Need a phishing buddy? Call Yahoo!

Larry Seltzer assembled this op-ed over at eWeek, which cuts to the core of some Yahoo! abuse management troubles. It seems that Yahoo! is not exactly quick to the punch when shady (or downright illegal) sites are brought up on the Yahoo!/Inktomi network. In addition, Yahoo! makes it pretty difficult to report abuse cases, particularly by requiring that victims know the abusing site’s Yahoo! member handle.

I know quite a few folks that host sites with Yahoo!, and have not heard much in the way of unhappiness out of them. The combination of search listings and easy-to-use ecommerce applications make Yahoo! a great place to start an online business. Unfortunately, their purported lack of scrutiny of sites on their network, combined with tough to reach abuse departments, makes phishing sites just as easy to get going.

The wake up call for ISPs will be a phishing victim (or victims) going after them for bigtime losses (both in hard dollars and in time wasted cleaning up their credit reports). Aiding and abetting, and then ignoring, is no way to stay out of legal liability’s crosshairs. The fact that companies like Yahoo! are cash machines isn’t going to help matters either.

It is going to happen – it’s just a matter of time.

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