ThreatMetrix is drawing a clear picture of how big online card fraud is by marking each fraud attempt on a map as it happens.

The San Jose, Calif.-based cybersecurity software provider has developed a Web Fraud Map that displays account takeover, payment fraud and identity theft attempts in real-time.

"The map is available for anyone to look at, but it can be a valuable tool for our online merchant and financial industry clients," says Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer at ThreatMetrix.

Those viewing the map will obtain information in three important areas, Faulkner says.

"It shows where the attacks are coming from, what time they are taking place, and what type of attack it is," Faulkner says. Those attacks are generally credit card theft, account takeover, malware infiltration or identity theft, Faulkner adds.

ThreatMetrix obtains data for the map, which includes a rolling list of the city and country where the attack is taking place, from its clients and other sources that provide security information.

The fact that banks and merchants are sharing fraud information for the new map in an attempt to help keep everyone safe falls in line with President Obama's recent calls for fighting cybercrime, Faulkner says.

"One aspect mentioned was for government and financial institutions to collaborate on data in real time," Faulkner says. "And that's what the fraud map is."

ThreatMetrix bolstered its security offerings for online banking and online merchants in early 2012 with the acquisition of Australia-based TrustDefender.

ThreatMetrix clients implement the company's application interface at the point of authorization in their payments systems to obtain risk scores on transactions and monitor fraud trends. The new map on the company website represents "extra knowledge we can give them in real time," Faulkner says.

The Web Fraud Map shows the "sheer scale and volume" of what type of fraud is occurring, Faulkner says. "It's important to see because it's exploitation of people's credit and identity," he adds.

Because ThreatMetrix sees more than 100,000 fraudulent cards being used on a daily basis, the red dots on the map illustrating fraud attempt can quickly fill up entire portions of a country.

"That's a lot of identities being stolen and it's rather brazen when you think about it," Faulkner says.

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