AOL, Cyota Join Forces to Fight Phishing

America Online today announced its latest initiative to clamp down on the proliferation of identity theft sites, as well as monitor suspected bogus Web sites 24 hours a day.

The company has partnered with Cyota, a New York-based anti-fraud and online security solution provider for financial institutions, in order to identify and block sites that are posing as official properties of legitimate companies.

These sites, used in phishing scams, often lure unsuspecting Internet users into providing personal data by posing as the real thing. The company said once the sites are identified it will work to block access to them.

“By limiting our members’ access to suspected phishing sites, we’re trying to cut the lines before a phisher can reel them in and steal sensitive financial and personal information,” Tatiana Platt, AOL senior vice president and chief trust officer, said in a statement.

As previously reported by, AOL, the online unit of Time Warner, has continued searching for successful methods to protect it’s users against phishing and farming attacks, as well as spam blocking.

“And we’re just getting started. Over coming months, we’ll continue to roll out new and stronger technological and legal defenses against phishers, scammers and identity thieves,” Platt said.

America Online will continue to work with Cyota, and other partners, to evaluate potential threats, the company said. Much of the information will come from member feedback through its “Report Spam” button.

“Phishing and identity theft are the fastest-growing security threats online, and we will work around the clock to protect our members with the tools we have available,” Platt said.

AOL will also work to limit access to phishing Web sites once they have been identified. They will then alert AOL members of the site.

“As the world’s largest Internet service provider, America Online is already a driving force in the fight against online crimes,” said Amir Orad, Cyota’s executive vice president of marketing. “Together, Cyota and America Online will strive to mitigate the damages of phishing and e-mail fraud against banks, their accountholders and AOL members.”

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