PayPal launches anti-phishing security device

Online payment firm PayPal is testing out a new key fob that it hopes will improve security for users of the site against phishing attacks and other types of fraud.

The PayPal Security Key generates a one-time use password every thirty seconds that users type in to gain access to the site as well as their normal username and password. The eBay-owned company device is based on Verisign's One-Time Password Token product and will cost personal users $5 (2.50); business customers will get the fob for free.

A spokeswoman for the company told media that the key will give users "one more layer of security for their accounts."

The device is important to the company as it is normally on the receiving end of a significant number of phishing attacks designed to siphon off funds from unsuspecting users.

As reported on IT Pro, security company RSA identified a new "universal" phishing kit capable of importing pages from real website and target potential victims quickly. The new key fob should provide extra protection against these new types of attacks.

Initially the scheme was only available to employees of the company but this has since been expanded to users in the US, Germany and Australia who sign up via this site.

The spokeswoman said the company will look at how popular the device is before rolling it out to the UK.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.