Spam and ID theft attacked from all sides

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jun 3, 2008

EU body issues warning, ICANN, Japan and Yahoo! take on spammers and phishers.

Last week a series of major institutions took action highlighting the threat of spam and phishing, with a serious warning released by European Union web security body ENISA and more concrete actions taken by web management body ICANN, the Japanese government and search engine giant Yahoo!.

ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) presented a report estimating that spam cost Europe €27 billion in 2007, and that it represents a growing threat with the danger of a 'digital 9/11' on the horizon. The group called on the EU to improve efforts to combat the spam menace, including greater funding for anti-spam initiatives, a more unified approach to tackling spam, and the implementation of mandatory intrusion reporting systems. More details are at VNUnet here.

Meanwhile, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsibly for maintaining the structure of the Internet, has also been raising its efforts to reduce spam. Following the publication of a report suggesting that the vast majority of spamvertised sites are hosted at domains administered by a small number of registrars, the ICANN group responded by contacting the named bodies and threatening to revoke their licence to register domain names should they fail to take action to clean up their areas of the web. ICANN has a long-running system for registering complaints against specific domains, and claims to chase up over 75 issues per month with similar enforcement notices. ICANN's announcement is here, and the KnujOn organisation, which first drew attention to the clustering, is based here. More on the story can be found at GCN here.

Over in Japan, the government ratified a bill beefing up protection from overseas spam, which makes it illegal to send unsolicited email to addresses based in Japan. It is as yet unclear how, or even whether, the new law will be enforced, but the government apparently promised to seek assistance from foreign agencies to punish perpetrators, and has increased the maximum fine for spamming to 30 million yen ($290,000, €187,000). Coverage of the law's passing is in the Mainichi Daily News, here.

Finally, web behemoth Yahoo!, which recently implemented web search security advice from McAfee into its search results, announced that its is prosecuting an anonymous group of phishers who infringed copyright restrictions by using the Yahoo! name and styling in a spoof lottery email scam. The case is being brought against the unnamed group in the hope that it will grant Yahoo! legal powers to access ISP records to aid efforts to track the culprits down. More details can be found at Yahoo!'s own news pages here or in the UK Guardian here.

Posted on 03 June 2008 by Virus Bulletin

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