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Veteran UK fraud fighter 'BobBear' retires

Pipe and slippers for celebrated anti-phishing crusader

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Veteran UK-based fraud fighter Bob Harrison, who runs phish victim support website BobBear, has announced plans to retire at the end of April.

BobBear has greatly inconvenienced phishing fraudsters over the last four years by publishing details of fake corporations and scams. He also took on the unfashionable job of providing victim support and advice on his site to those duped into working as phishing mules. The 66-year-old said he had decided to close the site in order to have more time to enjoy his retirement, as he explained in a message to supporters on Saturday:

This is a very sad day for me - I've decided to retire and close the websites [http://www.bobbear.co.uk and http://www.bobbear.com].

It was a hard and very sad decision as it's been really rewarding for the years I've been doing it and I hope I've helped a few people, but all good things must come to an end, I'm not getting any younger, the website is a hard taskmaster and I'd like to do other things.

I've been really grateful for all your help and support - without it and the help of so many others I could not have carried on so long.

In an interview with Krebs on Security, Harrison explained the project was taking up too much of his time and was beginning to affect his health.

“The wife says I spend about 15 hours a day on it, although it may not be quite that much,” Harrison explained. “Things are quite hard and health isn’t that good, so the time has come.”

Bobbear.com has been the target of several denial of service attacks over the years, likely mounted by the fraudsters Harrison sought to expose. Worse, on two occasions over the last three years fraudulent emails were sent out in the site's name in an attempt to damage its reputation. Harrison told Krebs on Security that attacks have diminished over recent months and his main problem of late has been making sure he doesn't label a legitimate firm as potentially dodgy.

Harrison is hoping someone will come forward with an offer to continue his work. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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