Google has officially announced that it's in the IM business. Hooray? Some months ago the company put out its e-mail effort, GMail. Hooray, I suppose. It's popular among a few GoogleManiacs, but it's really crappy as e-mail systems go. Hell, you can't even delete a message, a feature about as smart as the original Pascal programming language that couldn't display results or take input. If Google Talk is as good as GMail everyone -- especially AOL, MSN, and Yahoo!-- should just ignore it.
In her column, MailFrontier CEO Anne Bonaparte calls on Internet messaging industry leaders to drop their ego-centric agendas and cooperate in the war against spam, viruses and phishing, by implementing both Sender ID and DKIM authentication systems, as well as some sort of sender accreditation system on a cooperative basis. I'd take it a step further and call on everyone to also work with the ISPs to help them throttle the attacks sent from Zombie networks implemented on home-based PCs. Please note that I didn't say anything about money--that's because this is about Internet citizenship, not corporate profit.
Let's think about this a second. Our good friend Jason Smathers sold 92 million America Online e-mail addresses to a spammer for $28,000. Those names generated an estimated 7 billion spam e-mail messages so far, and caused at least $400,000 in damages to AOL. And for that, the judge sentenced him to one year and three months in jail, and a payment of $82,000 in restitution to AOL (see AOL Worker Who Stole E-Mail List Sentenced). That works out as follows:. . . Full Story: "Jason Smathers: Internet Criminal"
You might think that Individualized Lifecycle Marketing, phishing and other fraud schemes, and a court case that allowed the University of Texas to block unsolicited marketing messages from entering the campus e-mail system, make for strange bedfellows, but you shouldn't. They're connected by a broad, sticky cord of despicable human beings ranging in class from pranksters all the way down to gangsters. Whatever they are, they're slime and nothing more -- all of them!. . . Full Story: "Strange Bedfellows"
We've long been covering plain old phishing attacks, you know those e-mail messages you and your users get that tell you to update your financial information, or check your balances, or give you some other mealy-mouthed excuse to hand off your financial log-in information. On the surface, they look like specialized spam, but those "phishermen's special" e-mail messages are the tip of a very insidious iceberg that includes criminal theft of identity and money from innocent people and from the financial institutions that house their futures.