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5.9.19 Your morning briefing

The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Phishing hole
Microsoft is the most phished brand, followed by PayPal and Netflix. This creates danger for payment transactions given PayPal's scale, Microsoft's foray into digital authentication and Netflix's position as a major brand in the expanding subscription payments market.

The number of Microsoft phishing URLs declined about 4% in the first quarter of 2019, reports Vade Secure, which produced the ranking. Vade adds PayPal-related phishing URLs jumped 88% in the first quarter. Facebook was fourth in Vade's ranking and Bank of America was fifth.

Phishing has become more sophisticated as attackers add domain exploitation and brand impersonation to traditional website spoofing.

paypal sign
PayPal signage is displayed in front of eBay Inc. headquarters in San Jose, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. EBay Inc. is spinning off its PayPal division, heeding demands by activist shareholder Carl Icahn and giving the business independence it can use to contend with rising competition from Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

San Francisco cash rush
San Francisco's board of supervisors has voted to ban cashless stores in the city, joining Philadelphia, New Jersey and other jurisdictions outlawing cash.

Amazon has already bowed to the pressure, adding cash acceptance to its Amazon Go store in New York, which is also considering a ban on no-cash stores. Amazon's bookstore in Paramus, N.J., has also added cash acceptance.

The law exempts some pop up stores and internet-only businesses, reports Sfist. Amazon Go also has locations in San Francisco, though Amazon has said it will introduce cash options at more Go stores.

Easing up
Facebook is softening is cryptocurrency advertising policies to allow ads for blockchain technology, education or events tied to cryptocurrency without pre approval.

The social network has put the application and approval policy in place in 2018. At the time this was an adjustment to an outright ban on cryptocurrency advertising. Under the new policy, ads for ICOs and exchanges will still need approval.

Facebook on June 5 will also ban ads that promote complex financial products, such as "contracts for difference," that Facebook contends mislead people, reports TechCrunch.

Bitcoin ransom
Hackers seized Baltimore's computer files, demanding about $76,000 worth of bitcoin in return.

The city has isolated the ransomware but is not sure when all systems will be operational, reports Engadget. Most services were impacted, except for police, emergency and general phones.

The attack was similar to a 2018 incident in Atlanta, which halted municipal payments and left city workers locked out of computers. Another attack on the PGA at around the same time demanded bitcoin in return for unlocking computers.

From the Web

Megvii, Alibaba-Backed Unicorn Behind Xinjiang Facial Recognition Raises $750 Million
Forbes | Wed May 8, 2019 - Megvii, the company behind the facial recognition technology being used to track Muslims in Xinjiang has announced a $750 million fundraise ahead of a potential IPO. The company, founded by three Tsinghua University graduates, is one of the major AI surveillance unicorns in China.

Signup bonuses are eclipsing APR as credit cards' biggest lure
Yahoo Finance | Wed May 8, 2019 - Lucrative bonus attracted millennials, which helped drive signups, and according to a new report from CreditCards.com, signup bonuses are still the most important thing millennials look for when searching for a card.

Ethereum-Powered Social Network Cent Launches Payments via Chat
CoinDesk | Wed May 8, 2019 - Blogging platform Cent has launched a new feature that allows users to send each other the cryptocurrency ether via chat. The feature enables such payments even without downloading a crypto wallet. “You can just log on with an email, password and phone number,” Cent CEO Max Brody said.

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