SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Leading Credit Union Launches PassMark Authentication System

Leading Credit Union Launches PassMark Authentication System

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Stanford Federal Credit Union (SFCU) has implemented PassMark Security's Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication (TM) system, designed to protect its members from online fraud and identity theft. Always an industry leader, SFCU was the first financial institution to enable financial transactions over the Internet, and today it is the first to launch the PassMark (TM) system.

"We chose PassMark because it is simple. Online members have always had to prove their identities to us. But with the explosion of 'phishing' attacks, online service providers should have to prove their identities to the consumer. PassMarks give us an effective way to do so, one that's easy for our members to understand and to use," said SFCU President, John Davis. Here's how the solution works at SFCU. Each member gets a secret PassMark -- a small image and a phrase -- which SFCU displays to the member during log in. Because the PassMark is known only to that member and to SFCU, when the member sees his PassMark, he instantly knows it's the real SFCU Web site and it's safe to enter his password.

Financial institutions can also use PassMarks to authenticate outgoing email, by inserting a copy of the recipient's PassMark into the email message. In addition, the PassMark system provides secure two-factor authentication and anti-fraud filtering by identifying the computers used to access the site.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently released a special report entitled "Putting an End to Account-Hijacking Identity Theft." The FDIC's findings are that financial institutions should implement "two- factor authentication" and "email and Web site authentication." The PassMark system delivers both of these protections, yet is simple for banks and credit unions to deploy and easy for customers to use.

"With the advent of phishing, keylogging and other attacks, passwords alone are no longer adequate protection for electronic commerce," said Bill Harris, co-founder and chairman of PassMark Security. "Yet conventional methods for higher security, like smart cards or digital certificates, are impractical for broad consumer use. PassMark has invented a system that offers strong security without requiring the users to have any new hardware or install any new software. Users say it's easy -- and even fun."

The PassMark system provides Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication: Two-Way because it authenticates the user to the site and the site to the user, and Two-Factor because it identifies the user's computer hardware as a second factor of authentication.

About SFCU

Stanford Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution owned and operated by the more than 40,000 members of the Stanford University community. SFCU is well known for its electronic delivery and remote services. SFCU has been doing business on the Net since 1986, and is the first U.S. financial institution to complete a financial transaction on the Internet. For more information, please visit http://www.sfcu.org/.

About PassMark Security

PassMark Security develops anti-fraud and authentication solutions for consumer ecommerce. Web sites can deploy PassMark's patent-pending Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication (TM) to provide strong and comprehensive security, without requiring their users to have any new hardware or install any new software. Bill Harris, former CEO of Intuit and PayPal, is the co-founder and chairman of PassMark Security. More information is available at http://www.passmarksecurity.com/.

PassMark Security

CONTACT: Deb Montner of Montner & Associates, +1-203-226-9290,
[email protected], for PassMark Security

Web site: http://www.passmarksecurity.com/
http://www.sfcu.org/

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