Tuesday, 31 May 2011


France Rolled $28.57 Million Tender for NFC Projects

The French ministry of economy, finance and industry has introduced a US$28.57 million budget call for the country's first ever NFC projects. There will be 20 to 30 such Near Field Communication or NFC projects meant to install mobile services for French residents in large metro areas.

French ministry has started the use of contactless cards or NFC-enabled mobile phones to purchase and validate public transport tickets. People can use their contactless cards or mobile phones to access public services more easily and can gather enriched local information on museums and local events.

The French ministry has already carried on pilot projects and will now introduce contactless technologies in real life operations. Under the terms of the call for projects, interested parties must declare their intent to bid by 1 July 2011 and final submissions need to be done by 14 October.



EFTPOS to Embrace EMV Cards

EFTPOS will launch micro-chipped 'EMV' cards next year that will replace magnetic strip cards that has been in use since the 1980s. EFTPOS is an Australian system for processing payment card transactions at points of sale and at ATMs.

EFTPOS managing director Bruce Mansfield said: "the network was monitoring industry discussions about NFC standards and specifications before deciding when to make a move. Today, there's not really an agreement comprehensively on those [NFC] specifications". EFTPOS will participate in the Payments Australia conference to be held in July, this year.

Mansfield further added: "We need to make sure there are common standards across the likes of Visa, MasterCard, Optus and Vodafone". However, he declined to disclose when EFTPOS would begin trialling or implementing NFC.

Previously, EFTPOS and its technology partners were involved in various NFC standards-development efforts. One such effort was coordinated by the international GSM Association, which counted 800 telecommunication companies, including Telstra, as members.

In recent years, EFTPOS competitors MasterCard and Visa have completed separate Australian trials of mobile NFC in collaboration with NAB, Commonwealth and ANZ banks. The trials utilised the card companies' payWave and PayPass point-of-sale terminals, typically used to process contactless credit card payments.



India and Brazil Tops Kaspersky's Spam List

India and Brazil scored high in the list of popular spam sources. The Kaspersky Lab April 2011 report stated, India accounted to 12.76 percent and Brazil accounted to 7.15 percent of the total volume of spam been sent across the world.

Compared to the previous month, the amount of spam in email traffic increased by 1.2 percent and averaged 80.8 percent. In the second half of April, the average figure exceeded 83.6 percent, suggesting the share of unsolicited mail will continue to grow in the coming month.

Of particular interest in April was the appearance of Packed.Win32.Katusha.n and Trojan- Downloader.Win32.FraudLoad.hxv in the rating of malicious programs blocked by mail antivirus. Both malicious programmes are linked to fake AV: the former is used to pack them while the latter downloads them to people's computers. In April, 3.65 percent malicious files were found against all emails, an increase of 0.43 percent compared with the previous month.

USA, Russia and UK continued to occupy the top three places in the list of countries where malware was detected most frequently in mail traffic. According to Kaspersky Lab report, in April, phishers seemed to lose interest in eBay with almost half as many of its users being attacked compared to the previous month.

eBay occupied 4th place in the Top 10 rating of organisations most targeted in phishing attacks. PayPal hold the 1st position in the list



Vietnam City to Introduce Smartcards

Hanoi, the second-largest city of Vietnam, will launch a pilot project to implement a smartcard ticketing system at the Long Bien Bus Station, one of the city's largest bus terminals.

Director of the Hanoi Urban Transport Management and Operation Centre Nguyen Hoang Hai confirmed with Vietnam News that "the final report for the smart card pilot project, funded by the Hanoi Electronics Corporation (HANEL), would be completed by the end of this month". The Director believes, "If everything goes well, the smart card system will be installed by the third quarter of this year".

The smart card system will include a pre-paid ticket imprinted with passenger information linked to a data management system on the bus. A chip installed in the ticket will manage passenger information such as the trips they take and help managers evaluate the number of passengers on specific bus routes.

Previous smartcard pilot projects were implemented along bus route 32 from Giap Bat Terminal to Nhon in Hanoi in 2008 and in two other bus routes in HCM City in 2010. However, in both the cases, prepaid smartcard tickets failed to attract passengers.



E-Passport Security at Risk: Australia Government

A senior cyber-security advisor with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia has stated that the radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled passports and credit cards pose a major risk to information security. He also said that the Australia government is currently looking into ways to make the e-passports and credit cards more secure.

Speaking at the annual Biometrics Institute Australia conference in Sydney last week, Dr Helen Cartledge said, "e-Passport utilises basic access control (BAC) to prevent personal information being extracted without actually handing over the document. Extended Access Control is used to protect other information such as fingerprint [data]. Credit cards, however, do not have the same type of safeguards and some of the information they contain may be vulnerable if attackers are nearby with a transceiver [reader] at the same frequency range as your e-tag or cards--they may get access to some of your information".

While the data in a passport requires an encrypted key to use, researchers in the Netherlands have found a way to read some stored information remotely.

Cartledge works as a senior security advisor within the National Security Science and Technology (NSST) branch of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Recently, NSST branch has funded a review and research program into the RFID technology looking for holes and vulnerabilities in the system. The NSST is set to publish the results in coming months.



Ingenico works with Visa Europe to deliver contactless payments for London's Black Cab Taxis

May 31, 2011. Ingenico today announced the launch of a contactless payment solution for London's famous 'Black Cab' taxis. The solution was developed as part of a Visa Europe-led initiative to increase card acceptance in London's taxis.

Based on Ingenico's iCT250 device with GPRS, contactless and colour screen, it will eventually allow all 25,000 London Black Cab drivers to easily access contactless payment technology while enhancing the consumer experience when commuting in London.

The solution will benefit consumers by making taxis more accessible by offering convenient contactless payments alongside traditional Chip and PIN and magstripe technology. It will also deliver for drivers the potential for increased fares, reduction in ATM stops, improved tip acceptance process and reduced cash handling. Ingenico's solution, also allows for the delivery of additional Value Added Services such as mobile phone top up, which will further increase the revenue generated for the Black Cab drivers.

"Providing this technology for Visa Europe's initiative has allowed Ingenico to deliver a leading taxi payment solution which will greatly enhance the consumer experience of contactless payments in London." said Cillian Wright, Head of Global Partnerships in Ingenico.




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