Anti-Spam Firms Tie Sender ID to Reputation

  |  August 12, 2004   |  Comments

Move viewed as step two -- after authentication -- in combating the spam scourge.

What follows email authentication? Many believe once email recipients are certain who sent a message, they'll still need to determine whether that sender is a good guy or a bad guy. That's the idea behind separate announcements due out Thursday from spam-fighting firms IronPort Systems and Cloudmark.

Each firms says it will tie Sender ID-authenticated domains to information in their respective reputation databases. This would allow email recipients to judge what treatment an email message should receive after it's been authenticated.

"Sender ID's success is contingent on broad industry participation and we need strong tools in place within the industry to help build this kind of authentication into the technology infrastructure," said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of Microsoft's safety technology and strategy team, in a statement.

The announcements come as members of the E-Mail Service Providers Coalition (ESPC) meet at Microsoft headquarters to discuss the Microsoft-supported email authentication standard. Both Cloudmark and IronPort are taking part in the discussions at the "Sender ID Summit."

Sender ID is a system meant to allow email recipients to verify that messages actually come from the domain they purport to be from. Senders publish information in their DNS records identifying the IP addresses they use to send mail. When a message comes in purporting to be from a certain domain, the receiving system checks the DNS to make sure everything matches up.

While authentication is thought to be the first step in battling phishing, spoofing and spam, the reputation element is widely considered to be step two.

IronPort is tackling the reputation problem by building it into its "Reputation Filters," part of the company's C-series email security appliances. Nearly 20 percent of the world's email goes through IronPort's email appliances, the company says. IronPort's technology rates incoming messages on a scale between -10 and +10, examining a wide variety of factors to make that determination. Senders who publish Sender ID records can see their reputation scores go up as much as three points, according to Craig Sprosts, senior product manager at IronPort.

"We look at a whole host of different factors to determine that reputation," said Tom Gillis, senior VP of marketing at IronPort. "They all get folded into a sophisticated algorithm that says 'friend or foe.'"

Sender ID information will also be added to SenderBase, the company's publicly available site that monitors global email traffic patterns. It will also be added to the list of best practices for the company's whitelist, the Bonded Sender program, though it won't be a requirement.

Cloudmark is making its reputation calculations on Sender ID-authenticated domains publicly available. The company uses its peer-to-peer network of more than a million users as a sort of early-warning system against spam. When users receive a spam email, they flag it as such, allowing Cloudmark to immediately begin blocking the offending email from other users' inboxes.

Cloudmark will now take that real-time data and tie it to domain names, in a system it calls Cloudmark Rating for Sender ID. After an email's sender is authenticated, Cloudmark will allow free queries to its system, which will return three possible results: good bad, or not enough information. A positive reply indicates the sender domain has a good reputation, while a negative reply would say a sender domain has a bad reputation. The last ambiguous reply would be returned if Cloudmark didn't have enough information to make a determination. The company is making available instructions on how to query its reputation database at rating.cloudmark.com.

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!*
*Early Bird Rates expire April 17.

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...