Combined Microsoft, SPF E-Mail Standard Goes to Standards Body

  |  June 25, 2004   |  Comments

The move is seen as a critical step toward e-mail authentication and the end of spoofing, phishing and spam.

Microsoft and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) author Meng Weng Wong have converged their respective email authentication standards and submitted the resulting specification, now called Sender ID, to the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Sender ID, like its progenitors SPF and Caller ID for E-Mail, is aimed at adding the identity element to email. That's seen as a critical first step in eliminating spoofing, phishing and spam. The news comes on the heels of public support for authentication standards expressed by both the ISPs' Anti-Spam Technical Alliance and the Federal Trade Commission.

"Over half of the email targeting our Hotmail customers today come from spoofed domains, and we are committed to taking this trick away from spammers," said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Anti-Spam Technology and Strategy Group at Microsoft.

Sender ID works by looking at information both in the "envelope" of the email message and in the message itself. It compares that information with data published by domain owners in the Domain Name System (DNS), to confirm the email actually came from the domain that it appears to be from. For example, recipients could be sure an email from johndoe@aol.com was actually from someone at the aol.com domain.

There's been some controversy over the format in which the Sender ID records should be published in the DNS. The merged specification calls for an XML format -- a format many critics say is unnecessarily complicated and difficult to deal with. However, the Sender ID authors have made the specification backwards compatible with the simpler SPF text format. More than 20,000 domains have already published records in that format, according to Wong.

AOL, as one of those that published the original SPF standard, is pleased with Sender ID. "We are glad the new standard is fully backwards compatible with the existing SPF, which is in use by tens of thousands of domains on the Internet already," said Carl Hutzler, director of Antispam Operations at AOL.

A number of email service providers have already adopted SPF and other authentication technologies. AOL has said it will require those on its whitelist to publish SPF records by the end of the summer.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...