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Facebook, Google, other firms team to fight email phishing scams

January 30, 2012 | 11:20 am

DMARC

Major tech firms including Google, Facebook and Microsoft have teamed together to fight email phishing scams. Members say the partnership will lead to better email security and protect users and tech brands from fraudulent messages.

The group, which calls itself DMARC -- for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance -- says it wants to help reduce email abuse by standardizing how email receivers perform authentication. Now, email senders will get consistent authentication results for their messages at Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and any other email receiver using DMARC.

Email phishing scams are messages designed to trick recipients into providing personal information by replying or clicking on links. The emails look like they come from a legitimate sender, often featuring brand logos and mimicking the format and language of authentic messages.

With the rise of social media and e-commerce sites, spammers and phishers have "a tremendous financial incentive" to compromise user accounts, leading to theft of passwords, bank account information and credit card numbers, DMARC said.

"Email is easy to spoof and criminals have found spoofing to be a proven way to exploit user trust of well-known brands," the group said. "Simply inserting the logo of a well-known brand into an email gives it instant legitimacy with many users."

Other companies involved in DMARC include Bank of America, LinkedIn, PayPal and Yahoo.

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-- Andrea Chang

Image: Screen shot of the companies involved in DMARC. Credit: DMARC

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