San Francisco, February 14, 2012 – The online industry generally acknowledges that viruses and malicious code are spread through spam, yet it seems that malware and messaging security professionals rarely collaborate on threats despite the commonality of their work. The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group is pushing the industry to move beyond this “silo” mentality to better protect end-users. It has changed its name to M3AAWG – also known as M3 for Messaging, Malware and Mobile – and is bolstering its internal structure to address the dangerous connection between malware, spam and abuse on emerging mobile platforms.
“A quick online search produces more than 14 million links to references connecting messaging and malware, but in reality abuse professionals in these fields usually work autonomously. This isolation keeps companies in the dark and bestows a ‘divide and conquer’ advantage to the cybercriminals. M3 is the path forward because cooperative efforts among all these experts – messaging abuse, malware and mobile security professionals – is the only way to win this war,” said M3AAWG Chairman Michael O’Reirdan.
As it has since its inception in 2004, M3AAWG will continue to tackle abuse on any messaging platform, from email to texting. But spam is just the symptom and the organization has evolved into a forum for sharing information and techniques to combat malware, the real pathology. While mobile has also played an important role in the organization’s current work, M3AAWG is intensifying its focus on this platform, both internally and through association with other industry groups, before abuse reaches substantial levels and threatens users.
To accomplish these structural changes, M3 appointed experts to assist its working committees in identifying key issues and to champion solutions. As a result, the M3AAWG 24th General Meeting will feature panels on smartphone threats, discussions on how mobile platform abuse affects senders, current malware trends, and a report on following the malware money, among other sessions at the three-day, multi-track event in San Francisco on Feb. 20-23.
“The move to M3 is a wake-up call to the industry. We are extending our hands across the aisle to our colleagues in the malware and mobile fields. The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group is known as a place where the divergent needs and views of the global industry can come together to realize effective, real-world solutions to operational, technical and public policy questions,” O’Reirdan said.
About the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG)
The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) is where the messaging industry comes together to work against spam, malware, denial-of-service attacks and other online exploitation. M3AAWG (www.M3AAWG.org) represents more than one billion mailboxes from some of the largest network operators worldwide. It is the only organization addressing messaging abuse by systematically engaging all aspects of the problem, including technology, industry collaboration and public policy. M3AAWG leverages the depth and experience of its global membership to tackle abuse on existing networks and new emerging services, including mobile. It also works to educate global policy makers on the technical and operational issues related to online abuse and messaging. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., MAAWG is an open forum driven by market needs and supported by major network operators and messaging providers.
# # #
Media Contact: Linda Marcus, APR, 714-974-6356, LMarcus@astra.cc, Astra Communications
MAAWG Board of Directors: AOL; AT&T (NYSE: T); Cloudmark, Inc.; Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA); Constant Contact (CTCT); Cox Communications; Damballa, Inc.; Eloqua; Facebook; France Telecom (NYSE and Euronext: FTE); La Caixa; Message Bus; PayPal; Return Path; Time Warner Cable; Verizon Communications; and Yahoo! Inc.
MAAWG Full Members: 1&1 Internet AG; Adaptive Mobile Security LTD; BAE Systems Detica; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Dynamic Network Services Inc.; Email Sender and Provider Coalition; Experian CheetahMail; Genius.com; iContact; Internet Initiative Japan, (IIJ NASDAQ: IIJI); MailUp; McAfee Inc.; Message Systems; Mimecast; MXTools; Proofpoint (everyone.net); Scality; Spamhaus; Sprint; Symantec; and Trend Micro, Inc.
A complete member list is available at http://www.m3aawg.org/about/roster.