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New SMTP Email Authentications May Stop SPAM

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OK, I admit that these ideas will probably not “cure” SPAM, but they are likely to curb it and will be a strong tool in combating our inbox overflows.

Three major initiatives have been announced in the past year: Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys (from Yahoo! Inc.), and Caller ID for E-Mail (Microsoft). These three plans are all based on the same idea of somehow authenticating an email received by verifying that it was really sent by the server (email account) it says it was: called SMTP Authentication.

First, some background. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the basis for sending nearly all email on the Internet, with very few exceptions. It is a protocol that has been in use for years and is standard in all parts of the world and on all platforms.

A new group, part of the Anti-Spam Research Group, called MTA Authorization Records in DNS, was formed in February and plans to have a working document submission by August of this year.

The plan, while not fleshed out, is based on SPF. Email sent via SMTP has what’s called “envelopes” (technically the RFC2821 specification). These envelopes contain such header data as the To:, From:, etc. fields as well as some other routing information.

The idea is pretty simple: if the server or mail filter can authenticate (by pinging or otherwise checking) the “From:” address in the mail header, the email is considered legitimate. The downer to this? It’s easy to “spoof” real email addresses in an email not sent from those addresses. Some spammers are already doing this to get around some of the various filters’ “response” schemes to check email validity.

So don’t expect instant gratification for the SPAM problem by the end of the year. However, this is a great first step. Compared to past initiatives by these groups, this new initiative is moving at the speed of light!

Aaron Turpen is the author of “The eBay PowerSeller’s Book of
Knowledge” and the editor/publisher of two successful newsletters, in
their fourth year of publication, The Aaronz WebWorkz Weekly
Newsletter and Aaronz Auction Newsletter. You can find out more about
these and other great resources from Aaron at his website

http://www.AaronzWebWorkz.com

New SMTP Email Authentications May Stop SPAM
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About Aaron Turpen
Aaron Turpen is the author of "The eBay PowerSeller's Book of Knowledge" and the editor/publisher of two successful newsletters, in their fourth year of publication, The Aaronz WebWorkz Weekly Newsletter and Aaronz Auction Newsletter. You can find out more about these and other great resources from Aaron at his website http://www.AaronzWebWorkz.com WebProNews Writer
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