Not Sure Why You’re Receiving This Newsletter?

Written by Evan Schuman
January 22nd, 2008

If you’re seeing this note on your copy of the newsletter, it means you were suggested by David Taylor—former Gartner analyst, current president of the PCI Security Alliance—as someone who might be interested in the latest trends and news from the payment security arena, especially as it relates to retail and to the banking worlds.

This is a new newsletter from, which is a blog that covers retail technology and E-Commerce trends. I’m the editor of the newsletter and I also serve as the Retail Technology Editor for eWEEK and am also the former News Editor for InformationWeek and TechWeb. I’ve also covered retail and technology issues for RISNews, Consumer Goods Technology, the New York Times, BusinessWeek,, Reuters, National Public Radio and a host of other media.

When 60 Minutes did a segment on TJX’s security issues last month, the only media source it linked to for more information was StorefrontBacktalk. They’re hardly alone, insofar as has been repeatedly linked to from the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo News, ConsumerWorld, Fox News and PCMagazine plus BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, Wired Magazine, CNET, ComputerWeekly and TechTarget, plus quite a few links from the intranets at Procter & Gamble and Target. In the retail arena, we’re repeatedly linked to from NRF’s Smartbriefs, RetailWire, RetailForward and lots of other retail publications.

As a journalist, I can promise you an unbiased look at the various security trends. As a columnist, I can promise you a non-passive voice that will at least try and put these issues into broader context The newsletter is free and we will , with more than a dose of attitude. We’ll never sell your name, as that is, well, tacky. Dave Taylor will be writing a regular column for the newsletter, looking at a wide range of security issuies. Thanks! Hope you find it of value.


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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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