Case Study Questions

1. What are the three types of mobile payments, and how do they differ?

The three types of mobile payment apps are proximity payment systems, branded proximity payment systems, and P2P payment systems. With the proximity payment systems such as Samsung pay or Apple Pay, the mobile payment can be made at participating merchants as a point-of-sale payment. Branded proximity payment systems also use proximity technology but can only be used in a single merchantís store such as Walmart Pay. Zelle Quick Pay or Venmo are P2P payment methods that are used to transfer money among users through an installed proprietary app.

2. Who are the largest adopters of mobile payment methods? Why?

The largest adopters of mobile payment methods are millennials. This is the generation that had already had a vast amount of experience from a young age with technology. They tend to be more trusting of mobile technology than are the older generations. Millennials are also more likely to accomplish their banking and finance needs through online and mobile providers. They were quick to give up check writing and moved away from swiping credit cards as well.

3. Why are digital wallets provided by Apple, Google, and Samsung not growing as fast as expected?

The digital wallets provided by Apple, Google, and Samsung have been slow to develop for a couple reasons. First, customers have still found it to be convenient to swipe their credit or debit card and therefore do not feel the need to use the digital wallet. Additionally, merchants have been slow to add the required NFC-enabled equipment to handle using a digital wallet. This factor has also created a lack of enthusiasm to move to a digital wallet over using a credit or debit card.

4. What is Zelle and why did it grow so fast in the last few years?

Zelle is a digital payment service that allows P2P payments to be made digitally between two banking customers. Zelle experienced a high rate of growth for a few reasons. To start with, the transactions through Zelle clear almost immediately where other service providers take overnight or longer to clear. This creates appeal to consumers wanting to transfer funds quickly. Zelle also provide free transfers for existing accounts which also helps to add to its popularity. Another major factor in Zelleís growth is that it was funded by many large banks and therefore had a large group of loyal bank customers to appeal to.


1. Imagine you are the owner of an e-commerce website. What are some of the signs that your site has been hacked? Discuss the major types of attacks you could expect to experience and the resulting damage to your site. Prepare a brief summary presentation

There are several signs that an owner of an e-commerce website may notice as an indication being hacked. Some signs would include strange content showing up on your website or broken codes for your pages. Website performance may become degraded and slow loading time experienced. The owner may start to see unexplained user accounts, unknown plugin, blacklisted, or even suspicious website activity.


The major types of attacks the owner would expect to see are spam, phishing attempts, bots, malware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS). Spam can come by way of blogger comments and open-up a link to your e-commerce website that will overwhelm the system and take it off-line. Phishing attempts can attack the owner or employees through emails warning of danger and requesting immediate action. This type of attack can lead to hackers obtaining login and personal information. Bots can create another problem for an e-commerce site. They may hold inventory in online shopping carts or change prices on your website to create a loss of sales. Malware creates another issue by trying to open a backdoor to your system and steal your and your customersí information. This allows the hackers to then exploit the stolen information. With DDoS, hackers overwhelm the siteís server causing the server to go offline. These attacks lead to problems with the website and can also create a lack of trust with your customers. These issues all result in less sales and therefore less revenue among other issues.


2. Given the shift toward m-commerce, do a search on m-commerce (or mobile commerce) crime. Identify and discuss the security threats this type of technology creates. Prepare a presentation outlining your vision of the new opportunities for cybercrime that m-commerce may provide.


M-commerce is not immune to security threats. Mobile devises can experience attacks in the form of rootkit installation, QR codes, theft of digital certificates, smishing, social engineering, unsecured Wi-Fi attacks, viruses or malware, crimeware, encryption hacks, and electronic eavesdropping. The risk associated with rootkit installation stems from rootkits being stealthy and hard to detect. This allows it to sneak access to personal information from the device. QR codes can provide a lot of good information with ease, but malicious QR codes may lead users to download malware or viruses. Theft of digital certificates would allow a hacker to utilize your digital identity for their personal use. Smishing is much like phishing scams, but it is carried out through SMS messages to attempt to trick people into divulging their personal information. Social engineering comes in to play when social engineers scam mobile users into giving up their personal information or they scam companies used by a mobile user. Unsecured Wi-Fi allows criminals an easy way into your mobile system and its information about you. Viruses, malware, and crimeware are all members of a group of software designed to either exploit personal data or create problems with the operation of your device. Encryption hacking occurs when highly skilled hackers defeat the encryption systems on your mobile devices in efforts to gain access to your personal information. And finally, electronic eavesdropping is a problem with mobile devices because they are on the user. Hackers therefore have a method of being connected to the userís information through files or listening in on conversations.


As the movement toward making almost everything available to mobile devices and interactions, I see the threat to bank accounts, identity, and other personal information heightened. I can see continued pressure put on mobile threats aimed toward banking and mobile financial transactions. As the trend continues to a more connected world, attackers will have increased availability to steal personal information. The security issue is further complicated by government officials limiting the ability of encryption to allow them to have access to decrypting if needed. This means that criminal will not have to work as hard to crack encryption and other security measures. It is difficult to predict how the next predatory mobile attack will come, however, we can count on it coming.