Business Administration Education Guide

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Paypal SecurID Tokens: The new annoyance is coming

The new and next trendy annoyance in online purchases and transactions. Oh great -- this gets popular and our key ring will be larger than the high school janitor's key chain.

Paypal will sell SecurID tokens to its customers, starting early this year. The PayPal Security Key is a keychain size device that generates a new six-digit code every 30 seconds. Paypal will require signed up customers to enter in order to complete transactions.

Paypal hopes the gadget adds an extra layer of security and helps prevent against account breaches.

Wait...what? From what I know, the biggest security problem is those emails that say, "You need to log in to verify something!"

From PayPal Website- How much does it cost?
There is a one-time non-refundable fee of $5.00*. After that, there's no monthly fee or recurring charge - your extra layer of security is free.

I've dealt with the VeriSign tokens / security things with a company. Pain in the ass. Paypal should be paying us for using them. Paypal sucks to begin with. I don't know if I want a token that ensures my security on a system that is threatened more by their own business practices than outside hackers. Is the token going to prevent them from freezing my balance and dipping into my checking account at will?

This would guard against those emails, because the phisher would need the number from the device to log in and clean out the account. Since that number changes every 30 seconds, he would have to prompt for the magic number on the fake login phishing page, then manage to log in to paypal within 30 seconds after the user was phished. Since the magic number keeps changing, he won't be able to log in more than once, but once is all it takes to wipe you out if you keep money in the account... which I don't. I use it only when I need it... but my banking information is there....

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