Want To Yell At Me Over A Cheesesteak and a Hot Pretzel?

Written by Evan Schuman
June 14th, 2007

For those of you who may be near Philadelphia next week, I’ll be delivering the Keynote Address at a PCI Summit in the city of brotherly contempt on Thursday.

For the moment, let’s set aside the very legitimate question of why they asked me to keynote, given that it’s hard to imagine scraping the bottom of the speaker barrel any more pathetically than to ask an ink-stained journalist to talk.

That’s actually literal. A few weeks ago, I didn’t check my pockets carefully and did the clothes washing with a blue pen still embedded. Voila! The perfect shirts to wear in full ink-stained wretch mode. Wretch Wear! I was delighted by the discovery. My wife much less so. Then again, I’ve been relieved of clothes washing for awhile so this might be seen as a win-win.

But, yet again, I digress. I’ll be talking about the retail struggles with PCI, including the conflicts of interest and auditor interpretation issues, as well as cost and other factors. Much more importantly, the event actually has several top-notch speakers, including the incomparable Dave Taylor, president of the PCI Security Vendor Alliance. Dave has a wonderful habit of telling the truth regardless of the forum, so he’s both fun and dangerous.

So if any of you are in the Cracked Liberty Bell environs and want to get into the particulars of credit card security, would love for you to drop by. I personally think I’m up there to make the other speakers look smart by comparison. It’s one of the few things I can do naturally.


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Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

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