Jennifer French Giarratano
Public Relations Manager
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
ATLANTA—The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Georgia State University’s Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group (EBCS) are forming a three-year partnership to address online payments-related financial fraud.
The EBCS will surveil the darknet and encrypted web channels to better understand how online payments-related criminal activity affect the payments landscape and promote safer, more-efficient payment solutions and practices.
“We expect this partnership to have a huge impact on the safety of online banking as our research will help identify issues regarding online payments and fraud,” said EBCS Director David Maimon. “It speaks volumes that the Federal Reserve has turned to the cutting-edge research we conduct in the Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Center to help guide policy regarding online fraud prevention and mitigation in the financial industry.”
Payment innovations such as digital wallets, mobile payments and person-to-person payment apps offer convenience, but also expose users to new types of fraud. Bad actors can steal identity components, like Social Security numbers, addresses, authentication credentials and account details, and then sell them through markets hosted on encrypted web channels. Their actions create far-reaching harm across the financial system and broader economy.
EBCS uses behavioral science and innovations like machine learning to research, document and minimize cyber harm. Collaborating with Federal Reserve payments experts, EBCS researchers and Georgia State Ph.D. students will monitor online criminal markets for payments-related activity to document trends, identify new types of fraud and support a better understanding of crimes surrounding new payment types.
The partnership will attempt to identify the impacts of the introduction of digital assets such as central bank digital currencies on online criminal markets in other countries.
“This partnership with Georgia State University will help theFederal Reserve System and the entire payments industry understand fraud from a different perspective and lead to better solutions and operational practices around payments innovation,” said Cheryl Venable, chief of payments operations for Federal Reserve Financial Services. “The effort will capitalize on, as well as advance, the Atlanta Fed’s expertise as a payment network operator, supervisor and researcher.”
Additional information about the partnership and future updates can be found on the Promoting Safer Payments Innovations section of the Atlanta Fed website.
Evidence-Based Cybersecurity Research Group
David Maimon is an Associate Professor in the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the Ohio State University in 2009. Prior to joining Georgia State University ranks, David held a professor position in the University of Maryland. David’s research interests include theories of human behaviors, cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes and experimental research methods. In 2015 he was awarded the “Young Scholar Award” from the “White-Collar Crime Research Consortium of the National White-Collar Crime Center” for his cybercrime research. He is also the recipient of the “Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Faculty Mentor Award” (from the University of Maryland), and the “Best Publication award in Mental Health” (from the American Sociological Association). His current research focuses on computer hacking and the progression of system trespassing events, computer networks vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, and decision-making process in cyber space. He is also conducting research on intellectual property and cyber fraud.