Computer Crime Research Center


Anti-fraud device on eBay

Date: January 12, 2007
By: Ina Steiner

PayPal is beta testing a new tool to help keep user accounts secure. The PayPal Security Key is a small electronic device that account-holders may order from PayPal. The device, small enough to attach to a keychain, generates a unique six-digit security code about every 30 seconds. Users enter that code when they log in to their PayPal or eBay account with their regular user name and password. Because the numbers on the device change continually, the code used to sign in expires, providing a higher level of security.

The PayPal Security Key uses Verisign's two-factor authentication system ( The two companies have a history of working together. In 2005, PayPal acquired VeriSign's payment gateway business. At the time, the companies said the acquisition was part of a strategic alliance that called for the two companies to collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for ecommerce. Last year, PayPal and eBay signed support for VeriSign's Identity Protection program (VIP).
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