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AI, security and genius hacker stories – FinTech Futures

Verint Interact 2019. Image source: Twitter

Verint Methods is a New York-based analytics company, based in 2002. The company sells software and hardware merchandise for customer engagement management, security, surveillance, and enterprise intelligence. Its products are designed to assist shoppers in knowledge evaluation, specifically giant knowledge units.

We attended the company’s US consumer event, Verint Interact 2019 in Orlando, Florida in Might.

Verint’s merchandise embrace speech evaluation software program (used to analyse name centre recordings), IP surveillance cameras and “smart” video surveillance evaluation software.

Verint’s Reliant software program supplies regulation enforcement businesses with the power to watch and analyse voice, video, and knowledge for numerous “targets” on all forms of giant, complicated pc networks, so as to gather evidence for Communications Help for Regulation Enforcement Act (CALEA) wiretaps. A number of nationwide governments together with the US, UK and numerous European, Asian, and Pacific nations have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in Verint surveillance software program and gear.

It’s obvious that these sort of refined analytics capabilities have gotten extra helpful and engaging to banking and financial institutions worldwide.

Verint has also acquired hundreds of thousands of dollars in authorities contracts to outfit airports, ports, and authorities amenities with intelligent video surveillance techniques with monitoring, biometrics, and video evaluation options. Unisys chose Verint as a subcontractor on its contract with the Transportation Security Administration, to install video surveillance units in safe areas of airports throughout the US.

In its most recent financial statements, Verint got here out with quarterly earnings of $zero.73 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.62 per share. This compares to earnings of $zero.53 per share a yr in the past.

This quarterly report represents earnings of 17.74%. 1 / 4 in the past, it was expected that Verint would publish earnings of $1.01 per share however it truly produced earnings of $1.08, delivering 6.93%.

During the last four quarters, the corporate has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four occasions posting revenues of $324.16 million for the quarter ended April 2019, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.27%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $291.97 million. The company has topped consensus revenue estimates four occasions during the last 4 quarters.

Verint’s Virtual Assistant makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create a simple engagement expertise. “Our conversational AI can predict what a customer wants, personalise the interaction, and determine the best next action to deliver a successful outcome,” it says.

President, CEO and chairman of the board of directors, Dan Bodner, speaking at the Interact 2019 event stated: “Times are tough for many organisations out there, they cannot afford to hire many new staff so they are increasingly turning to AI solutions, which are following an increasingly upward popularity with the users who interface with them. Many people prefer to interact with AI when they get a great user experience and their questions answered quickly and accurately. Millennials particularly prefer to interact with AI and robo-chats because that is what they are used to.”

Based on Dan McCann, CEO of SymTrain, who was attending the occasion: “Banks used to be able to make fast lending selections once they knew their clients personally. You possibly can stroll into your native bank, speak to the bank manager and get a choice within a inside a day or two based mostly on his or her native understand how. Certainly, this present day and age, when every financial institution has ten occasions more information on all of their clients, all processes ought to be quicker? But they don’t seem to be.

“The more we transfer from a world the place telephone was the core communications element, perhaps 15 to 20 years ago, to now, when digital interactions are becoming the high progress space, the transactions customers need information about have gotten more complicated. And that’s what Kate Leggett of Forrester, the analyst, was saying in a seminar this morning – the customers who do need to speak to a human need the decision centre to have their background info offered by means of AI, and by means of digital transactions. These are all the repetitive duties that people used to should dig out of unfriendly name centre CRMs and now these are all shifting to digital. So now what’s occurring is that when a customer or a prospect has an actual problem or an actual challenge, that’s the only time they’re choosing up the telephone and on the lookout for a human.

“So those humans have to be more highly skilled, they have to be able to handle more complex transactions. And they end up often talking to customers who just spent the last week and a half or two weeks navigating a digital journey. To answer their questions they have to be intelligent about that – they often repeat everything they need to tell the agent, learned over those two weeks, in the course of a three to four minute phone call. But the bank should be providing new data, new information and answers quickly based on the analysis of available data by AI. So it puts a lot more than what puts a lot more complexity onto the human element.”

Image supply: Twitter

Cybercrime: how changing a telephone quantity can change every part

Eric Michaud, CEO and founder at RiftRecon, took part on a really fascinating panel dialogue on hackers. Amongst different revelations he made included fascinating element – since 2014, a world cyber legal group has been concentrating on banks around the globe and has made off with properly over $300 million – by compromising the banks’ techniques with malware and using the knowledge they have mined. The outfit was caught by Kaspersky Lab, based on the New York Occasions.

The gang, which incorporates Russian, Chinese language and European individuals, just isn’t sponsored by a nation state, however cyber criminals that specialize in financial crime. The targeted financial establishments are situated in Russia, Japan, US and Europe. The gang – referred to as Carbanak by the researchers – start their attacks with spear-phishing emails to bank staff, who are instructed to open an attachment which incorporates malware, which the hackers use to infiltrate the financial institution’s networks and do in depth reconnaissance concerning the internal workings of the financial institution.

Armed with that information, they masquerade as staff, and steal cash in ways in which they hope won’t gained’t increase an alarm.

For instance, by impersonating the workers the criminals would inflate an account’s stability, then switch the extra cash to an outdoor account. The authentic owner of the account and the bank would often not discover immediately what occurred, as a result of the reputable funds have been still there.

Another efficient strategy to extract cash, in accordance with Michaud, is to instruct ATMs to dispense cash to an associate of the gang at a predetermined time. Apparently, one Kaspersky shopper lost $7.three million by way of ATM withdrawals alone.

Nevertheless no bank has come forward and publicly acknowledged a breach.

Michaud stated: “And in addition, the typical time to detection, you possibly can quote me on this, is about 200 days. So, by the time the financial institution had discovered them that they had already received in and received their spoils out. They usually’re still there. Sure, 200 days later, you won’t consider it however it’s true. I was referred to as in a while in the past to assist fill out the security programme of a cryptocurrency change. That they had detected some phishing emails.

“They’ve developers everywhere in the world, such as the Philippines, Thailand, but they haven’t any clue actually, who these individuals actually are. They’re in the business they read code for in order that they have to be useful indirectly. They determine to not use us.

“But we also decided to tug away because they have been asking weird questions. It appeared just like the CEO didn’t know what he was doing. And he had a monitor document of supposedly understanding what he was doing on LinkedIn. However the questions have been simply not proper. We have been additionally concerned since there’s a really high bodily crime fee towards cryptocurrency executives, at the least 300 kidnappings at gunpoint all over the world final yr. One government might be value a ransom of over $10 million.

“But anyway, months later, we obtained a name. Their foreign money holdings obtained worn out in an hour. What occurred was that legal hackers discovered all the executives telephone numbers on social media and sufficient info on the names of their pets and different issues from password breaches from LinkedIn and other providers, where your password reset was in all probability going to be the one in your telephone.

“And so, they were using SMS as their two factor authentication. So for password recovery for your email, your phone is your identity, because that’s where everything goes. And so the CEO and the CFO got nailed, then all the other executives at the same time, their numbers got ported, within two minutes it’s imported to a new SIM card, and then all of their passwords got reset to another number. It turned out the CEO was storing his private keys for his cryptocurrency in his phone with passwords. And then the hackers went to the CFO who did similar stuff, and then the comptroller got nailed. And then basically, they wired all of the money out into the network, and then all of a sudden, they pulled in all their email systems, everything went down. And all that money lost just because someone’s able to change your phone number.”

The Verint event had a large remit and there was numerous consumer satisfaction with both the content, which went from primary user-advice to good periods on every thing from cloud to security to digitisation. However the periods on security confirmed very graphically that this is one area everybody has to tighten up on.

By Don Van McTraffic