SecureArtisan

My Road to Digital Forensics Excellence

Where are the biometrics?

Posted by Paul Bobby on January 26, 2009

Heartland Struggles To Measure Extent Of Massive Security Breach – Data breaches/Attacks – DarkReading

In what some experts are calling the largest security breach ever, Heartland Payment Systems yesterday disclosed that intruders hacked into the computers it uses to process 100 million payment card transactions per month for 175,000 merchants.

Couple of observations as I read this article. The market must be saturated with stolen credentials by now. This article gives the impression that the sheer size of the problem involves 100+ million unique CC combinations – what’s the likelihood that one of my X number of credit cards is in that batch? I have yet to see a problem. But why wait until I have one?

Second, where are the biometrics? So I control my credit cards religiously – little point if the attacker is able to compromise the clearing house. Security should remain at the point of sale – I need to prove my identity and clearing houses should not accept CC transactions unless accompanied with positive biometric confirmation. The devil is in the details – it’s a cryptographic problem that has been solved on paper countless number of times, why I we waiting to implement?

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