Feeds

Spammers embrace email authentication

Junk mail tsunami continues unabated

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.