Internet Services Go Phish Phighting
The release of the newest MiMail variant is a reminder that we need to be vigilant against phishing and other fraud scemes on the Internet. But if you're the company being impersonated in the scam you've got to do whatever you can to stop it. Services areIf youre an Internet consumer, you need to be aware of and concerned about "phishing" and other attempts at fraud. Typically, such fraud impersonates an e-mail or Web page from a real, respectable company, in an attempt to get you to provide account information that they can use to steal money from you. If youre a large company, you really need to be concerned about such fraud too, since it could easily be an effort to use your good name to defraud users out there. Take the newest variant of the MiMail worm, the worm that cleverly incorporates a standard PayPal phishing scam. (Poor PayPal. Why do so many of these people pick on them?) Anti-spam software will probably catch some number of these messages, and MiMail in particular would be stopped by updated anti-virus software, since it involves an attachment. Other fraudulent messages arent so easily identified, such as those selling pirated or otherwise unauthorized versions of programs like Norton Systemworks or Adobe Photoshop. According to Internet filtering company SurfControl, "by December , the OEM software spam represented 5 percent of all spam, or 1 in every 20 spam e-mails."
But now services have arrived to protect the companies being impersonated. The first one I heard of was Brightmail Anti-Fraud, from one of the top enterprise anti-spam companies. Earlier this week, Netcraft announced a similar service. The two come at the problem in interesting ways, each leveraging a different respected service from a respected company, but to the same end.