|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2012)|
The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) started as a group of internet service providers, mobile network operators, telecommunications companies and infrastructure vendors and anti-spam technology vendors in early 2004. It has since expanded to include email service providers and other forms of senders, and other interested parties. The purpose of the group is to fight spam, phishing, denial of service attacks, mobile spam and other forms of e-mail abuse. It is one of the largest global organizations working against all forms of messaging abuse as it represents over a billion mailboxes among its global membership.
MAAWG has three levels of membership:
- Supporter, which is the least expensive and most popular level of membership
- Full, which has additional privileges such as the option to chair a committee
- Sponsor, which has a seat on the Board of Directors
As of December 2011, MAAWG Sponsors are AOL, AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Cloudmark, Comcast, Cox Communications, Damballa, Facebook, France Télécom, La Caixa, Message Bus, PayPal, Return Path, Inc., Time Warner Cable, Verizon Communications, and Yahoo!.
The role of MAAWG is to bring various aspects of the industry together to discuss related messaging issues and, based on this cooperative effort, produce best practices, white papers and other materials that are available to the industry from the MAAWG website. It also provides an opportunity for professionals to share information on working against messaging abuse with their peers.
As of August 2010, MAAWG has publicly available fifteen papers and best practices on a variety of topics. Among these are best practices to help ISPs mitigate bots on consumers' computers, best practices for volume senders, a white paper on email authentication, and other issues facing the industry. The organization also has conducted two surveys looking at consumers' email practices: In 2009, it published a survey of North American users titled "Of Course I Never Click on Spam - Except Sometimes" and in 2010 expanded the survey to cover both North America and Europe.
MAAWG has made a detailed training video available to the industry on its website describing DKIM implementation. The course originally was presented at a MAAWG February 2010 meeting by industry experts Dave Crocker of Brandenburg InternetWorking and DKIM.org, and Murray Kucherawy of Cloudmark.
MAAWG holds three members-only meetings each year, two in North America and one in Europe. The meetings generally offer multi-track conference sessions focusing on technical, public policy and collaborative work along with topical training sessions. The meetings often are held in conjunction with other relevant organizations. In the past, MAAWG has hosted the GSM Association Security Group (GSMA-SG), the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and other associations at its meetings.