Industry groups create united front against cyber criminals

The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) have come together for the first time to jointly outline preliminary best practices aimed at eradicating online fraud.

The groups said the efforts of over 150 companies from 10 countries went into the draft for enhancing security against fraud at both network operators and the companies that distribute information online during their recent first collaborative meeting in Montreal.

The joint anti-phishing symposium was held in conjunction with the 5th MAAWG general meeting. During the MAAWG-only sessions, members also approved best practice recommendations for Port 25 management, reviewed ongoing MAAWG anti-spam and anti-virus efforts and elected new board officers.

The new anti-phishing draft documents address:

  • Recommended best practices for ISPs and mailbox operators to reduce exposure to fraudulent email and websites
  • Best practices for financial institutions, businesses, online marketers and others needing to securely distribute trusted information via email and through the web.
  • Both APWG and MAAWG are accepting members' comments on the drafts and will make the final best practices available to the public after they are approved by both organizations. The documents are targeted for general industry distribution and use by midyear 2006.

    The two working groups also agreed to share information on known spam and cybercrime abusers and to work together in educating the public on secure online procedures.

    "The APWG is currently focused on eliminating phishing and email spoofing attacks by developing and sharing information about the problem and promoting the visibility and adoption of industry solutions," the group stated.

    In addition to the anti-phishing work, MAAWG focused on the industry's response to zombie threats, wireless abuse, online marketers' needs and metrics policies.

    MAAWG aims to addressing messaging abuse holistically by systematically engaging all aspects of the problem, including technology, industry collaboration and public policy. Headquartered in San Francisco, MAAWG is an open forum driven by market needs and supported by major network operators and messaging providers. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is the world's largest and most heterogeneous counter-cybercrime association with some 2,000 members from industry, government, law enforcement, academia and consumer groups worldwide.

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