Sign Up: Free Daily Tech E-letter  
Technology Home
Washtech
Tech Policy
Government IT
Markets
Columnists
Personal Tech
Special Reports
   -Biotech
   -Google
   -Telecom
   -MCI
   -Spam
   -Venture Capital
   -Software
   -Hardware
   -Media
   -Internet
   -Privacy
   -Microsoft
   -Tech Layoffs
   -Tech Thursday
Jobs

Advertisement
Company Postings
Get Quotes
Press Releases
Tech Almanac
Page 2 of 2    < Back   

E-Mail Companies Seek Spam Solution

Advertisement


_____Spam In The News_____
AOL Employee Charged With Stealing Names (The Washington Post, Jun 24, 2004)
AOL Worker Charged With Selling Customer List to Spammer (Associated Press, Jun 23, 2004)
Largest ISPs Attack 'Zombies' (The Washington Post, Jun 23, 2004)
More Spam News
E-Mail This Article
Print This Article
Permission to Republish

"The underlying system is very porous. It was designed to deliver mail, not to approve anything," Levine said.

The IETF, which develops the technical standards that run the Internet, will publish initial recommendations on e-mail authentication in August. The FTC, meanwhile, plans to address the issue this fall.

Although the major players agree on the need for authentication, they differ on how to do it.

Under the first approach, domain name owners (like washingtonpost.com or amazon.com) would keep a public record of what IP numbers they use to send e-mail. Recipients' e-mail servers would be able to check those records to know that the number came from a source that was not falsifying or "spoofing" the "from" line in the message.

"You can't guarantee it's not spam, but you can guarantee it's not spoofed," said Microsoft Corp. spokesman Sean Sundwall. "And at [e-mail service] Hotmail about 50 percent of the spam we're receiving is spoofed."

Yahoo recommends placing a digital "signature" on each outgoing message that recipients' e-mail providers could unlock with "keys."

Advocates of this approach agree that the technology is more complex, but it provides a more reliable way to identify senders.

"A lot folks liken e-mail to sending a postcard. Domain keys require you to always wrap that message up in an envelope," said Ray Everett-Church, chief privacy officer of Paoli, Pa.-based ePrivacy Group, a company that is developing a key authentication proposal.

The advantage of the signatures is they can travel with a message wherever it goes, whereas the system that Microsoft favors can break down when a sender tries to use a Web-based e-mail account from different computers, Everett-Church said.

Officials from Microsoft and Yahoo said that each method could be used together. Neither would require individual e-mail users to change their online habits.

< Back    1 2
Print This Article


TechNews.com Home

© 2004 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

Company Postings: Quick Quotes | Tech Almanac
About TechNews.com | Advertising | Contact TechNews.com | Privacy
My Profile | Rights & Permissions | Subscribe to print edition | Syndication