Microsoft Debuts 'Internet Fraud Alert' System

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is making it easier to help spread the word on incidents of Internet fraud and stolen personal data. In its latest corporate venture, the company has teamed with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) to establish a centralized service called "Internet Fraud Alert."

Security researchers now have one universal location for which to report any kind of stolen data, ranging from online account login information to credit card numbers. The service can also be used to warn financial institutions immediately after a security breach has been identified.

Program Receives Reputable Support

While only in its infancy, Internet Fraud Alert has support from such well-known organizations as Accuity, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), eBay, the Federal Trade Commission and PayPal. (Source:

Adversely, the organizations expected to participate in the service include: select retailers and financial institutions, service providers, tech-based companies, academic researchers, consumer advocates and government agencies. Those organizations experimenting with Internet Fraud Alert will be vetted by payment-routing data provider Accuity.

Reporting System has been a Long Time Coming

A system that offers the services of Internet Fraud Alert has been needed for quite some time. Previously, there had been no centralized way of passing information on account violations between security researchers and service providers, financial institutions and government bodies.

Microsoft representatives agreed with the need for such a service in a provided statement that read, "To date, when the security community uncovers compromised credentials stemming from phishing attacks, for example, there has been no simple mechanism to warn the service provider or bank about the exposed credentials." (Source:

Internet Fraud Alert has been introduced at the height of its usefulness. APWG stated that they had received more than 410,000 phishing email reports back in 2009. The 2010 figures are still pending.

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