Mastercard dives into the dark web to predict card fraud

2 Oct 2017

Mastercard. Image: Vastram/Shutterstock

New predictive tool from Mastercard arms banks to move faster against card fraud.

Card giant Mastercard has created a new predictive platform that combats card fraud after data breaches occur.

The new technology emerges just weeks after 143m identities were compromised in a major breach of Equifax.

‘A stolen card number can be abused anything between nine minutes and 18 months after a breach’

Mastercard’s president of enterprise risk and security, Ajay Bhalla, told that it now takes as little as nine minutes for stolen card and account data to be used via the dark web.

Combining AI with big data and probes into the dark web, he explained that Mastercard’s new predictive tool, entitled Early Detection System, helps banks to not only react faster, but actually pre-empt attacks.

It does so by using Mastercard’s network insights, predictive capabilities, and internal and external data sources.

Crunching numbers

The system can quickly determine if a card or account is at risk and sends an alert to the relevant bank, quantifying the level of risk. This can help the bank decide what action to take, from monitoring transactions more closely to proactively issuing a replacement card.

Early Detection System identifies everything from active criminal trading of account data, to identification of cards being tested prior to being used for fraud, to account data that appears at risk but without sufficient evidence to declare an ‘account data compromise’ event.

According to Bhalla, the system uses a combination of new technologies.

“For AI and machine learning to work, you need a lot of data and the right kind of data.

“It is about a lot of intelligence being gathered and data being put into models to be able to predict that a fraud is about to occur.

“A stolen card number can be abused anything between nine minutes and 18 months after a data breach.

“This is a big pain point for the industry and most people only discover months after a breach that their card has been used. This technology will aim to tackle such problems.”

Mastercard. Image: Vastram/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years