VeriSign signs up eBay, Yahoo to identity program

VeriSign has launched a new online identity protection program, which Yahoo and eBay will both use.

Yahoo and eBay are among the early converts to a new VeriSign online identify protection program launched Monday.

The VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) suite includes an identity authentication network that will allow customers to use one authentication credential across VIP-enabled sites, including eBay and its online payment service PayPal. The VIP Authentication Service includes two-factor authentication using an open standard from the Initiative for Open Authentication, or OATH.

EBay is pleased to work with VeriSign on VIP because "online security is central to everything we do," Rob Chesnut, senior vice president of trust and safety at eBay and PayPal, said in a statement.

VIP will make it simpler for online companies such as financial institutions or e-commerce sites to implement stronger authentication by using a shared infrastructure, VeriSign said in a press release.

VeriSign technology partner SanDisk Inc. will support VIP by manufacturing and distributing OATH-compliant USB (universal serial bus) mass-storage and flash devices, and Motorola Inc. plans to enable the technology on consumer mobile devices, VeriSign said.

The VIP suite also includes a fraud detection program, using anomaly detection technology, and in mid-2006, VeriSign will add what it calls a fraud intelligence network, which will allow VIP-enabled Web sites to share fraud data and signatures. VeriSign intends to add additional services in mid-2006 including the VeriSign VIP portal, which will allow consumers to obtain support directly from VeriSign for VIP-enabled authentication devices, the company said.

VeriSign has introduced the products in light of concerns about online fraud, according to the company. Increases in "frequency and sophistication" of malicious activities such as phishing and identity theft mean that a "fresh approach is needed" to protect people who transact business online, said Judy Lin, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSign Security Services, in a statement.

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