Comment on the upcoming Anti-Phishing Group central database

The Anti-Phishing Group (APWG) has announced that a central database that allows organisations around the world to share information about new email phishing scams will be fully operational by July 2007.

Mike Dodson, technical director at secure email expert Mirapoint (a sponsor of the APWG), has made the following comments:

“Phishers are a constantly evolving threat to computer users, and any move to crack down on them is always welcome. This new initiative from the APWG means that phishing sites will be easier than ever to track and destroy, with fraudulent activities measurable in hours rather than days.

However, while this clearly acts as a powerful disincentive to the phishing gangs, it won’t stop them in the short term from continuing to send out scam emails. This initiative would be even more effective if it was occurring in tandem with a similar concerted action from, for instance, the banks themselves. If banks adopted and promoted a unified code of conduct regarding email policy – clearly stating how they intend to communicate with their customers – then phishers would quickly run out of victims.

However, the slew of competing policies currently in place just allows phishers to take advantage of this confusion.”

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