Sunday, June 03, 2007

Changing times

I have a fairly visible, high probability gmail address, which means it gets hit with a lot of spam, relatively speaking. Until recently, this meant a couple of hits a day of phishing attempts from "banks" - websites pretending to be Nationwide, Co-operative, Egg and others, plus the usual assortment of dead and imprisoned millionaires' wives from the developing world.

Google almost always correctly identified these messages as spam - but also provided the option for them to be tagged as phishing, if so considered. Once reported as phishing, Google would also add a warning to them, and disable any hyperlinks in the message, further reducing the danger of people being taken in by them. I considered my willingness to tag such messages once received as a small, cheap favour I could extend to the rest of the internet community.

Well, the bank ones have stopped, almost completely. I simply don't seem to get spam messages on my email account any more asking me to confirm my security details. Have they finally met their nemesis somewhere?

Incidentally, I always thought that a 0.1 cent tax per email sent would provide a means of stopping spam - but since the "From" field seems to be forged on many occasions (judging by the number of automatic fail responses I get to a church email address that just isn't used to send emails at all), I guess this wouldn't work.