Blog Post

PayPal: Phishing, Fundraising, And In The Lab

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Are you sick and tired of phishing attacks, those fraudulent emails designed to look like trusted corporations but aimed at stealing your personal account information? Today Yahoo (YHOO), together with eBay (EBAY) and its PayPal unit, started to roll out an authentication technology called DomainKeys that supposedly blocks malicious, fake eBay and PayPal messages from being delivered into the inboxes of Yahoo Mail users by allowing Internet Service Providers to automatically decide if messages should be delivered.

Speaking of PayPal, the company has teamed up with News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace to “virally fundraise” for nonprofits and politicians on the social networking site. PayPal has developed “fundraising badges,” which are basically widgets that are a bit fancier than the typical PayPal “donate” button that could be copied onto any site to inspire philantrophy via the Internet.

The widget, which can be found on over 20 charity and politician profiles on MySpace, makes it easy for site visitors to donate money to their chosen cause. Once users donate funds, their name is added to a scrolling list that includes the names of other supporters of the particular campaign. Since each of these widgets can be copied and pasted into any user profile, web site or blog, the idea is that the badges will spread virally and subsequently increase the amount of funds raised. To encourage the viral effect to take place, the widget also displays a “supporter tree” that tracks the users who have added the tools to their profiles, and how much each person has raised.

The fundraising widget was created in “PayPal Labs,” a new division of the company designed to look for innovative and creative ways to leverage the online payment service. Launched today, the PayPal Labs site (which can be found at also describes a Facebook app that can be used to send and get money from friends.

4 Responses to “PayPal: Phishing, Fundraising, And In The Lab”

  1. Why doesn’t Yahoo! actually do something really good and respectable in working with a company such as Phishtank ( to have each external-linking url received in your Inbox emails run through Phishtank’s Fraud Protection check before redirecting you.

    With Phishtank’s loyal and committed user-base submitting fraudulent urls to the database by the minute, it’ll ensure a lot more security for Yahoo! Mail users.

    I’ve noticed most Yahoo! links run through some weird tracking url first – especially from search results. Can in-body links in email not display as:

    Which then, on clicking, performs the fraud check and takes you through to your website instantly if no problems were found. If the url were believed to be fraudulent, it could show a Yahoo! branded screen.

    “We believe this page may be fraudulent. Continue at your own risk: (active link)”

    Surely spending some Yahoo! cash on something like this would be far better for the internet than making another social network (Mash doesn’t seem to cut it just yet, and will be just full of idiots, like 360 is).