WholeSecurity, the leading provider of behavioral, on-demand endpoint security solutions, today introduced the Phish Report Network, the Internet industry’s first worldwide anti-phishing aggregation service. Initial participants in the new business service include Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, and Visa. The Phish Report Network allows any company being victimized by phishing attacks to immediately and securely report fraudulent Web sites to a central database operated by WholeSecurity. Other companies subscribing to the Phish Report Network can then access the database or receive real-time notifications of known phishing sites, enabling them to more effectively protect consumers by blocking these sites in their user-facing security applications.
Phishing is an act of fraud that involves an attempt by scam artists to steal the identities of Internet users by sending out emails or links to Web pages mimicking popular Web sites. These emails and Web sites commonly ask Internet users to provide sensitive personally identifiable information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or bank account information. The Anti-Phishing Working Group, a pan-industrial and law enforcement association focused on eliminating fraud resulting from phishing and email spoofing, recently reported a 24 percent month-to-month growth rate in phishing attacks from August to December 2004. Additionally, the organization warned that phishing attack methods are becoming more sophisticated, such as incorporating malicious code into fraudulent Web sites, which could further victimize consumers. Industry experts agree that the escalating phishing problem if unabated could result in significant financial losses.