Sender ID Alerts Pushed to Hotmail Users

Microsoft has begun alerting MSN Hotmail users when an inbound message fails to authenticate under the company’s Sender ID protocol.

For several months the company has examined inbound messages using Sender ID, but has not filtered messages deemed fraudulent, or informed users when a message fails to authenticate.

Under yesterday’s changes, messages with fraudulent or missing domain information will be relegated to the junk folder. In cases where MSN determines a sender has not published SPF records — which doesn’t necessarily indicate fraud — Hotmail users see a yellow banner informing them, “The sender of this message could not be verified using Sender ID.”

“This indicates enough senders have been publishing their records for it to be meaningful,” said Jordan Cohen, Bigfoot Interactive’s director of ISP and government relations. “We think this is highly positive news for the industry.”

Microsoft estimates millions of senders now publish SPF records, and the pressure is on for those who don’t to start doing so in the coming months. Starting in November, MSN has said it will begin filtering messages from senders who do not publish records.

“Today’s announcement accomplishes two things: It further protects consumers by providing them more information about suspicious emails, and it’s a call to action for domain holders and email senders to publish their SPF records to help protect their brands and maximize the deliverability and reliability of their email,” said Craig Spiezle, director of Microsoft’s technology care and safety Group, in a statement.

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