The bad guys are winning the fight against spam and online fraud, says the Detroit Free Press. “There are just too many of them, and the Internet makes it too easy for them to hide.” Stirling McBride, 38, the senior investigator for Microsoft Corp.’s online-safety division, is trying to change that. Microsoft is helping train law enforcement agencies and other technology companies in the war against Internet fraud. Microsoft invited the Free Press to its headquarters near Seattle for a behind-the-scenes look at that effort.
A coalition of law enforcement agencies and private companies called the Anti-Phishing Working Group says that as many as 5 percent of people who get a e-mail message from “phishers” seeking sensitive financial information fall for it. In the past several months, McBride has helped make two major cases — one against a phisher in Iowa, the other against a spam gang in Texas. He has shut down dozens of criminal enterprises, getting their sites pulled from the Internet.