We've all seen our spam folders get clogged with messages purporting to be from a legitimate sender, and we're constantly warned to be on the lookout for such scams, lest we get taken in and divulge our credit card details to scammers. But nonetheless such scams can still catch out users, as we've seen in recent Facebook scams such as videos purporting to be of Bin Laden, and fake PayPal emails.
So in a rare move, a number of the biggest names online including Google, Facebook, PayPal, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL, have come together to combat phishing and spamming scams, under a technical working group called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC.org).
The news of the collaborative effort was announced today, but efforts have been ongoing for quite some time, as the DMARC site details that: "DMARC.org draws upon a history of private industry collaboration with 18 months of dedicated work, to outline an enhanced vision for email authentication that can scale up to today's Internet needs."
Wired report that it was PayPal - who has been much maligned by spam attacks - that began working with Google and Yahoo back then in order to "set standards for Gmail and Yahoo! Mail that would prevent fake PayPal messages from hitting a user's inbox" and the three ended up blocking "over 200,000 fake PayPal messages a day". Now there are 15 big names on board working together to combat these cyber scams, using the DMARC protocols as a standard in a bid to improve email authentication.
So hopefully this new alliance will have an effect in reducing the masses of spam emails that make their way to email account holders, by using a "standards-based framework", which aims to enable email senders to "introduce email authentication technologies into their infrastructure". With so many big names onboard, it seems likely that this effort will go some way towards reducing spam and phishing campaigns, which is a good thing for both businesses and consumers.