Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

Crime

Analogue criminals in a digital world

I was tempted to blog about Bitcoin 3.0 this morning, but Marcus Swanepoel has already done that – news of Bitcoin’s death has been overstated – so I thought I’d blog about robbery instead.  Daylight robbery is far more exciting than investing in the future after all, and there has been a big case over here…

URGENT: Open this attachment or your account will be suspended

I wake up today with the usual massive dump of emails, two of which looked a bit suspect.  The first is from DHL, saying my shipment is cancelled.  I don’t use DHL and expect no shipment from them, so delete it.  The second is an email from Transport for London with a PDF attachment. It’s…

ToR and the Darknet: how to be anonymous

Building upon this theme of anonymity it’s worth talking for a minute about the Darknet.  It sounds like something out of Star Wars, but is all about ToR and the ability to surf without leaving a digital footprint.  This is the world of Silk Road, as detailed in the recent case study from Wired, and gives an…

The end of a ‘bank account’ as the digital me takes over

I had a really interesting conversation with Chris Barker, Head of Digital and Engineering for Royal Bank of Scotland.  As usual, the conversation moved around data analytics, deep learning, artificial intelligence, building enterprise data systems, separating content from processing, re-platforming the back-end infrastructure and core systems and more.  I’ll write more about that stuff tomorrow,…

What happens if your Digital Identity is compromised?

I’ve been asked the same question twice this week in two separate conferences (one in Vienna, the other in San Francisco): “how will we deal with the corruptive forces when we are all on the net?” The second questioner clarified what she meant by referencing the film Enemy of the State, where Will Smith gets…

IoT

What can banks learn from the Ashley Madison affair?

So we’ve all seen the headlines about Ashley Madison, the adulterer's website as it’s nicknamed.  Here’s a taste of what the site’s attitude is like (this is a real advert, not a spoof): It was the central focus of the film Men, Women & Children, which came out late last year.  If you haven’t seen…

FIDO needs more vision for digital identities

The real way to crack the onboarding and criminal activity is to create strong and secure digital identities.  We are moving in that direction, but it’s a long slow process.  For ages now, I’ve written about getting rid of passwords and improving authentication using mobile technologies: Why is KYC so difficult? AML prevention lies in…

FIDO

The billion dollar fraud and how deep learning might avoid it

Banks are being hacked all the time.  According to various statistics, banks get over a million cyberattacks a year, and protecting the bank from breach is getting harder and harder.  This was well illustrated by the Kapersky report of a cybercrime group in February gaining access to over $1 billion in two years by targeting over…

Card worth

Simplification? No, let’s double the complexity (from four pillars to eight)

Some of you may remember that I had a fraud alert involving Braintree a month ago.  The alert was raised by my credit card provider, after they detected a suspicious transaction for $699 via Braintree.  Luckily, as I’m a little bit in the know, I knew that Braintree is part of PayPal but, even so…

Chris, with Intel inside

Building on the theme of digital identities, we are moving rapidly to a future based upon digital implants. I have had this vision for some time, and every day it gets nearer and nearer. This vision stems back to the last decade, when the Baja Beach Club began chipping customers with NFC capabilities as who…

BeachBabies

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Chris Skinner
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