Zero Day and the Visanet

I skimmed through a book called Zero Day Threat. They define such as threat as one that is so new that not protection against it exists yet. In other words, this is a virus that takes advantage of a hole that has not been patched yet. The most interesting part of the book was the details on the Visanet system. This is set of processing centers that handle Visa charge transactions.

The authors visited one of the Visanet processing centers. It was a "nondescript" building. That makes sense. You don't want to advertise where you processing centers are. Three are 4 such processing centers around the world that make up the Visanet.

The Visanet centers are located in the Western USA, the eastern USA, Europe, and Asia. Locations are nice and spread out to keep the transactions running. Each transaction consists of 1500 bytes. The total transaction takes about 2 seconds to complete. These processing centers do a massive volume of transactions per second. Good stuff.

Next time I plan to talk about precautions you can take to guard against a Zero Day Threat.