LogDog raises $3.5m for ‘gate protection’ service

Israeli start-up nabs hackers who steal usernames and passwords by checking logins across platforms and devices, says a co-founder

Facebook login page (photo credit: CC BY Jim Whimpey/Flickr)
Facebook login page (photo credit: CC BY Jim Whimpey/Flickr)

LogDog, an Israeli-developed app that catches hackers who try to log in to secure online accounts with stolen user names and passwords, announced Thursday that it had raised $3.5 million in a Series A financing round.

The money will go to enhancing its product, rolling out new services and hiring new workers, the company said.

Despite the many security technologies designed to protect users of cloud and Internet services, hackers still manage to steal user names and passwords – putting one in four web users at risk.

“Sooner or later, a user is going to slip, clicking on a link in a phishing email or engaging in some other activity, even unintentionally, that will allow a hacker access to their online accounts,” said LogDog co-founder Omri Toppol. “That’s why more than 25% of online accounts are compromised each year. Our solution catches hackers when they try to open an account, allowing users to know when they have been compromised and giving them an opportunity to do something about it.”

While stealing usernames and passwords is relatively straightforward work, tracking down and spoofing a user’s IP address is another matter altogether – and LogDog uses that tactic to ensure that the user who has logged in is who he or she claims to be.

“For example, LogDog will notify you if you open up Facebook from an IP address located in Israel, and open up Twitter from an IP address in the US a few minutes later,” said Toppol. “Obviously one of those is incorrect, and could indicate that you are being hacked. We detect that and many other usage anomalies, and alert users so they can take appropriate action to defend or protect themselves.”

Location is just one of the factors LogDog looks at when judging the legitimacy of a user. Among the others: whether the attempted login is from a computer or device you have used before, whether your account is showing unusual activity (like a large number of emails sent in a short period of time), and whether there were multiple login attempts from different devices.

When LogDog discovers a suspicious login attempt, it will pull up the site where the attempted breach was discovered, allowing users to quickly change and update their passwords. LogDog also currently supports two-factor authentication for all services. About a year old, LogDog has hundreds of thousands of users around the world, and is seeking to grow that number significantly over the coming year.

Users of Facebook and Google may recognize some of this from their own experiences. Each service, for example, keep track of whether or not it has been used by a user on a specific device, and will send out an alert to a user’s email asking if the current login is a legitimate one.

“The difference is each service does security only for its own login, and many don’t do it all,” said Toppol. “We keep track of all logins on all of a user’s devices, providing a more comprehensive and easier to use experience.”

Among the services LogDog keeps an eye on are Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Gmail, Evernote and Yahoo.

“LogDog’s goal is to provide our users with the same kind of protection large companies have for their data,” said Uri Brison, founder and CEO of LogDog. “As one in four personal online accounts gets hacked, users deserve a higher level of protection that allows them to quickly take action to shut down the attempted hack.”

“We are very excited to lead this investment in LogDog and be part of a company that we believe will significantly change the way consumers protect their online accounts,” said Yael Reznik Cramer of BRM Group. “The anti-hacking space is ripe for innovation and LogDog’s unique platform is a true differentiator in the industry.”

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