How Does Device Reputation Protect Me?

Device reputation spots online evildoers by examining the computer, smartphone, or tablet they are using to connect to any website. If a device is recognized as having previously committed some type of unwanted behavior, the website has the opportunity to reject the transaction, preventing damage before it occurs.

In the physical world, as the saying goes, “You are only as good as your word.” And when somebody says one thing and does another, we no longer trust them.

Online, people say and do things they never would in the real world. Internet anonymity fuels bad behavior. Websites’ comments sections are filled with vitriol that you’d never hear real people utter. Pedophiles who’d never approach a child on the street contact kids over the Internet. Sex offenders avoid the stigma of their label on dating sites and social media. Scammers create accounts in order to con people and businesses into forking over money. And identity thieves use your personal information to fill out online applications for credit.

All of this is made possible by the anonymity of the Internet.

As fraudsters develop more sophisticated schemes and collaborate in elaborate fraud rings, the threat of cybercrime increases. Online businesses are getting hit hard by fraud and abuse, and it’s critical that fraud protection solutions save them from significant losses and damaged reputations.

A device reputation service checks for suspect history, but also investigates for characteristics consistent with fraudulent users. And the best part is that it denies criminals, often even before their first attempt.

According to Greg Pierson, Founder and CEO of iovation, “Device reputation helps prevent identity thieves from monetizing the credentials that they have stolen.  At the same time we are protecting online businesses, we’re also protecting the consumer.”

Device-based fraud management and a shared device reputation infrastructure play a critical role in identifying online fraud and abuse. Neglecting to take advantage of these tools severely limits a business’s ability to prevent fraud.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses Scambaiting on Fox News. (Disclosures)

Big Game Scores Big For Scammers

Internet criminals follow a similar editorial calendar as newspaper and magazine editors, coordinating their attacks around holidays, and the change in seasons. They further capitalize on significant events and natural disasters.

On Super Sunday weekend much of the scamming taking place is designed to separate the public from their money using the Big Game as the lure. People are seeking information on the Game and are being tackled by criminals who steal the ball.

The promise of cheerleader-filled videos along with downloadable player pictures or even Big Game memorabilia will dominate the scamverse.

Don’t get taken:

Ticket scams abound: Auction sites and Craigslist are ground zero for Scammers who buy up a few expensive tickets and, because many tickets are printed at home, the scammer just makes copies and resells the fakes to desperate buyers online or at the game.

Social media scamming: Bad guys who pose as legitimate individuals or businesses offering up Super Sunday media and post infected links that will infect the victim’s PC or network with a virus that gives hackers backdoor access.

Search poisoning: Scammers lure victims to their scam sites via search engines. When a website is created and uploaded to a server, search engines index the scam sites as they would any legitimate site. Doing a Google search can sometimes lead you to a website designed to steal your identity.

Zombie PCs: A botnet is a group of Internet-connected zombie personal computers that have been infected by a malicious application, which allows a hacker to control the infected computers without alerting the computer owners.

Scott Waddell, Vice President of Technology at iovation states, “Criminals will lure Internet users to malicious sites where malware can compromise their computers, making their systems ‘zombies’ in a global botnet. Identity data on these systems can be stolen and remote fraudsters can monitor the systems to compromise online accounts.”

Solutions like iovation’s ReputationManager 360 can identify fraudulent use of stolen accounts through geolocation rules, velocity indicators associated with identity thieves trying to quickly leverage stolen credentials, and the shared reputation view across more than 2,000 fraud fighting professionals strengthening the system every day.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses another data breach on Fox News. Disclosures

Front Row Seats When Internet Doomsday Hits Egypt

Most of us would have no idea Egypt had pulled the plug on the Internet unless it was splashed all over the news. However one company called iovation knew right away.

Basically “just like that” the up to 1000 fraud checks they receive every hour out of Egypt dropped to zero. At first glance one would think there was some type of meltdown or maybe Egyptian scammers all of a sudden decided to get a job.

Normally, iovation would see thousands of queries from Egyptian customers interacting with businesses of all types, including social networks, online dating sites, online gaming sites, banks and retailers. Then at about 6:00 pm Eastern time, nothing.

“We’ve got a unique view of the Internet at iovation. Our service experiences the interaction of unique computers and mobile devices from every nation on earth, across a broad swath of Internet commerce,” says VP of Corporate Development, Jon Karl. “When we’re seeing Egypt’s Internet fall off a cliff, it’s at a more precise individual user level rather than just through aggregated online traffic. While transactions from Egypt represent a very small percentage of the queries to iovation’s service, it has a ripple effect that’s felt by a wide variety of our customers.”

NPR reports “Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major Internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the Internet to try and silence dissent. Experts say it’s unlikely that what’s happened in Egypt could happen in the United States because the U.S. has numerous Internet providers and ways of connecting to the Internet. Coordinating a simultaneous shutdown would be a massive undertaking.”

And while experts say it is unlikely in the U.S., a bill is in fact being proposed to unplug the Internet. “Legislation granting the president internet-killing powers is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee, the proposal’s chief sponsor told Wired.com.” Scary stuff.

iovation, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has pioneered the use of device reputation to stop online fraud and abuse. The software-as-a service used by online businesses assesses risk of Internet transactions all over the world and recognizes if a device such as a PC, tablet or smartphone has a history of fraudulent behavior.  This helps organizations make educated decisions if they want to do business with the person using the device.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses the possibility of an internet crash on Fox Boston. Disclosures