So apparently some enterprising crooks stole 70 million credit card numbers. That does not really surprise me. What surprises me is that Target appears, at least, to be forthcoming about it.
Upgrading to a ‘newer flashier securier‘ system is going to cost billions, and smart-card companies, visa, and mastercard are going to make out like bandits. And then the next wave of security breaches will show up because it’s still a system that depends that you trust what the payment processors say is secure, and all it takes is for those with ill-intentions is to pay off one insider employee.
What I like about real electronic-cash systems like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and now Catcoin, is first, you can decide if you like cats or dogs more, not which CEO you want to make rich. But more seriously, to make a purchase with cryptographic currencies, you actually have to have something of value on your ‘payment device’, and you actually transfer ownership of that something of value (the cryptocoins) to the seller of the thing you just bought.
With credit cards, you are just transferring a “sure I promise I’ll pay that”, and as we all know, promises are easily broken, either by a crook who steals your s3kr1t number by which you promise, or by something as simple as a medical bankruptcy. Cryptocoins do two really important things:
- they transfer valuable tokens, with a market value
- they make it more economically attractive for people with hardware that can crack passwords to mine for cryptocoins
Give me a new securier smart-card, a GPU farm, and enough time, I can crack the secret keys on the smart card, or just pay off an insider for the keys, and I can promise that some random guy I’ve never seen will pay off this debt.
With CryptoCoins, I actually have to go find some guy and steal his cryptocoin wallet, or go after Target’s cryptocoin wallet. In the meantime, the banks will just reverse all the transactions some random guy notices, but the transactions you don’t notice will go through just fine and 6 months later the bank will tell you “sorry your check bounced, but it’s your fault some thief promised you to pay 6 months ago and you never saw it”
I’ll take my chances with cryptocoins, because they can only rob what I actually have, not my future earnings, and at least there’s a chance I can follow the money