A new program being spearheaded by Microsoft Corp. is designed to provide a trusted way for researchers to report stolen credit card numbers and other data they’ve found in the dark corners of the internet, reports the Associated Press. Establishing that link is important, because when a researcher finds stolen data, it can be hard to convince a bank or law enforcement that the information is legitimate. The lost time can mean the difference between someone’s identity being used for fraud, and stopping fraud before it occurs. The program Microsoft is spearheading could help researchers deal with data they’ve found online and submitted to affected companies, said Dan Clements, former president of CardCops, which specializes in tracking down stolen payment card numbers online. Some merchants and gambling web sites have tried similar programs in the past. They created databases of stolen cards against which they’d check transactions, Clements said. But the programs fell apart, partly because the companies didn’t work well together without a middleman, he said. The new program is being managed by the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on cyber crime and has law-enforcement agencies as members. The American Bankers Association and eBay Inc. are also taking part in the new program, and banks, retailers, and internet security firms will be added over time…

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