Wednesday, 09 February 2011

L-1 Identity Solutions Released Industry's First Contactless Smartcard with a 15-Year Life

L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. announced ExianSmart, the industry's first contactless identification card with a 15-year lifespan. The new card offers the highest levels of secure processes and significant durability, making it ideal for international electronic documents such as driver's licences, national and voter identification cards and biometric-based entitlement cards.

A revolutionary fused card architecture using cutting-edge materials combining sophisticated physical security features with the latest in electronic cryptography and biometric authentication, ExianSmart represents the most secure and multi-purpose smart card possible.

ExianSmart has increased tamper-resistance with unique base materials that destroy the card if the card is altered, and linking and layering of security features with multiple personalisation methods such as colour and laser engraving, tactile personalisation, digital watermarking and electronic personalisation. Personalisation occurs during assembly so that no card blanks ever exist that can be stolen or lost.

The contactless smartcard has greater customisation options to meet a wider range of uses with a choice in contactless chip type, operating system and memory capacity based on an application's requirement. The card is compliant with many standards and specifications including those mandated for eDL and eID, National ID and eVoter programs. The card is RFID technology agnostic and meets all of the requirements set forth by the ICAO 9303 Part 3, ISO 18000-6C UHF, ISO 18013 international driver's license specifications, or ISO 7810 and 7816 specifications.

Fiver Saved From Extinction as 1.000.000 More Hit Circulation

The famous 5pound-only cash points, launched nationwide in 2010, reached a milestone as Bank Machine, the cash machine operator and a division of Cardtronics, Inc. announced it has used the machines to add 1 million fivers into circulation since the start of this year. A second landmark was reached as the company's 200th 5pound-only machine got launched in Forfar, Scotland last week.

The first 5pound-only machine was set up in East London's Bethnal Green in summer 2008, with a national network of 20 more machines installed in summer 2010. Then followed a period of "significant investment" by Bank Machine to convert or install hundreds more 5pound-only machines. The company is on course to hit its target of 300 such ATMs by the end of March 2011, and is aiming to allot 20 million fivers to its customers this year.

Bank Machine MD, Ron Delnevo, stated: "The fiver was almost extinct two years ago. The only specimens that could be found were limp and lifeless. Our 'Save Our Fivers' campaign has breathed life back into them, and resuscitated a fondness for fivers as the most practical of notes".

The Bank of England is also working on a number of initiatives that work to get more fivers into circulation.

Councils Fined GBP 150.000 for Unencrypted Laptop Theft

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) served Ealing Council and Hounslow Council with monetary penalties for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act after the Councils lost 2 unencrypted laptops containing sensitive personal information.

According to the ICO, Ealing Council has to pay a fine of GBP 80,000, while GBP 70,000 fine was imposed on the Hounslow Council. Ealing Council breached the Data Protection Act by issuing an unencrypted laptop to a member of staff in breach of its own policies. Hounslow Council breached the Act by failing to have a written contract in place with the Ealing Council. Hounslow also did not monitor Ealing Council's procedures for operating the service securely.

Ealing Council provides an out of hour's service on behalf of both councils, which is operated by nine staff who work from home. The team receives contact from a variety of sources and relies on laptops to record information about individuals.

Two laptops containing the details of around 1,700 individuals were stolen from an employee's home. Almost 1,000 of the individuals were clients of Ealing Council and almost 700 were clients of Hounslow Council. Both laptops were password protected, but unencrypted.

There is no evidence to suggest that the data held on the computers has been accessed and no complaints from clients have been received by the data controllers to date, but there was nevertheless a significant risk to the clients' privacy.

MasterCard Expands PayPass in Canada

MasterCard Canada announced that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), the largest issuer of Visa cards in Canada, will be the newest issuer of contactless PayPass-enabled MasterCard credit cards.

CIBC will offer 3 new PayPass cards - the CIBC Aventura World MasterCard, the CIBC Dividend Unlimited World MasterCard and the CIBC Aventura MasterCard. Customers can use the new cards to tap and pay for purchases up to $50 without entering a PIN or sign receipts, according to the bank.

According to MasterCard, there are more than 19 million PayPass cards in Canada, accepted at some 13,000 merchants, including Tim Hortons, Petro Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Toys R Us, M&M Meat Shops, and The Second Cup.

Has The Concept of 'Cash' Been Left Behind? - Consult Hyperion's 14th Digital Money Forum

Consult Hyperion's annual Digital Money Forum considers revolutionary ideas and solutions in the world of electronic payments, although with rumours this month of Apple introducing NFC on its next generation iPhone 5 and iPad 2, and the Orange/Barclaycard summer rollout of its contactless solution, these ideas perhaps are no longer so revolutionary and are increasingly becoming more reality. Now in its 14th year, the Forum once again promises the combination of discussion and debate, learning and fun, that has earned it the reputation as the place to be for people interested in the future of retail electronic payments.

"At this year's Forum we want to discuss the impact of alternative currencies on society, including the advances of payments in mobile technology, only last week we've heard the announcement from Orange and Barclaycard about the summer rollout of its contactless payments scheme," said Dave Birch, Chair of the Digital Money Forum, and Director at Consult Hyperion. "However, it's not just a case of maximising the potential of new technologies like NFC to make life easier for us as consumers and the financial industry as a whole.... there is now a growing belief and plenty of stories that tell us that cash is no longer safe, and that by lowering the usage of it, we can reduce robbery and theft, so for that reason alternative currencies for society's well-being must be explored too."

The Digital Money Forum is being held on the 2nd and 3rd March 2011, at the Guoman Charing Cross Hotel, London. Register at:

VASCO's DIGIPASS Technology to be Embedded into Intel Identity Protection Technology

VASCO Data Security Inc. today announced that its DIGIPASS authentication technology can now utilise the embedded token of Intel Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT). This will allow customers to easily deploy two-factor authentication without the need to roll-out software or hardware devices to end-users. This collaboration results in the availability of market-leading authentication available on select 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-based PCs.1

VASCO's DIGIPASS offering for Intel IPT replaces the use of static passwords by dynamic one-time passwords (OTP). The dynamic password is user specific and only valid for a limited period of time. Authentication technology protects against online transaction fraud, data and identity theft.

The 2nd Generation Intel Core processor platforms will support a VASCO applet. When an end-user wants to log-on securely to a website using DIGIPASS, the applet on the chip will send the OTP for validation. The server will request validation from VASCO's back-end authentication software, which will send the response to the server of the application service provider, who will grant access to the end-user. The Intel IPT technology works seamlessly with VASCO's range of authentication server software, VACMAN and IDENTIKEY, as well as with DIGIPASS as a Service, VASCO's cloud-based authentication platform.

"The integration of DIGIPASS authentication capability with Intel IPT is the result of intensive teamwork between both our engineering departments," said George Thangadurai, general manager of PC client services at Intel. "With online fraud, credential and data theft continuously on the rise, the need for more secure log-on procedures and e-signatures is only growing, especially in the online consumer sector. We are convinced this approach makes authentication easier and more straightforward for end users."

Nokia's Symbian Operating System is Mobile Hackers' First Love

Malware targeting mobile devices rose 46% in 2010, according to the latest quarterly threat report from the security firm McAfee. The key finding of the report highlights a significant increase in mobile malware throughout the last quarter of 2010, which is expected to continue throughout 2011 as well.

Researchers at McAfee found that while Nokia's Symbian operating system is still the most targeted, hackers are also starting to focus on Apple's iOS and Google's Android systems. Cyber criminals are tracking the increased popularity of Android, which overtook Symbian for the first time in the last quarter of 2010.

According to McAfee, hackers are targeting smartphones because of their increased use for more online transactions, without having the same level of the security as desktop PCs. Hackers are likely to continue taking advantage of the popularity of mobile app stores, by planting malware in legitimate applications, said Greg Day, director of security strategy at McAfee.

Over 50 US Colleges Gone Contactless

More than 50 higher education institutions in USA now use contactless smartcard systems. Before the Technology firm Blackboard and Sony Electronics launched the Blackboard Transact contactless technology less than a year ago, a number of colleges and universities have already started introduced various contactless systems.

By using smartcards, students can gain access to secure buildings and facilities, pay for meals and laundry and gain entry to campus events quickly and securely.

Florida State University (FSU) is the latest institution to adopt the smartcard technology and has issued 50,000 contactless smart cards to its students. Tulane University, the University of Texas at Tyler and Georgia's Mercer University have also adopted the technology in recent months.

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