Microsoft is teaming up with eBay and several other organisations to create a blacklist of fraudulently obtained log-in details for online services or compromised credit card numbers.
Other members include PayPal, the Federal Trade Commission, National Consumers League and the American Bankers Association.
The service goes live today and will allow investigators to quickly inform banks, for instance, of dodgy card use. Previously if security researchers uncovered a phishing attack then informing all the different institutions which may have had accounts compromised was a real hassle.
The Internet Fraud Alert makes clear that it does not offer help for consumers, who should contact their bank or whichever institution holds their account.
Such a system sounds entirely admirable. But the problem, as anyone will know who has had their cash or credit card frozen, is the false positives: people who have done nothing wrong but find their account details on the blacklist.
The press release is here. ®