Dark Web - Hello Soda

The Dark Web: Is my data out there?

The Dark Web (which can also be referred to as “The Deep Web” or “The Invisible Web”) makes up at least 85% of the internet. With some sources stating that traditional search engines only see 0.03% of the entire web, we discuss the dark web data risks you need to know about and how you can prevent associated losses.

The Dark Web requires specific software, configurations, or authorisation to access in order to ensure complete anonymity, and transactions are made using currencies such as bitcoin.

Online Payment

Maximising Online Revenue by Reducing Fraud

With the changes in the digital world that are taking place every day, inevitably comes the increased risk of online fraud from occurring. Can this be prevented, and how?

It is becoming apparent that fraud losses within the financial services industry are increasing year on year, with unauthorised financial fraud increased by 16% from 2017 to 2018, totalling losses of a staggering £844.8 million.

Providing Identity Verification solutions for Visa

How Online Payments are Processed

With the decline of your typical high-street stores having a physical presence comes the increase of businesses with an online presence, ultimately resulting in more and more payments being processed online.

These digital payments are not just for e-commerce businesses, but also businesses in other industries such as Money Transfers or Foreign Exchanges and Gambling.

Alongside the rise of card and online payments inevitably comes the greater risk of payment fraud – whether this be through stolen credit cards or impersonation fraud.

Hello Soda - KYC & AML Checks

What’s the future for identity verification?

As we know, FinTech developments are causing continuous waves of change within the payments industry. With an influx of new alternative companies entering the payments sphere traditional brick-and-mortar banks are concerned. FinTech alternatives can provide a seamless user journey with greater customer service and easy use. However, lack of security continues to hampered growth in the market.

Providing Identity Verification solutions for Visa

The Payments Industry’s Digital Evolution

The payments industry is the foundation of financial services and critical for functional business. It is an industry that has evolved significantly since its outset. The rise of the digital revolution is no different. In most recent years fintech advancements have revolutionised the payments industry and physical money could be a thing of the past as payments made with a smartphone become commonplace within society. 

Is facial recognition verification really secure enough?

Officially well into the digital age, there is a wave of identity verification technologies sweeping the market, but determining whether one will strike the right balance between security and convenience for the consumer can be tricky.

The evolution of identity verification

Traditionally, verifying your identity for a service such as applying for credit, setting up a bank account, or transferring funds is lengthy. Often requiring visits into branch with original documents (e.g. utility bills, bank statements, birth certificate or passport), it is an inconvenient process which can take up a significant amount of time for the consumer (as well as many man hours for the business).

Digital advancements have already influenced a shift in attitudes towards identity verification and processes are beginning to change. Many businesses offer the option to scan and submit documents via a mobile device, eliminating the need to go into store, however this does mean that an additional layer would be required to verify that the user is the owner of that document. The level of importance placed on convenience and efficiency has steadily increased over the recent years, made evident by the introduction of fingerprint scanning by Apple into the consumer market in 2013, and facial recognition in 2017.

A natural progression was to include these methods into banking options, for example utilising biometrics for mobile pay or facial recognition to access online banking, but is this really as secure as it is claimed to be?

A number of financial companies have incorporated facial recognition into their identity verification processes, such as Revolut who request the user to take a selfie in combination with submitting a picture of an official ID card (e.g. driving license), and HSBC who introduced the capability for customers in China to authorize payments, transfer funds, and add new payees to their account via facial recognition.

Where facial recognition falls down

While facial recognition ticks the box of being convenient and user-friendly, there are some questions that cannot be ignored. For example, whether you could pass the facial recognition verification stage without actually being the biometric owner of the claimed identity. It has been demonstrated that it is possible to gain access to a service which requires facial recognition by presenting a photograph of the individual, which could easily have been gained from the internet.

Despite advancements in some facial recognition software – particularly in the new iPhone X which uses infrared sensors and 3D scanners to ensure it cannot be tricked by photographs, Apple has confirmed that their Face ID software would be confused by identical twins, therefore there is still a risk of impersonation fraud.

With this in mind, the sole use of facial recognition to verify a person’s identity is clearly flawed – particularly for accessing anything considered sensitive or high-risk like banking. However, it could be useful as part of a multi-pronged approach.

The Solution

While we have already discussed official documents and biometrics as methods for verifying identity, there is a third method we have yet to mention which is verifying digital data attached to the user. Offering consumers the option to leverage their digital footprint provides an additional level of security without adding friction to the user journey. Through advanced text analytics, solutions such as what Hello Soda offer analyse the quality, quantity and significance of data in order to corroborate a user’s identity claim in real-time, effectively and efficiently verifying that the user is the owner of the submitted document or selfie.

Want to find out more about any of these three methods, and how you can use any combination for secure and convenient identity verification? Get in touch to arrange an informal chat or demo.


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Cracking down on the dark web trade

Two big players in the dark web have just been shut down as reported by the BBC.

The two sites – AlphaBay and Hansa – have been associated with trading illicit items including drugs, weapons, and stolen data leaving millions at risk of fraud.

What is the dark web?

The Dark Web (which can also be referred to as “The Deep Web” or “The Invisible Web”) makes up at least 85% of the internet, with some sources stating that traditional search engines only see 0.03% of the entire web.

Originally launched by the US Naval Research Laboratory in 2003, The Dark Web was created with intentions to use it for secret services, law enforcement, and to train political dissidents in countries with oppressive governments. Additionally, journalists in heavily censored countries could use it to communicate and exchange information.

The Dark Web requires specific software, configurations, or authorisation to access in order to ensure complete anonymity, and transactions are made using untraceable currencies such as bitcoin.


The Dangers of the Dark Web

Despite its original purpose, The Dark Web is mostly used for illicit trade including buying and selling Fake IDs and visas, stolen credit cards, weapons, drugs, child pornography, and even the services of hit men, all with hidden IP addresses of both hosting sites, and visitors e.g. Silk Road.

Cybercriminals are willing to pay good money for stolen data, making the Dark Web a huge target for illegal activity and giving people easy access to commit ID and credit card fraud through the untraceable internet.


Our Solution

Our solution, Fraud Web, enables you to see whether your customers’ data is for sale on The Dark Web, and which data is at risk. This means that you can identify whether a criminal could potentially access your customer’s data and know if your customer has fallen victim to ID fraud.

With Fraud Web, you will receive high, medium, and low risk alerts surrounding the likelihood of ID theft so that you can quickly and efficiently identify fraud and alert your customers.


The average cost of a single stolen data record for any business is $154.

Can you afford the risk?

Get in touch to find out more or book your free demo



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