Growing Wi-Fi And Fraud Crimewave Targeted By Phoenix and Kount

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Fraudsters and crimebusters are both rapidly recruiting partners as retail security battle heats up

Two new retail-focused security vendors have launched into the UK as a crime wave hits the increasingly high tech sector.

Barnsley’s Phoenix Managed Networks has launched a service to tackle the increasing amount of Wi-Fi fraud that is blighting the reputation of retailers. US-based Kount has launched a system it claims will dramatically cut the time taken to track fraudulent purchasers.

Wi-Fi theft

Phoenix has launched a service to tackle fraudsters who are now hijacking wireless networks to steal the personal details of anyone who logs on. The vast majority assume passwords render them safe, but criminals now use software to set themselves up as a hub on the network and direct all traffic through their laptop.

The crime is growing so quickly that criminal gang leaders are even creating YouTube training videos to instruct recruits how to steal the information.

“It only takes a fraudster 15 minutes from scratch to create a false identity,” said Alan Stephenson-Brown, a director at Phoenix, “from then on it only takes seconds to get onto any Wi-Fi and set themselves up as a bogus payment system.”

The vendor is looking for resellers for its new Phoenix Managed Service. “Nobody is safe on Wi-Fi. Together we need to get that message out,” he said.

Credibility Score

Kount’s cloud-based system is an anti-fraud uses algorithms to analyse its client’s online transactions as they happen. If any of the variables measured (such as the location of the buyer, whether they use a web proxy and the buying history) indicates an unusual pattern of behaviour, the system will instantly alert the merchant before the purchase is concluded.

The system studies dozens of attributes in order to create a credibility score. This is passed to the merchant who decides whether to reject the order, explained Donald Bush, Kount’s VP of marketing.

“We do things no other security vendor can check and it’s done in under three milliseconds,” he said. The company claims to be the first vendor to integrate multiple rules for security checks into one cohesive system. As a result of “rule clashing”, most internet screening is sub-standard and too slow, he said.

“A hundred billion dollars is lost to fraud at the moment. But 38 percent of orders that get delayed by security checks end up being abandoned by the purchaser, so companies are losing money that way too,” said Bush. Kount is looking for security partners who may wish to resell or white label its cloud-based service.


Author: Nick Booth
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