Fighting Phishing

A new consortium aims to fight e-mail-based efforts to hijack personal information.

Phishing, e-mail and Web-based efforts by online scammers to hijack personal information from unsuspecting users, faces a new obstacle. A group of global banks and technology companies have joined forces to fight the scams. The group is running a Web site, Anti-Phishing.Org (, where those who have received phishing messages can report them, and personnel will follow up by trying to track down the originators of the scams.

Tumbleweed Communications started the Anti-Phishing.Org effort with the participation of a number of banks (the majority of phishing e-mails appear to come from financial institutions), but the list of partners now includes many technology companies. Bank of America and Wells Fargo were among some of the early banks to form partnerships with Anti-Phishing.Org, says Dave Jevans, senior vice-president of marketing at Tumbleweed Communications.

"Were putting an infrastructure in place so there will be people who can respond to phishing reports in a timely fashion," says Jevans. "Thats critical because the Web sites designed for collecting personal information in phishing attacks are often only in place for a day or two."