February 15, 2005 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a pan-industrial and law enforcement association recently reported a 24 percent month-to-month growth rate in phishing attacks from August to December 2004. Additionally, the organization warned that phishing attack methods are becoming more sophisticated as well. The escalating threat has caused the industry to act together to maintain the infrastructure of eCommerce against collapse. Phishing is an act of fraud that involves an attempt by scam artists to steal the identities of Internet users by sending out emails or links to Web pages mimicking popular Web sites. These emails and Web sites commonly ask Internet users to provide sensitive personally identifiable information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or bank account information.
WholeSecurity today introduced the Phish Report Network (www.phishreport.net), at the annual RSA Conference 2005. The site is the Internet industrys first worldwide anti-phishing aggregation service. Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, and Visa have already signed up for the initiative. The Phish Report Network allows any company being victimized by phishing attacks to report fraudulent Web sites to a central database operated by WholeSecurity. Other companies can then access the database or receive real-time notifications of known phishing sites to block these sites. Companies receiving the aggregated site lists can incorporate them into various software, email, and browser services to help protect consumers against online fraud.
Any company impacted by phishing sites or with the ability to protect end users can participate in the Phish Report Network, based on meeting qualification criteria and adherence to program standards.
Phishing is the fastest-growing segment of spam being sent worldwide today, victimizing both legitimate online companies whose brands are being hijacked and consumers who are unwittingly providing their personal information to criminals, said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Safety Technology and Strategy Group at Microsoft. The data that the Phish Report Network will provide can help Microsoft immediately better defend our millions of users worldwide against these nefarious phishing attacks.
eBay and PayPals participation in the Phish Report Network is one of many steps we have taken to improve security of the e-commerce experience, said Howard Schmidt, eBay and PayPals chief security strategist and former White House cyber-security advisor. As we co-develop technologies, educate online users and work with law enforcement, we can help significantly reduce the effect of cyber criminals.
As a leader in the payments industry, Visa is focused not just on shutting down phishing sites, but preventing phishing emails from ever reaching consumers worldwide, said Brad Nightengale, Department Head of Emerging Products at Visa. Working with the participants in this solution, Visa can play a key role in stopping this crime before it happens and in maintaining global consumer confidence online.
As the industry consolidates to fight the phishing problem, WholeSecurity believes the Phish Report Network will become the cornerstone of these efforts, said J. Peter Selda, chief executive officer of WholeSecurity.
The partnership we have formed with the founding members of the Phish Report Network is an important, groundbreaking step in reestablishing consumers confidence in online channels. Phish Report Network Availability: The Phish Report Network is available immediately. Companies can sign up by visiting www.phishreport.net. Additional Information About Phishing and Online Identity Theft Prevention:
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