Ross Anderson looks at Verified By Visa

A fairly scathing paper on the whys and wherefores of 3D Secure – which most people will know as Verified By Visa. Anyone who thinks about security will have identified several flaws in the system already. But for the average man on the street, seeing more passwords makes them feel more secure.

So this is yet another case where security economics trumps security engineering, but in a predatory way that leaves cardholders less secure.

I don’t expect the average card user to sit down and actually analyse if Verified By Visa actually makes them more secure or not. You’ve got to place a certain level of trust in those in authority – but the banks are truly out to screw the consumer when it comes to card fraud.

I’m hoping that the pretty widespread media coverage of this will raise awareness with consumers and retailers. As it stands, Amazon seem to be the only major retailer who’ve told them to get lost.

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