Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy introduces the Anti-Phishing Act of 2005.
Prominent Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Tuesday introduced a federal anti-phishing bill that would levy fines as high as $250,000 and impose jail terms of up to five years against criminals creating fake Web sites and spamming bogus e-mail designed to con consumers.
The Anti-Phishing Act of 2005 will put the pressure on phishing criminals, Leahy said in a statement. "Some phishers can be prosecuted under wire fraud or identity theft statutes, but often these prosecutions take place only after someone has been defrauded...that leaves plenty of time to cover their tracks. Traditional wire fraud and identity theft statutes are not sufficient to respond to phishing."
Leahy also took aim at the newer practice, dubbed "pharming," that doesn't use e-mail, but instead exploits browser vulnerabilities to redirect users to phony sites or overlays bogus account access forms atop the real Web site deal.
"Neither phishing nor pharming always fit neatly into traditional wire fraud and identity theft statutes," said Leahy in explaining why the new legislation was necessary. "We need to act aggressively to keep them from eroding the public's trust in online commerce and communication."
To assuage fears of stepping on First Amendment rights, Leahy's bill would specifically protect political messages and parodies of Web sites.
Leahy is the ranking Democrat on ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, the group that will decide whether his bill should be referred to the full Senate.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.