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Banks, Internet Companies Team Up to Fight Spam

Banks, Internet companies team up to fight spam (Reuters) – Some of the world’s biggest Internet companies and financial services firms have developed a new approach to fighting email spam that they hope will reduce online scams.

Facebook, Google Inc (GOOG.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) have joined with financial firms Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Fidelity Investments and eBay Inc’s (EBAY.O) PayPal to create a set of industry standards for preventing criminals from sending out spam emails that appear to come from corporate email addresses.

Fraudsters often pose as banks and other trusted firms in attempts to persuade email recipients to provide payment card numbers, bank account information and other personal data or click on links that infect computers with malicious software.

The new approach calls for email providers and businesses to attack spammers by coordinating on a massive scale the use of two existing technologies for email authentication known by the acronyms SPF and DKIM, which have yet to be widely adopted.

PayPal is one company that currently uses SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) technology standards to fight email spoofing, but only through partnerships with Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) and Google, said Brett McDowell, a security manager at PayPal who serves as chairman of the group that developed the new standard.

The group goes by the name DMARC.org, which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance.

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