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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3003 - February 18, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065    4 of 4

PayPal Says Traditional Threats Move to Mobile Devices

By Ina Steiner
February 18, 2013

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PayPal's Chief Information Security Officer Michael Barrett said traditional phishing, malware, script attacks and other threats are moving to mobile devices, and, as they do, "we want to do what we can to move the adoption of stronger, and easier to use authentication on all platforms, not just the traditional PC."

Barrett said PayPal is leading an industry effort to move beyond passwords. The eBay payments unit has joined with other companies to form the FIDO Alliance (Fast IDentity Online) to increase security when logging onto websites.

The alliance developed a standards-based open protocol to give users the option to replace passwords with authentication methods that are more secure and easier to use.

"Authentication is unmanageable for users. Users have too many Internet accounts and cannot manage unique passwords for each. The industry statistics show that many people simply reuse the same password everywhere and most of the rest have only three or four passwords that are reused everywhere. This means that users' security is more vulnerable to malware, phishing and identity theft."

Barrett said FIDO would give users stronger and easier authentication options beyond passwords. Users will be able to select the type of authentication that suits them best from a broad range of options - from fingerprinting scanning to USB tokens. The standard will also include voice and facial recognition. "By moving beyond passwords, FIDO reduces user' exposure to phishing and weak security at poorly managed websites."

Other FIDO Alliance founding member organizations include Agnitio, Infineon Technologies, Lenovo, Nok Nok Labs and Validity.

More information about Fido is found on the the FIDO Alliance website.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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