Study: Spammers use e-mail ID to gain legitimacy
Source: Robert Lemos, CNET News.com – Posted by John Kim
With few junk e-mail filters supporting a protocol for verifying the source address of digital messages, spammers have adopted it themselves as a way to appear more legitimate, according to a report released on Wednesday. . . . The author of the study, e-mail services provider MX Logic, analyzed nearly 10 million bulk e-mail messages that it had filtered on behalf of its clients in late August. The company found that nearly a sixth of the sources of the junk messages used a protocol known as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to certify that the e-mail addresses used in the messages were real.
While SPF has been touted as a way to stop spam, the data has shown that the true value of the protocol is more about preventing fraud, said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer of the Denver company.
“Authentication (with SPF) by itself is not a spam cure-all,” Chasin said. “SPF–as it relates to having an impact on spam–will hurt only those who spoof domains. You are still going to need content filtering to see if the message was unsolicited.”
SPF is one of two technologies currently being considered as part of a hybrid method, dubbed Sender ID, for certifying the source of e-mail messages. Another technology, Microsoft’s Caller ID for E-mail, makes up the other half of the proposed standard. Because it used technology that Microsoft is attempting to patent, Sender ID may require that users sign a license from the software giant, which has angered many project groups in the open-source world.
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