The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 10, 2007 • Issue 07:12:01
High-tech data security in your wallet
The Emue card looks like something out of a James Bond flick. On the front it looks like a standard credit card, but the back has a keypad that allows 007 entrance into Blofeld's secret lair.
Actually, that's not far from the truth. Although the Emue card is not specifically designed for secret agents, it is for the average consumer worried about having personal financial data stolen.
Emue stands for end-to-end mutual authentication. It features a reciprocal authentication process that ensures both parties involved in an electronic transaction are who they say they are, whether the transaction takes place on the Internet or over the phone.
For example, you can authorize an online banking transaction by entering your PIN along with a reference code into the card to generate a unique digital signature to authenticate the transaction during processing. This eliminates the need to enter a PIN into a Web browser.
The Emue card is wafer-thin and works like a standard, fully functional payment card. The back is equipped with a 12-button keypad, eight-digit embedded alphanumeric display and microprocessor with a long battery life.
Together, these features run like a high-tech security device, protecting the consumer's secret PIN number and password, as well as the merchant's reputation for securing customers' financial information.
After evaluating the ways PIN numbers and identities are stolen, developers engineered the Emue card to thwart phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Researchers concluded that, in most cases of online identity theft, thieves assume the merchant's identity first in order to facilitate the heist of consumers' identities.
The Emue card, therefore, substantiates the identity of the merchant and consumer.
But the Emue can also be beneficial for payment card transactions at brick-and-mortar POSs and at ATMs. Instead of punching in a PIN number at your local gift shop's card reader or ATM - with the risk that the person in line behind you is eyeing your secret four-digit number - you enter your secret PIN into the Emue card's keypad (close to the vest, so to speak) to generate a one-time-passcode for use in that transaction.
With Emue cards, consumers would never have to key in their PIN numbers into third-party devices, significantly reducing the threat of having that PIN number stolen. The Emue card's capabilities can also be outfitted for other payment devices, such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants.
Co-developed by Innovative Card Technologies and Emue Technologies, the Emue card won both the Judge's Choice and Technical Achievement Élan awards at the International Card Manufacturers Association Expo in October 2007.
The Emue card made its public debut in November at the CARTES & IDentification tradeshow in Paris.
Innovative Card Technologies
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