2018 JD Falk Award … a mailing list


It’s M3AAWG time. Even though we’re not there, I’m getting regular updates from friends and colleagues who are there. Yesterday, was the presentation of the 2018 JD Falk award. The award recognises “a particularly meritorious project undertaken by a dedicated individual or group reflecting the spirit of volunteerism and community building.” In this case, the award went to a group of people on the “BEC mailing list.”

BEC stands for Business Email Compromise (I had to look it up, now you don’t have to). According to  M3AAWG:

The Business Email Compromise List deals with a broad assortment of criminal activity and deceptive emails, often described as “Nigerian” schemes, that use phishing and fake social media activities to attract victims. By sharing information and expertise, they have blocked spoofed emails and malware; tracked real estate, romance, IRS, W2 and lottery schemes; and identified the money “mules” used to transfer illicit funds. BEC fraud accounts for more than $12 billion in losses globally and threatens users in 150 countries, according to the FBI’s IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center).

Congratulations to all the participants who work tirelessly to make the internet safer for businesses and consumers.

The group does have a video describing some of what they do.

I’m sure almost every field has these types of small, private, invite only lists that allow diverse groups of experts to collaborate and share information in a (mostly) secure environment. In many cases, this is good. Groups of smart, concerned people step up and collaborate to catch criminals and prevent bad behaviour. They do so because it’s the right thing to do. They’re not looking for praise or public adulation. Participation is often simply because this thing is a problem and they have the knowledge and ability to help solve the problem.

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