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by Isabelle LindenmayerWashington, The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a data security bill, Wednesday that would give the Federal Trade Commission oversight of all, companies that handle sensitive consumer information, rather than giving it, to banking and thrift regulators., The bill is at odds with one the House Financial Services Committee, passed this month that would give banking regulators the enforcement, authority., The House Commerce bill also has a lower threshold for when customers, must be notified of a breach, and it would let consumers correct customer, files and give enforcement authority to state attorneys general -- two, provisions the financial services industry opposes., Other committees have introduced their own bills or are expected to do, so. The Republican House leaders must decide which bill should win out, they should be combined., The Council of Better Business Bureaus, along with Visa U.S.A., Equifax, Inc., International Business Machines Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., eBay Inc., and its PayPal Inc., launched an effort on Monday to help small, businesses beef up their data security procedures., At a press conference in Washington for the new program, Lydia Parnes, the director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection, said her agency, would bring enforcement actions against small businesses that do not have, adequate policies and procedures to protect consumer data., Scams, Three Florida banks, Premier Bank, Wakulla Bank, and Capital City Bank, have had their Web sites hacked in an attack that security experts say is, first of its kind., Hackers broke into servers run by the Internet service provider that runs, the three banks' sites, redirected the traffic to a bogus server, and stole, credit card and PIN numbers, along with other personal information on the, banks' customers., Though the scam affected fewer than 20 customers, the ability of, fraudsters to link a bogus server to a legitimate Web site is a troubling, development, Computerworld reported Wednesday., Fraudsters have been targeting large banks recently, but that could be, changing, as small ones can sometimes make easier targets, the magazine, reported., More traditional scammers are targeting soccer fans. Customers at a, number of Brazilian banks have received bogus e-mails claiming to be from, MasterCard International and offering free travel and tickets to this, summer's Fifa World Cup tournament in Germany. Clicking on the link to, claim, the prize downloads a keylogger to the user's computer., The scam has targeted customers of Banco Bradesco, Banco Itau, Unibanco, Banco Real, and Caixa, Computerworld reported Monday., People who put classified ads in The Washington Post have also fallen, victim to a crafty scam., A woman posing as a Post employee tricked them into turning over their, credit card numbers and ran up thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges, according to an indictment handed up Tuesday in the Superior Court of the, District of Columbia., Shante Buchanan allegedly called the advertisers claiming their credit, card numbers had not gone through and offering to run them again. Ms., Buchanan then used the card numbers or the advertisers' information to open, credit cards for herself and made purchases from December 2004 through, January of this year, the Post reported Thursday., At least 50 people fell for the scam, according to the Post, which said, it now gives advertisers a unique identification number to prevent such a, scam from occurring again., Even consumers Down Under are not safe from fraudsters., Fraudsters used a device to collect account information and PIN numbers, from a Bank of New Zealand automated teller machine and stole more than, $20,000 from customers' accounts., The New Zealand Herald, which reported the scheme Thursday, called it the, country's first case of skimming,, The bank has blocked 1, 300 credit and debit cards that were used at the, ATM this month, and other banks whose cards were used at the machine are, contacting their customers, the Herald reported., Westpac Banking Corp. said 115 cardholders were being contacted, National Australia Bank Ltd. said it blocked 100 cards as a result of the, scam., Arrests, The Secret Service said seven people were arrested Tuesday in Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and the District of Columbia, an investigation of online forums where credit card data and other stolen, consumer information is sold., The people face state and federal charges related to online identity, theft, credit card fraud, and access device fraud, The New York Times, reported Wednesday. Some of those arrested have been linked to the recent, breach of debit card numbers and personal identification numbers that, affected customers from at least eight large banking companies., In the last three months 21 people have been arrested in the United, States and Britain in the undercover operation, called Operation Rolling, Stone, the paper reported. The federal operation is the largest against the, online trading of sensitive personal information since Operation Firewall, broke a large trading ring in 2004., Technology, Biometric technology, including iris scanners, fingerprint readers, voice recognition devices, may become the norm in authenticating consumers, BusinessWeek reported this week., Solidus Networks Inc., the San Francisco biometrics company that does, business as Pay By Touch, is allowing supermarket customers to use their, fingertips to authorize payments, and it is working on a sensor that would, let customers use their fingers to make online purchases from their home, computer., A Fujitsu Ltd. device that is already widely used at ATMs in Japan uses, to identify a customer's palm. Fujitsu -- which,, according to Visa, is selling retailers software that can be reconfigured, store sensitive customer data, including PIN numbers -- expects to, introduce, the palm-recognition device in the United States in the second quarter., But it's not just financial institutions and stores that are using, biometrics. Elementary schools have installed iris scanners to keep out, intruders, BusinessWeek reported, and fingerprint readers have been, installed, on locks for home and office doors., Solidus says it hopes to expand its services to include health insurance, information., Security Watch is a weekly roundup of news and developments in data, security and their impact on financial services companies. E-mail comments, ideas, and suggestions to Isabelle.Lindenmayer
Published in American Banker (2006)
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