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Home Depot’s Breach Just Weaponized Millions of Data Records. But Personas Fight Back

posted on: Thu Sep 11 2014

Home Depot just opened the kimono a little further, confirming a breach of their payment data systems (watch for our blog post “The 7 stages of breach” coming later this month). If things play out as they have in previous breaches – i.e., the Target breach of last year – there is more bad news to come. Much more. In fact, there is a strong possibility that millions of data records will become “weaponized” just in time for the holiday shopping season. In other words, fraudsters will not only have stolen credit card information, but credentials like email addresses, billing ZIP Codes, telephone numbers, PINs and other information which will make it virtually impossible to detect fraud in card-not-present transactions.

Fortunately, Kount Personas help merchants defend against fraudsters armed with even the most up-to-date credentials. How? By monitoring the behavior of actual credit card accounts involved in actual fraud, Persona technology builds an algorithmic model to ferret out the same suspicious attributes in credit card accounts that have not yet been identified as being involved in fraud. For example, if an actual credit card account involved in an actual fraud transaction exhibits multiple email addresses, Russian IP addresses using proxy servers (read about Kount Proxy Piercer® here), and multiple Device IDs, Persona technology can then look for the same type of attributes in “good” credit card accounts and flag them as suspicious. Or to say it more prosaically: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and flies like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Of course, the linkages and relationships used by Persona technology are incredibly more complex than the few described here, but this helps give you an idea of how Persona technology works. Nevertheless, merchants using Kount Complete™ with Persona technology can then perform enhanced screening on these suspect transactions (for example, more intensive manual reviews) and protect themselves better.

As the Home Depot breach unfolds over the next several weeks, will you be protected this holiday season from fraudsters wielding weaponized data? It’s not too late to fight back. Look for our webinar “Fraudsters Are Ready for Cyber Monday, Are You?” in October and learn how you can be protected against even the most well-armed criminals.