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March 13, 2003
Lokitech publishes technology to prevent credit card fraud

Businesses today handle more credit card numbers than at any other time in the past. Jupiter Media Metrix projected that for the 2002 holiday season, there would be 35 million people in the United States purchasing gifts online compared to 20 million people in 2001. Business purchases are also being done online to pay for items such as membership and licensing fees, equipment, travel, and other business purchases.

This huge increase has caught many businesses unprepared, and many are not adequately protecting credit cards and other sensitive customer information. A study by Meridian Research makes the projection that by 2006, the financial institution sector alone will lose $8 billion to identify theft. VISA and MasterCard are both treating credit card theft as one of their top priorities, and each has proposed new technologies to reduce the liability from identity theft.

Lokitech has developed software based on open source technology that allows a business to store encrypted credit card lists and other sensitive information. By encrypting this information, it can significantly reduce the chance that this information is stolen and misused. Lokitech developed this software as part of a globally integrated Internet casino project involving teams in the US, Canada, UK, and Costa Rica.

"Security is always a top concern when building a major e-commerce application such as an Internet casino," said Lokitech's CEO Serge Knystautas. "We needed a way to store credit card numbers and account information without making the integration between different teams overly complicated. The technique we came up with allowed us to ensure that backups and communication were secure without adding significant costs or complexity."

Once proven successful, Lokitech looked to publish this software so more businesses could incorporate this security practice and reduce their liability. Mr. Knystautas added, "The number of new attacks and security threats has forced every business to review how it manages sensitive customer information, and we thought that by publishing this technique, we could help reduce this threat.

The software Lokitech created uses an open source library named Crypto++ that handles the encryption. The advantage of an open source library is that virtually all businesses can use it since there are no extra software fees and it is more easily adapted to whatever platform the business uses.

The article and code that explains how to use this technique was published on March 10, 2003 in 15 Seconds, a leading resource for developers and administrators working with Microsoft Internet Solutions. The complete article is available online at:

http://www.15seconds.com/issue/030310.htm

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