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Governments Need to Pass More Anti-Spam Laws, Says OECD

Governments need to pass more anti-spam laws, give law enforcement agencies more resources and work better across borders to combat unsolicited e-mail clogging up inboxes, an international economic group said Wednesday.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international forum of 30 countries established to promote economic growth and trade, also called on private industry to cooperate with government spam-fighting efforts and to help governments establish nationwide spam education campaigns. In addition, countries need to pass laws that provide "clear directions" on rules regarding bulk e-mail, the group said. more

Spammers Handed Record $230 Million Anti-Spam Judgment

A federal judge in Los Angeles has awarded MySpace close to $230 million in its lawsuit against "Spam King" Sanford Wallace and his business partner Walter Rines. Judge Audrey B. Collins of United States District Court in the Central District of California ruled in MySpace's favor on Monday after the two men failed to show up in court, according to MySpace... While many spammers have been designated "Spam King," Wallace earned the title back in the late 1990s as a result of spam messages sent by his company Cyber Promotions. more

Reviving Concerns Over Internet Control

Starting next week, about 1,200 diplomats and technology ministers will gather at a hotel in the outskirts of Athens to resume a debate that has often pitted the Bush administration and a handful of its Western allies against Brazil, India, China and African countries. Officially, the inaugural meeting of the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum is designed to explore topics like free speech, security, spam and multilingualism... more

Gmail Collaborate With eBay and PayPal to Fight Phishing

Google has recently announced that it has succeeded in working with eBay and PayPal, also owned by eBay, to fight phishing by using authentication standards DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). According to Google, this is the main tool used by Gamil to keep spam out of its inboxes. However, Brad Taylor, Google's Software said in a blog post, that "these systems can only be effective when high volume senders consistently use them to sign their mail -- if they're sending some mail without signatures, it's harder to tell whether it's phishing or not. Well, I'm happy to announce today that by working with eBay and PayPal, we're one step closer to stopping all phishing messages in their tracks." Google hopes this will set a good example for other organizations to follow suit and work towards making email trustworthy. more

Spamtraps Are Overblown… by Senders

One of the fascinating parts of my job is seeing how different groups in email have radically disparate points of view. A current example is how much value senders put on spamtraps compared to ISPs and filtering companies. I understand why this is. In all too many cases, when a sender asks why they're mail is going to bulk or being blocked, the answer is "you're hitting spamtraps." The thing is, spamtraps are almost never the only reason mail is being blocked. more

Malicious Email Attachments Spiked Last Quarter

IT security and control firm Sophos has released the results of its investigation into the latest spam trends and revealed the top twelve spam-relaying countries for the third quarter of 2008. The figures show an alarming rise in the proportion of spam emails sent with malicious attachments between July and September 2008, as well as an increase in spam attacks using social engineering techniques to snare unsuspecting computer users. more

StopBadware.org and Consumer Reports Launch BadwareBusters.org

StopBadware.org and Consumer Reports WebWatch have announced today the full launch of BadwareBusters.org, a new online community for people looking for help preventing and countering viruses, spyware, and other "badware" on their computers and websites. Maxim Weinstein, manager of StopBadware.org at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, says the site is not only a useful destination, but also a piece of a bigger puzzle. "BadwareBusters.org is part of StopBadware's strategy to bring together the people, the organizations, and the data that allow us to fight back against the spread of badware," Weinstein said. "The collective wisdom of the BadwareBusters community will inform not only individuals, but the entire technology industry." more

Malware Detection Declining, Anti-Phishing Filters Detect Less than 50% of Attacks, Says Report

A study comparing best-of-breed computer security vendors suggests more than half of active malware and phishing threats on the Internet go undetected, with an average detection rate of 37% for malware and 42% for phishing. "Given the dynamic nature of today's online threats and the traditionally reactive approach taken by today's malware and phishing detection technology, conventional signature-based solutions are inherently at a disadvantage to keep up," said Panos Anastassiadis, CEO and Chairman of Cyveillance. "Because the majority of damage occurs during the first 24 hours of an attack, early detection of attacks is crucial." more

Brits Targeted by 3.7 Billion Phishing Scams in Past 12 Months

More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report published by Card Protection Plan Limited (CPP). The study estimates that Britons were targeted by 3.7 billion 'phishing' emails in the last 12 months alone. And a quarter of people admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over £285 each. more

One More Reason to Avoid Diet Drug Fakes: They're Dangerous

Garth Bruen writes: "The Food and Drug Administration is reporting that some people have gotten fake Alli that contained twice the recommended dose of sibutramine (aka. Meridia), another diet drug. The issue is possible heart problems. The FDA discovered the illegal Alli-Meridia switch when otherwise healthy people reported feeling anxious, shaky, nauseated, and sleepless after taking the bogus Alli. Some even had heart palpitations. No deaths have been reported." more

MIT Spam Conference on Phishing as the Worst Spam Problem

At the fourth annual MIT Spam Conference held in Boston Tuesday, speakers said that while the volume of spam ebbs and flows, the nature of unwanted email is steadily becoming more dangerous...

Fresh from an IETF meeting last week, Sendmail's Chief Science Officer Eric Allman spoke about the progress being made with DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), a sender-authentication proposal from Yahoo and Cisco that's wending its way through the standards body, and how it can be used to fight phishing. more

Email Security an Ongoing Battle, Focus on Manageable Risk Instead

The IT industry will never eradicate security threats to email systems and organizations should take a holistic approach to securing their communication systems to the level where they believe risk is at a manageable state, according to panelists at this week's Inbox email conference in San Jose...

At a packed panel session on email accreditation and reputation, the panelist told audience members that reputation services have taken off rapidly. These services profile the sender's behavior to determine the likelihood that a message is legitimate or spam. The sender's reputation is determined based on multiple criteria then assigned to categories, or lists. more

Microsoft to Push Adoption of Sender ID at Email Summit

Microsoft Wednesday plans to promote adoption of the Sender ID email specification and introduce a new program for helping ISPs protect the integrity of email messages at the Email Authentication Summit in Chicago.

Citing research figures from MarkMonitor, Craig Spiezle, director of technology care and safety for Microsoft, said that Sender ID use among Fortune 500 companies has increased from 7% in July 2005 to 21%. About 32% of all e-mail sent is Sender ID compliant, added Spiezle, who plans to speak about the adoption of Sender ID at the summit.  more

Antispam Group, MAAWG, Outlines Defenses Against Botnet-Induced Spam

A major antispam organization is pushing a set of new best practices for ISPs to stop increasing volumes of spam from botnets. The guidelines, from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), were drawn up at a meeting in Germany last week and deal with forwarded email and email that is sent from dynamic IP addresses. From MAAWG's news release issued yesterday... more

APWG: The Internet Has Never Been More Dangerous

Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) released its latest Phishing Activity Trends Report today warning that the number of unique phishing websites detected in June rose to 49,084, the highest since April, 2007's record of 55,643, and the second-highest recorded since APWG began reporting this measurement. "The number of hijacked brands ascended to an all-time high of 310 in March and remained, in historical context, at an elevated level to the close of the half in June," says the report. more