included in expenses claims, in order for reimbursement to be made, but quite why ATM PIN numbers on online banking login credentials might have been included is a much greater puzzler. If such data wasn't included in claims then there's no logical reason to change it.

Commons officials have received a promise from The Daily Telegraph, which bought the leaked documents from a confidential source, not to publish confidential financial information.

But that promise isn't binding on the original source of the information, which has exposed many members of Parliament to public scorn over claims on the public purse for household and other living expenses.

The resulting scandal has prompted a decision to officially publish expenses claims in mid-June, giving MPs a two week deadline to remove financially sensitive information from files.

Meanwhile Scotland Yard is reportedly considering a request by Commons official to investigate the leak for possible breaches of criminal law.

Cogito Ergo Sum (More on .im and Phacebook Phishing)

.im therefore .im not (who you think .im)

Scam / Fraud / Hoax Alerts
Source: Typepad
Complete item:

No, don't click any links to This is a virus. More to the point is a worm, one that when you click on it will offer you a page where the phishers will attempt to steal your login and password.

It's called (and in some cases, another URL ending in .im). It has the potential to compromise your account. Following a link to that site could be big trouble if you don't have updated antivirus software or you're not using a secure browser. It's also recommended that you download the latest updates for your operating system.

Worse than your computer getting infected, you may lose some of your Facebook friends when it uses you as a host to infect their their accounts as well.  Yup, it will indeed make you very unpopular, clicking on a link:  As we've told you many times before, we're telling you again - do not click on suspicious links inside your Facebook messages and emails.

There is a new scam out there called 'Ponbon.Im' and other URLS ending in '.Im' that people are accidentally clicking on, infecting their computers or accounts. There are other such links as well, it ain't just

There's currently a big scam running on Facebook and a lot of accounts have been compromised. If you receive an email like check, check or check, just delete the email and DO NOT click the link, because it may compromise your account too. It looks like is already blocked but there are others out there:

UPDATE: We're told the scam is now using multiple URLs ending in ".im", as Facebook has blocked ponbon. Simple rule: don't click links in Facebook messages that look suspicious.  Be warned that there's another Facebook scam going around today: compromised accounts are sending out links to a site named "", as shown in the image - do not visit this site. Our guess is that the attack is using accounts that were compromised previously - if you receive the mail, simply delete it without visiting the link.  At the moment, probably the best advice is not to click on anything that is .im, whether it is ponbon or not.


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Discover US Spending Monitor Jumps 4.7 Points

Discover® U.S. Spending MonitorSM Jumps 4.7 Points as Number of Consumers Feeling the Economy is Getting Better Nearly Triples in 3 Months
13-Month Low in Number of Consumers Planning Discretionary Spending Cutbacks (graphic courtesy of

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 6, 2009-- The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor jumped a record 4.7 points in April to 84.2 (based out of 100), as the number of consumers saying the economy was getting better rose 8 points to 23 percent. In three months this number went from a Monitor low 8 percent in February to a Monitor high in April.

The growing economic optimism among consumers coincided with a sharp drop in the number who thought things were getting worse. In April, a Monitor low 51 percent said the economy was getting worse, 10 points lower than March and 7 points lower than the previous low, 58 percent, set back in July 2007.

The sharp rise in economic confidence appears to be positively affecting consumers’ attitudes about their personal finances. For the first time since September, the number of consumers rating their finances as good or excellent increased to 35 percent. Increasing optimism about the economy and personal finances may be a reason consumers eased up on their spending restraint in April after hunkering down for the last several months.

Half of Consumers Planning to Spend Less on Discretionary Purchases, a 13-Month Low

In April, 50 percent of consumers planned on cutting back their discretionary spending. While still significant, this is the lowest this number has been since March 2008. Consumers are also showing a little less spending restraint in other areas as well. Fifty percent of consumers are planning to spend less on home improvement purchases, down 2 points from March, and 48 percent are planning to spend less on major personal purchases like a vacation, down 3 points from March and the first time this number has been below 50 percent since September.

“It’s quite remarkable that economic confidence, as measured by the Monitor, went from a low in February to a high in April. There are signs that their optimism may be influencing consumer spending intentions,” said Julie Loeger, senior vice president of brand and product management for Discover Financial Services. “But two months is hardly a trend, and we’ll have to wait and see if their optimism lasts.”

While the number of consumers saying they are planning to spend less in the month ahead went down by 4 points, only 20 percent of consumers say they plan to spend more. This number is 20 points lower than April 2008, when 40 percent expressed similar views.

Less Than Half Have Money Left Over

While economic confidence is on the upswing, the number of consumers saying they have money left over after paying monthly bills fell from 51 percent to 48 percent in April. However, of those consumers who had money left over, 80 percent were expecting to have the same or more money left over, the same as March.

For the fourth straight month, less than 40 percent of consumers said they were expecting an added expense or an income shortfall in the next 30 days.

Economic Optimism Gives Consumers Greater Confidence in Their Personal Finances

Better views about what lies ahead economically may have given consumers a dose of optimism about their personal finances in April. Nearly 50 percent feel their finances are the same or getting better, a number not reached since February 2008. Not as many consumers believe their finances are getting worse, 48 percent, the first time this number has been under 50 percent since February 2008 and 4 points lower than March.

Consumers also feel that current economic conditions are better than what they were a month ago. While 59 percent of consumers still rate the economy as poor, this number is 6 points lower than March and the first time it has fallen below 60 percent since October.

“Consumers continue to approach their spending with caution, albeit a little less so in April,” said Loeger. “As they grow more confident in the economy and their finances, consumers may boost their spending; which should help with an economic recovery.”

For more Discover U.S. Spending Monitor survey data, charts and information, please visit

About Discover U.S. Spending Monitor

The Discover® U.S. Spending MonitorSM is a monthly index of consumer spending intentions and capacity that is based on interviews with a random sample of 8,200 U.S. adults conducted at a rate of 275 per night. In addition to spending, the survey asks consumers their opinions on the U.S. economy and their personal finances. The Monitor began in May 2007 with a base index of 100. Surveys are conducted by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey research firm (

About Discover Financial Services

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a leading credit card issuer and electronic payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover Card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers student and personal loans, as well as savings products such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts. Its payments businesses consist of the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

Source: Discover Financial Services

Credit Card Debt Declines $5.4 Billion - News - March Debt

March Debt Fri, May 8, 2009 AddThis Social Bookmark Button
By Ashish Rajan,

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, continued its downward trend in March and revised figures now show six months of decline. Americans clipped $5.4 billion off total consumer revolving credit in March.

Lower credit limits and reduced personal income continue to contribute to the sluggish growth. Revolving credit now stands at $945.9 billion in March and declining at a 6.8% annual rate. In February, revolving credit dipped by a revised $9.7 billion reflecting an annual contraction ratio of 12.1%, according to new data released by the Federal Reserve.

Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the first quarter was about $805 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData ( Store and gas credit cards had about $100 billion in outstandings at year-end 2008. At the end of March, Americans were $2551 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.
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PayPal Plus Personalized MasterCard - News - PayPal Personalization
The "PayPal Plus MasterCard" and the "eBay MasterCard" are now offering card personalization services. Cardholders can use a ‘card designer’ to upload their own images and photos to personalize their cards.

In addition to uploading personal photos or images, there are a variety of other images available, such as: scenic, wildlife, world travel, sports and ’things I love‘. No software downloads are needed and the entire process is secure.

The first customized card is free, with each additional customization costing $4.95. GE Money partnered with London-based Serverside Group to offer "Photocard" customization service for eBay and PayPal credit card. For more information:

Circuit City eCom and IP Sell for $14 Million

The price of a bankrupt Circuit City: $14 million

The graphic on the right is from a post I did in January entitled: Circuit City Shorts Out

The electronics seller Systemax will buy e-commerce business and intellectual property of bankrupt company. 

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Consumer electronics seller Systemax will pay at least $14 million for the e-commerce business and intellectual property of bankrupt electronics retailer Circuit City, according to an adviser on the deal.

Systemax (SYX) outbid "multiple strategic parties" and will pay $14 million cash, plus a share of future revenue generated from those assets over a 30-month period, according to Streambank LLC, an intellectual property consulting firm retained by Circuit City on the deal.

Continue Reading at

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RBS Gets OK on PCI, But is it Back in Visa's Good Graces?

Source: Digitaltransactions
Complete item:

RBS WorldPay Inc., the other big merchant acquirer besides Heartland Payment Systems Inc. to report a major data breach in recent months, this week announced that it has attained validated compliance with the Payment Card Industry data-security standard, or PCI.

But Atlanta-based RBS WorldPay didn't say anything in its news release about if or when it would reappear on Visa Inc.'s widely watched list of PCI-compliant processors. The company is not on the current list posted on Visa's risk-management site for merchants. Typically, an acquirer sends its annual report of validated PCI compliance to Visa for review. An RBS spokesperson did not return a call and e-mail from Digital Transactions News, and Visa spokesperson had no comment.

After their breaches, Visa declared RBS and Heartland out of compliance with PCI and removed them from its list of validated processors. The network, however, allowed them to continue submitting Visa card transactions into the VisaNet network (Digital Transactions News, March 14). Heartland attained validated compliance April 30 and recently regained listing.


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Linens N Things Back from the Dead Online

Linens ‘N’ Things unfolds a new retail web site

The e-commerce site of Linens ‘N’ Things,, officially relaunched Monday, three months after it was acquired in a bankruptcy auction.  Besides bedding and bath products, the new site features pet supplies, baby gear and luggage. The site also offers a 10% grand opening discount on orders over $50 and free shipping on purchases of $99 or more.

Gordon Brothers Brands LLC and Hilco Consumer Capital L.P. purchased in February the intellectual property assets of Linens ‘N’ Things, including the web site and other Internet domains owned by the retailer, which declared bankruptcy in May 2008.

The web site ceased operations in mid-February, then quietly started up again about a month later, says Carlyle Coutinho, vice president of operations for Hilco.   “It was a soft launch, we weren’t doing any real marketing, just testing the site, letting consumers do commerce and increasing the number of vendors,” he says. “We’re officially relaunching today and starting our marketing campaigns.” Those campaigns will include e-mail marketing to the more than 3 million consumers on the Linens ‘N’ Things e-mail list.
Don't go crying to the new Linens 'N Things if you're still waiting for merchandise or rebates from the original company, though.

Orders prior to 2/15/2009

As you may be aware, Linens N' Things and its related affiliates("LNT") filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court forthe District of Delaware on May 2, 2008. On February 15, 2009, LNTAcquisition, LLC, the owner and operator of this website, purchasedcertain assets of LNT, including the brand name and the LNT.comwebsite. If your order was made prior to February 15, 2009 the new LNTcannot help you with locating your goods or rebates. We understand yourfrustrations and recommend you open a dispute with your credit cardcompany.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta] Webs Sales Up 4% but Fall 3% for HSN, Inc.

Web sales grow 4% in Q1 at, but fall 3% for parent company HSN Inc.  Online sales grew at in the first quarter, but fell for parent company HSN Inc., dragged down by poor performance by the Cornerstone group of web sites and catalogs selling high-end home furnishings.
Sales at increased 4% to $142.5 million in Q1 from $137.0 in the same period last year. But web sales for the Cornerstone group fell nearly 14% to $88.8 million from $102.9 million. Total web sales declined 3.3% to $231.3 million from $239.9 million.

For both units of HSN Inc. the web performed better than other sales channels. Sales were down 1% at the HSN unit and 22% at Cornerstone. accounted for 30.0% of Q1 sales for the HSN unit, up from 28.6% last year. The seven Cornerstone brands, which include Ballard Designs, TravelSmith and Smith+Noble, garnered 57.4% of their sales online in the first three months of this year, vs. 52.0% a year ago.

Overall, HSN Inc., No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported Q1 sales were down 7% to $629.6 million from $676.9 million. The web accounted for 36.8% of the company’s sales in the first quarter of this year, compared to 35.4% a year ago.

Continue Reading at Internet

Phacebook Phaced by Phishers

Social NOTworking Site's 2nd in 2 Daze!

Facebook was attacked withyet another phishing campaign Thursday that compromised lots of accounts tocollect users' passwords.  Hackers broke into some Facebook members' accounts and sent emails to all their friends luring them to visit cloned websites which were designed as Facebook home pages.  Purpose?  To entice facebookies to log-in and thereby obtain their username password.   According to articles I've perused, the website domains included,

Facebook said it detected the attack (after they got phaced) and deleted alllinks to the fake sites. The purpose of the attack was obviously to get username and passwords for a future spam scam to phfriends.

Update:  From CNET: (see  link below in related stories)  "Phacebook stopped a phishing attack on Thursday, its second day in arow of dealing with a worm on the site that lures people to a fake Phacebook page and prompts them to log in.   Phacebook has faced two phishing attacks in the past two days but officials aren't sure whether they are related.

Unsuspecting Facebook users get a message from a friend urging them to"check this out" and including a link to a Web page that appears to bea Facebook log-in page, but it is a fake site that steals theirinformation when they type in their username and password. The wormalso sends a copy of the message to the infected Facebook member'scontacts.
In the latest attack, the Web address was "" In Wednesday's attack, the address was ""
The attacks were stopped within a few hours in each case, said Facebookspokesman Barry Schnitt. He said it was too early to say whether thetwo phishing attacks are related. "We are investigating," Schnitt said."

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How To Recognize Visa Cards

After telling you about the 36,000 counterfeit Visa Holograms that were seized in Alaska earlier this morning, (scroll down two posts) I thought I'd provide some information from Visa's site on how to recognize real cards.  Here ya go:

Existing Visa cards – until July 2011
Existing Visa cards

  1. Optional chip

    The information stored on a chip is protected by encryption.
    The chip works together with the cardholder’s signature or
    PIN number to create more secure payment.
  2. Embossed or printed account number

    Embossed numbers feel raised, whilst printed numbers feel
    flat. Account numbers are up to 16 digits, begin with a 4 and
    are grouped in four groups of four numbers. Printed cards
    may have a partial account number.
  3. Ultraviolet “dove” element

    When placed under an ultraviolet light, a dove printed in
    ultraviolet ink will be visible in the centre of the card.
  4. Visa 3D dove hologram

    Square 3D hologram contains a dove, which moves when
    you tilt the card.
  5. Visa logo

    Blue-white-and-gold Visa flag logo appears in either the
    top or bottom right-hand corner. It has a dotted microtext
    security border used for forensic security purposes.
  6. Embossed “V” security character

    Appears next to the expiration date on embossed cards.
  7. Expiration date

    Every card must have an expiration date as a minimum.
  8. Cardholder name or identifier

    Cardholder’s name or description such as “Club Member”,
    “Gift Card” etc. are optional and may appear on the front
    of the card.
  9. Printed first four digits of account number

    Appear beneath the account number. Match the first four
    digits of the account number, if shown on the card or printed
    on the retailer’s receipt.
  10. Numeric security feature (CVV2)

    May appear either on the signature panel or to the side.
  11. Signature panel

    The signature panel must appear on the back of the card.
    The panel bears the “Visa” name repeated.

New Visa cards

Newer Visa cards

  1. Optional chip

    The information stored on a chip is protected by encryption.
    The chip works together with the cardholder’s signature or
    PIN number to create more secure payment.
  2. Embossed or printed account number

    Embossed numbers feel raised, whilst printed numbers feel
    flat. Account numbers are up to 16 digits, begin with a 4 and
    are grouped in four groups of four numbers. Printed cards
    may have a partial account number.
  3. Visa logo

    Blue-and-gold logo on a white background. More logo
    placement options and vertical orientation of the card and
    logo are now possible.
  4. Ultraviolet “V” element

    When placed under an ultraviolet light, a “V” printed in
    ultraviolet ink will be visible over the Visa logo.
  5. Expiration date

    Every card must have an expiration date as a minimum.
  6. Cardholder name or identifier

    Cardholder’s name or description such as “Club Member”,
    “Gift Card” etc. are optional and may appear on the front
    of the card.
  7. Printed first four digits of account number

    Appear beneath the account number. Match the first four
    digits of the account number, if shown on the card or printed
    on the retailer’s receipt.
  8. Numeric security feature (CVV2)

    May appear either on the signature panel or to the side.
  9. Signature panel

    The visible pattern on the signature panel may be customised
    but it will always bear the “Visa” name repeated in ultraviolet
    ink and visible under ultraviolet light. Signature panel length
    will vary depending on card type.
  10. Visa 3D dove hologram

    Contains a dove, which moves when you tilt the card. Instead
    of a dove hologram being present on the front a mini dove
    hologram may be present on the back.
  11. A mini Visa 3D dove hologram

    May appear on the reverse of the card and can be located
    anywhere within the indicated area. A standard sized Visa
    dove hologram is never present on the back of a card.
  12. Visa holographic magnetic stripe

    Visa holographic magnetic stripe with doves in flight replaces
    the square 3D hologram on the front of the card.

Other pages on the topic of 'recognizing valid cards' are:

Refreshing the Visa brand

How to recognize Visa Electron cards

How to recognize V PAY cards

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VIDEO: Panel of CIO's Talk Mobile Security on ZDNet

At a Churchill Club event in Santa Clara, Calif., Peter Solvik,managing director at Sigma Partners, talks to a panel of CIOs abouttheir how they're making mobile devices more secure in the enterprise and whether their employees prefer the BlackBerry over the iPhone.

Thepanel includes: Matt Carey, chief information officer of Home Depot;Karenann Terrell, CIO of Baxter; and Lars Rabbe, former CIO of Yahoo.

Baxter's Karenann Terrell does NOT seem very impressed about iPhone security, in fact she said Baxter tested them but within 2 weeks they had decided to stay with Blackberry.

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36,000 Counterfeit Visa/MC Holograms Seized in Alaska

Source: ADN
Complete item:

Federal officials in Anchorage have seized a package containing thousands of counterfeit credit card logos and driver's license seals, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The express-sent package, intercepted in late April, was sent from Hong Kong and contained more than 36,000 counterfeit Visa and MasterCard holograms and 10,000 counterfeit Department of Motor Vehicle seals used in Alberta.

 The goods were hidden inside a computer tower, officials said. 

Federal investigators said the illegal holograms, when combined with stolen account information, allow criminals to manufacture credit cards and driver's licenses that are almost indistinguishable from real ones.  Such fake documents are major components used in bank fraud and identity theft, they said.  The documents could also help criminals enter the country to continue their illegal activities, officials said

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SmartCard Marketing Launches Tradeshow POS Rental Program

May 15th 2009 PIN Payments News Blog

SmartCard Marketing Systems Inc. (PINKSHEETS:SMKG) Launches Tradeshow Payment Processing Application and Rental Services

SAN ANTONIO - (Business Wire) SmartCard Marketing Systems Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SMKG) announced today that the company has Launched its Payment Processing Management Application with Rental PIN Debit HomeATM® devices for Tradeshow events. The market opportunity is huge and with tens of thousands of exhibiting halls in North America alone and Attendee’s in the millions per month the average trade event across the US can host 200 to 300 exhibitors during a 3 day event with the larger shows hosting up to 800 to 1000 Exhibitors during a 4 to 6 day event creating an incredible opportunity for the company.

As Stated by CEO Massimo Barone “We want to be Innovative and create market opportunities that other companies cannot service or are not capable of delivering an affordable solution. Our joint consignment program with Exhibitor halls, Convention centers and Hotels with the Rental service will allow exhibitors to rent the terminal for a minimal fee and process payment transactions from visiting attendee’s on site with The use of the Pin Debit secure devices and Pre-paid debit cards will allow exhibitors the ability to transact and manage payments allowing them to then cash out using their Pre-paid Debit cards at the end of the event or to their corporate accounts making it very simple and efficient.”

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Disqus for ePayment News