Thursday, 15 February 2007

PayPal's Token Security

PayPal's Security TokenPayPal intends to introduce a security token, purportedly to stop fraud, but this looks no more than a smart business deal to me. PayPal agreed to buy one million of these tokens - made by Verisign - following eBay's acquisition of Verisign's payment portal business. And PayPal is owned by eBay! Non-business customers will be charged $5 (£2.57) for this hi-tech doodad, which changes its six-digit numbers every 30 seconds and will probably confuse most clients, but will be rapidly sussed out by cyber criminals, if they haven't already done so. PayPal clients are a major target for phishing scams (CLICK for a useful example). It is important for eBay - the firm that proves the adage "Let the buyer beware" - to make its customers feel secure, whether they are or not. Here's a headline from a Canadian website, sent to me by sculptress Julianna Yau (CLICK), who runs the Bogus Art Fairs website (see my links), "Buyers beware: Phony Norval Morrisseau paintings have been selling on eBay" (CLICK). Do you fancy lashing out $5 (£2.57) for the illusion of security? Wouldn't it be more reassuring to know that fake, stolen or non-existent articles can't be offered for sale on eBay?


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