Companies such as Google, PayPal, Facebook and Microsoft have teamed up to create a standard to help boost email security. They are part of a working group to create the DMARC standard, which will help cut down on the number of phishing attacks.
Updated. On Wednesday morning, the New York Times sent a number of emails urging customers to call a toll-free number to renew their subscriptions. They seem to have been sent by Epsilon Data Management, an email marketing firm which had a major data breach in March.