While researching Internet security yesterday, Redfin lead engineer Sasha Aickin began to wonder about Adgregate, which runs e-commerce widgets within an ad. This would allow an ad for flights to Maui to swipe the consumer’s credit card and book the flight within the ad.
Great idea. The company just launched at TechCrunch50, and is already one of the favorites to win best in show. But how do you know the ad isn’t actually a ploy to steal your credit card number?
As TechCrunch’s Don Reisinger explains: “To ensure security, the widget is always secure during purchase. The company said that even though ads can be displayed on insecure sites, the buying process is secure.”
And this is what stopped Sasha short. Trying to secure a communication from an insecure site has for years been something of a holy grail among e-commerce engineers. The problem is, you just don’t know where that communication has been before it was encrypted and secured.
If Adgregate has solved this problem, it’s onto Something Very Big Indeed. We will immediately steal Adgregate’s idea, and use it on our own site. If Adgregate hasn’t solved this problem, the company will only give people a reason to hesitate about e-commerce all over again.
Could the Adgregate folks help us out? What’s the story?