Cashless Policy: Technological Covers Against Fraudsters, Hackers

Tim Akano is the Vice Chairman of WINI Group, a partnership platform of 25 global companies in e-payment, risk management, IT and database security, among others, with headquarters in Boston, USA and African office in Lagos. Akano, in this interview, highlights technologies that need to be adopted, and other necessary steps, to protect Nigerian banks and their customers from fraud and hacking against the backdrop of the introduction of a cashless economy.

On March 31, this year, it was reported online that a data breach at a U.S. payments processing firm, Global Payments, compromised up to 1.5 million credit and debit card numbers from all of the major card brands. Global Payments, a company that processes card transactions, confirmed later that “card data may have been accessed.” The company said it discovered the intrusion in early March and “promptly” notified others in the industry.

Just last month, an online report also had it that an Illinois woman in the U.S. filed a $5 million lawsuit against LinkedIn Corp, saying the social network violated promises to consumers by not having better security in place when more than six million customer passwords were stolen.

The lawsuit, which was brought in Federal Court in San Jose, California, on June 15, was filed less than two weeks after the stolen passwords turned up on websites frequented by computer hackers.

Also, in March 2011, about $13 million dollars was lost in one day through ATM withdrawals to hackers. The start of the attack was an unrecognised breach of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), a Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm that processes prepaid debit cards. The online report had it that the attackers gained access to FIS servers where debit card information and balances are stored.

FIS internal systems are set up such that debit cards have fixed limits on ATM withdrawals and can only be used up to the amount actually in the individual account. The cyber gang modified the limitations on 22 of these debit cards, cloned the cards and distributed copies throughout Greece, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.




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