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APWG and OpenDNS

After reading a comment by David Ulevitch on a post by Dragos Lungu I was pretty interested in reading a new press release from OpenDNS on how they are “partnering” with the anti phishing work group (APWG). I actually laughed when I read it for a few reasons. Firstly, if you read Dave Jevans’ comment he says, “We are pleased to welcome as a member of the APWG.” To me that seems less like a partner and more like a client. I couldn’t find any supporting words on APWG’s website at all to confirm a partnership in any capacity. To me it sounds like OpenDNS is simply going to consume data from APWG.

Secondly, this affirms what I was trying to get across in my comments on my post about the phishtank’s competitive nature with APWG. Although David Ulevitch never answered my questions posed to him in the comments, this pretty much sums up what I was saying. Unless these players start working together, they are only causing more churn in the industry as more companies have to deal with more anti-phishing aggregators. That in turn means that companies trying to protect themselves or their consumers have to build more APIs, sign more contracts or whatever, just to get the global knowledge of where phishing sites are. So, ultimately this sounds like a good thing, although I’m skeptical of how much a partnership this really is, given Dave Jevans’ comments. It sounds more like they are just a simple consumer/submitter, just like the other APWG members, but the press release may also just be poorly written.

6 Responses to “APWG and OpenDNS”

  1. Roland Dobbins Says:

    Will you please re-enable the full-text syndication feed? Summary-only feeds are really challenging for those of us with long lists of feeds.

    Many thanks!

  2. RSnake Says:

    Hey, Roland, I talked it over with id and I think we agree that while it’s slightly more convenient for a few people who use RSS only to read posts, it actually makes it far easier for spammers. Also because of non-respectful RSS readers, like Google who don’t report how many users subscribe it makes it far harder to track how many people actually read the site. Our estimates currently are somewhere between 15,000-22,000 per day, but there’s no way to be sure because of these sorts of readers.

    So we turned it off for the foreseeable future. I don’t care if people use RSS to read, but without any way to track our usage, it’s hell on our ability to tune the site based on people’s interests. Believe it or not, we spend a lot of time thinking about how people use the site, and try to make it a more comfortable place to visit and read - even given the rather edgy subject matter. I may actually eventually build IP/client based RSS snippets, to reduce the annoyance for RSS readers who play nicely (because, unlike Google a number of them do), but that won’t be for a while, I’m sure. Our hope is that people who are actually interested will click to read, and those who aren’t, well, no harm no foul.

  3. Dragos Lungu Says:

    I think that we will see interesting services / tools coming from openDNS in the near future. I’m guessing it will be a managed URL / Spam filtering service.

    They already got a substantial amount of subscribers for the free DNS service and the new free “bad guys blocking” initiative seems to be the first step towards fully managed filtering service.

    Thanks for mentioning my post, RSnake :)

  4. Computer Guru Says:

    RSnake: Google has changed their attitude; and they now report the exact number of readers. Funnily enough, they were convinced to do so by FeedBurner, who they now own…

    I’m a big supporter of fulltext RSS feeds myself, but at the end of the day it’s a decision made by the webmasters that the users should just respect :)

  5. RSnake Says:

    Dragos - I’d like to see some better tools out there. That’s one of the things I talk a lot about in my speeches is that not only are we not able to stop the bad guys, but we aren’t even giving people the tools necessary to protect themselves.

    Computer Guru - thank you! I actually hadn’t searched my logs for Google’s feedfetcher for a few months. It’s good to see they are finally getting with the times:

    “Feedfetcher-Google; (+; 1262 subscribers; feed-id=5599661220856354448)”

    And with that I turned off our summary version. Seeing our traffic at around 15,000 people a day and knowing that 1/15th of our traffic was invisible because of one company’s failure to meet the industry standard is obviously not ideal. But if I can see it again, that’s fine. I think we have somewhere around 2-3k in total RSS subscribers. It’s a big chunk of traffic.

  6. Jordan Says:

    Another Google RSS reader thanks you. I often come to the site anyway to see the comments (the comment RSS was too much to keep up with) for particular stories, but there’s just too much darn stuff to keep track of on the web these days (ok, ok, it’s been that way for a while, we just have a good solution now) without a good RSS reader. :-)