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Industry Internet, Communications
Founded 1996
Headquarters American Fork, Utah, USA
Parent Cybersource (Visa)
Slogan Your gateway to IP transactions.
Authorize.Net headquarters in American Fork

Authorize.Net is a payment gateway service provider allowing merchants to accept credit card and electronic check payments through their Web site and over an IP (Internet Protocol) connection. Authorize.Net claims a user base of over 400,000 merchants, which would make them the Internet's largest payment gateway service provider.[citation needed]

Authorize.Net’s History

Authorize.Net was founded in 1996, in Utah, by Jeff Knowles, an entrepreneur and credit card agent to brick-and-mortar merchants. Knowles recognized the need to connect websites to credit card processors, to facilitate the acceptance of credit card payments on the Internet. That connection is now known as a payment gateway, and Authorize.Net has grown to represent over 400,000 online merchants.

Authorize.Net’s launch preceded Google’s by three years. Jeff Bezos launched in 1995, and Jerry Yang co-launched Yahoo! in 1994. Authorize.Net, in short, is a pioneer in the ecommerce industry.

Visa’s acquisition of CyberSource, Authorize.Net’s parent, marks the sixth owner for Authorize.Net. After Knowles founded the company in 1996, he sold it to Go2net in 1999. Go2net was then acquired by InfoSpace in October 2000, who then sold Authorize.Net to Lightbridge, in April 2004. Lightbridge owned Authorize.Net until Nov. 2007, when it sold the company to CyberSource, who has now agreed to sell itself and its Authorize.Net division to Visa, the dominant credit card issuer in the world.

Authorize.Net, Ownership Timeline

1996 – Founded by Jeff Knowles, an entrepreneur and credit card agent, in Utah
1999 – Acquired by Go2net, for $90 million
2000 – Acquired by InfoSpace, upon that company’s purchase of Go2Net
2004 – Acquired by Lightbridge, for $82 million
2007 – Acquired by CyberSource, for $660 million
2010 – CyberSource and Authorize.Net acquired by Visa, for $2 billion


Authorize.Net's large user base makes them an ideal target for hackers and extortionists. In September 2004, Authorize.Net's servers were hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.[1] The DDoS attack lasted for over one week and caused a virtual shut down of the payment gateway's service. The attackers demanded money from in exchange for stopping the attack.

On July 2, 2009, 11pm, the entire web infrastructure for (main website, merchant gateway website, etc.) went offline and stayed down all morning July 3, 2009.[2][3] None of the over 200,000 merchants who use payment gateway were able to process credit cards.'s phone numbers were closed July 3 because of the July 4th holiday as previously announced on their website (though the website was down at the time).[4] Other companies that have nearby offices have reported to the media that there was a fire.[2] started a Twitter account that morning, but did not update their phones to give notice to customers until July 5 when they reopened phones.[5]

Media coverage[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hack Attack Gums Up Authorize.Net". 2004-09-21. Retrieved 2004-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b Fire disrupts stations at Seattle's Fisher Plaza Friday, July 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM, Seattle Times
  3. ^
  4. ^ . Retrieved July 6, 2009. See "24 June 2009" announcement. Announcements will eventually expire.
  5. ^ . Retrieved July 6, 2009. See "3 July 2009" and "4 July 2009" announcements. Announcements will eventually expire.
  6. ^ Bedard, Paul. "Credit card firm cuts off nation's No. 1 gun store - for selling gun". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 

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