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Esther Dyson's Monthly Report
Release 1.0 November 2004
The Accountable Net: Let's Take Back Paradise!

Eudora 6.2: ScamWatch

Inevitably, some spam will get through -- and with it, some phishing invitations. Qualcomm's new Eudora 6.2 includes ScamWatch (a name reminiscent of its MoodWatch and SpamWatch tools) to reduce the incidence of phishing attacks.

Basically, it does something quite simple -- but something most consumers don't do for themselves. It checks that any URL within an e-mail that the user clicks on in fact matches the purported "name" of the link. "We're looking for the basic disconnect of the text says X and the host you reach says Y" says Eudora's Bill Ganon, VP of Qualcomm Eudora Products. For example, the URL may appear in the message to be, but in fact it's 123.124.456.456. It would also catch, in a letter purportedly from eBay, -- a real URL, but not one registered to eBay. However, ScamWatch will not catch in a letter from Citicrop. (Read carefully!)

We like this tool and we think it's handy, but it will provoke workarounds quickly as the Eudora 6.2 installed base grows.


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