Feeds

Spammers embrace email authentication

Junk mail tsunami continues unabated

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Spammers have adopted a new standard for email authentication much faster than legitimate emailers, according to a study from security appliance firm CipherTrust published this week

More spam than legitimate email is currently sent using Sender Policy Framework, a recently introduced email authentication protocol. According to CipherTrust’s research, 34 per cent more spam is passing SPF checks than legitimate email because spammers are actively registering their SPF records.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to make filtering decisions based purely on the fact that the sender is authenticated, so the approach was never going to be a cure-all as we’ve noted before.

As long as spammers comply with the protocol by not spoofing the sender address, their messages will not be stopped by SPF, which CipherTrust has supported since February 2004. CipherTrust’s research among users of its own IronMail message security appliance this summer found that a spam message is three times more likely to pass an SPF check than it is to fail it.

CipherTrust concludes that email authentication protocols like SPF alone are not effective in identifying spam even though they might be useful in curtailing spoofing and phishing attacks. So email authentication protocols aren't a complete waste of time - just ineffective when it comes to holding back the junk mail tsunami. It still advises users to adopt email authentication as part of their fraud and spam prevention arsenal.

Email authentication is in the news after vendors clubbed together to support Sender ID Framework, a protocol which resulted from the merger of SPF and Caller ID, an email authentication protocol proposed by Microsoft. CipherTrust said it would support this unified protocol when it becomes available. ®

Related stories

Phishermen attack on a viral scale
Bush to sign anti-phishing bill
'Together we can defeat spam in two years'
Sender authentication is coming
Anti-phishing group backs email authentication

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.