Internet Security

Passbase is building a full stack identity engine with privacy baked in

Digital identity startup Passbase has bagged $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by a group of business angel investors from Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins and EY, as well as seed fund investment from Chicago-based Upheaval Investments and Seedcamp. The 2018-founded Silicon Valley-based startup — whose co-founder we chatted to briefly on camera at Disrupt Berlin —…


Digital identity startup Passbase has bagged $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by a group of business angel investors from Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins and EY, as well as seed fund investment from Chicago-based Upheaval Investments and Seedcamp.

The 2018-founded Silicon Valley-based startup — whose co-founder we chatted to briefly on camera at Disrupt Berlin — is building what it dubs an “identity engine” to simplify identity verification online.

Passbaseoffers a set of SDKs to developers to integrate into their service facial recognition, liveness detection, ID authenticity checks and ID information extraction, while also baking in privacy protections that allow individual users to control their own identity data.

A demo video of the verification product shows a user being asked to record a FaceID-style 3D selfie by tilting their face in front of a webcam and then scanning an ID document, also by holding it up to the camera.

On the developer front, the flagship claim is Passbase’s identity verification product can be deployed to a website or mobile app in less than three minutes, with just seven lines of code.

Co-founderMathias Klenktells TechCrunch the system architecture draws on ideas from public-private key encryption, blockchain and biometric authentication — and is capable of completing “zero-knowledge authentications.”

In practice, that means a website visitor or app user can prove who they are (or how old they are) without having to share their full identity document with the service.

Klenk, a Stanford alum, says the founding teampivoted to digital identity in the middle of last year after their earlier startup — a crypto exchange management app called Coinance — ran into regulatory difficulties right after they’d decided to go full-time on the project.

He says they got a call from Apple, in August 2018, informing them Coinance had been pulled from the AppStore. The issue was they needed to be able to comply with know your customer (KYC) requirements as regulators cracked down on the risk of cryptocurrency being used for money l

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Internet Security

Target checkouts hit by outage for a second day in a row – TechCrunch

Another day, another Target checkout outage. Many took to social media to complain that checkouts at the retail giant went down for a second day in a row. Many stores were only taking cash and gift cards. It comes after Target suffered a global point-of-sale machine outage on Saturday. Checkouts were down for more than…


Another day, another Target checkout outage.

Many took to social media to complain that checkouts at the retail giant went down for a second day in a row. Many stores were only taking cash and gift cards. It comes after Target suffered a global point-of-sale machine outage on Saturday. Checkouts were down for more than two hours.

Target said in a statement yesterday that it co

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Internet Security

Have I Been Pwned is looking for a new owner

Troy Hunt has revealed he’s looking for an acquirer for the breach notification service he set up more than five years ago — aka: Have I Been Pwned. In a blog post discussing the future of the service, Hunt details how traffic to the site has exploded since January when he uploaded a massive 773M…


Troy Hunthas revealed he’s looking for an acquirer for the breach notification service he set up more than five years ago — aka: Have I Been Pwned.

In a blog post discussing the future of the service, Hunt details how traffic to the site has exploded since January when he uploaded a massive 773M record list of breached emails and passwords that could be used for automated unauthorized logins (aka credential stuffing).

“The extra attention HIBP started getting in Jan never returned to 2018 levels, it just kept growing and growing,” he writes, saying he realized he was getting close to burn out trying to manage the service solo. Hence his decision to seek an acquirer.

HIBP has ridden a wave of growing concern about data breaches and Internet security, with Hunt taking the decision to accept a commercial sponsorship via a partnership with password manager firm 1Passwordlast year.

Its growing profile has also led the service finding favor with governments wanting to monitor their own domains.

Sketching what he hopes to achieve with mor

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Internet Security

SEC expands its war on cryptocurrency companies with a lawsuit against Kik

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Kik Interactive for the $100 million token sale the company announced two years ago. It’s an expansion of legal actions that began last year as the SEC seeks to rein in companies that the regulatory agency thinks issued securities illegally. In the lawsuit, the SEC claims that Kik…


The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Kik Interactive for the $100 million token sale the company announced two years ago.

It’s an expansion of legal actions that began last year as the SEC seeks to rein in companies that the regulatory agency thinks issued securities illegally.

In the lawsuit, the SEC claims that Kikconducted an illegal $100 million offering of digital tokens by selling the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required under U.S. law.

The complaint alleges that Kik had been losing money for years on its online messaging application and that the company’s management predicted it would run out of money in 2017, precisely when it began laying the groundwork for the launch of its digital token, “Kin.”

The creation of an online marketplace selling through the company’s messaging service was financed by the sale of 1 trillion digital tokens to raise $100 million dollars.

Critical to the SEC’s case is the allegation that Kik marketed its Kin tokens as an investment opportunity, telling investors that rising demand would drive up the value of Kin and that Kik would work to boost that demand.

Kik was supposed to do that by building systems like a Kin transaction service, a rewards system for companies that used Kin, and by incorporating the tokens into the company’s existing messaging app. None of those features existed at the time of the offering, the SEC alleges.

The company also said that it would keep three trillion tokens that could trade on secondary markets and would increase in value as other investors speculated on the currency’s success.

Chat app Kik takes on Facebook with developer ecosystem built on the blockchain

“By selling $100 million in securities without registering the offers or sales, we allege that Kik deprived investors of inf

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Internet Security

Binance resumes trading following $40M bitcoin hack

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has resumed trading activity. Users can now cancel open orders, deposit crypto assets into their Binance account and, of course, buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You can’t withdraw crypto assets to an external wallet just yet, but the company says that this feature will be available shortly. You can cancel orders now. Trading,…


Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has resumed trading activity. Users can now cancel open orders, deposit crypto assets into their Binanceaccount and, of course, buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You can’t withdraw crypto assets to an external wallet just yet, but the company says that this feature will be available shortly.

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