Five online security software and service providers have formed the Anti-Fraud Alliance to tackle online scams such as phishing and identity theft.

Symantec, Corillian, Name Protect, PassMark Security and Internet Identity plan to help e-commerce and financial services firms fight online fraudulent activities. "The reason the alliance was formed is very simple - online fraud is accelerating substantially, particularly with respect to phishing," said Kim Legelis, director of industry solutions at Symantec.

"It's widely recognised by those who are involved in the problem that there is not a single solution or single vendor that's able to mitigate the multiple aspects of a phishing attack, such as the planning stages, the setup of fraudulent websites, the actual attack itself, often delivered by e-mail, the collection of information and the use of stolen credentials for the purpose of fraud," he explained. "So the five firms have formed an alliance to address these issues."

The Anti-Fraud Alliance can help financial institutions, in particular, understand the breadth of online scams and work to find simple solutions, he said. That way, institutions don't have to figure out which vendors address which pieces of the problem.

"We're trying to accelerate financial institutions' ability to solve the phishing problem by bringing to them a more complete set of capabilities for negating their risk and for protecting their customers," Legelis said.

The Alliance's website is at www.antifraudalliance.com.