• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Wells Fargo, AOL to Join Symantec Antiphishing Initiative

Apr 26, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Symantec is planning to revamp the Phish Report Network, an online project aimed at cutting down on “phishing” identity theft attacks.

On Tuesday, the security vendor said it will unveil a new design for the project’s website and will add a number of new industry partners, including AOL’s Netscape portal and the financial institution, Wells Fargo & Co.

Launched in February 2005, the network was originally sponsored by security vendor WholeSecurity, which Symantec purchased last September. Microsoft, eBay and Visa International had signed on as founding members, but it was unclear whether Symantec intended to continue the project following the WholeSecurity acquisition.

The service, which will be relaunched Monday, aggregates reports of new phishing attacks and sells access to a database of known phishing sites, but to date it has not been widely used.

More efforts are going to combat phishing, with the most prominent initiative being the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), a nonprofit organization that provides similar services to the Phish Report Network, and which includes about 1,500 member companies, according to APWG Chairman Dave Jevans.

Additionally, two other antiphishing sites launched last month: the volunteer-run Phishing Incident Reporting and Termination Squad, as well as, a service that warns legitimate websites when they are being spoofed by phishers.

The growth in antiphishing sites is being spurred by an increase in phishing attacks, which have doubled in the past year, according to Jevans. “In March, we saw around 18,000 unique phishing attacks and about 12,000 unique phishing sites,” he said.

Though Netscape’s parent company, AOL, is already a member of the APWG, an AOL spokesman said it couldn’t hurt to join the Symantec project as well. There is “more than [enough] room for one good group,” he said.

-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

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