Microsoft joins with others to stop phishing emails

Phishing attacks via email have been in the spotlight lately, but now a large group of tech companies are teaming up with a start up company called Agari to find and potentially stop these phishing emails from ever reaching an inbox. News.com reports that the companies involved include Microsoft, Google, AOL, Yahoo, and others.

These companies will be giving Agari their metadata from email messages. Agari then will analyze the data (not the actual email messages) and then see if the data indicates that a phishing attack is in fact taking place.

While Agari is revealing itself for the first time its actually been operating in stealth mode since 2009. At the moment the company helps to protect over 1 billion individual email accounts which represent about 50 percent of email traffic in the US.

Google is already supporting Agari's efforts. It's product manager Adam Dawes said, "Proper coordination between senders and receivers is the best way to cut down on the transmission of unauthorized mail, and Agari's approach helps simplify this process."

Microsoft recently got a lot of media attention in the UK after newspapers said that a number of Xbox Live accounts had been compromised due to phishing attacks. Hopefully this new effort will cut down on these kinds of emails, but as usual the best defense against such attacks is simply to not open any emails that you are suspisious of.

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7 Comments

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Microsoft has the worst spam filtering on the planet. You pay thousands for Exchange, but are F'd as soon as a spammer gets your address.

Microsoft sometimes puzzles me though.

In Windows Live (Hotmail) Mail you can mark a Junk e-mail as a phishing attempt but you apparently cannot do the same in Microsoft Office Outlook 2010. I find myself signing into Hotmail on the web to do this rather than from Outlook (with the Outlook Connector), which I would prefer to do. They are able to sync blocked/allowed senders so why not this?

Zeet said,
Maybe I'll finally stop getting emails from "WoW" saying my account is under investigation.

I get those all the time too. One of them was actually legit though. Some gold spamming ahole had hacked my account and was spamming the game.