DETROIT (WWJ) – Leading free email providers like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are teaming up in an effort to prevent “phishing” scams. As WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports, the unprecedented effort was announced this week.
The companies have created a working group – DMARC.org – to promote a standard set of email technologies that they say will lead to more secure email.
According to its website, DMARC, which stands for “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance,” standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication. This means that senders will experience consistent authentication results for their messages at AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and any other email receiver implementing DMARC.
With the rise of the social internet and e-commerce, spammers have a tremendous financial incentive to compromise user accounts, enabling theft of passwords, bank accounts, credit cards and more. Email is easy to manipulate and criminals have found spoofing to be a proven way to exploit user trust of well-known brands. Simply inserting the logo of a well-known brand into an email gives it instant legitimacy with many users.
CNET executive editor Molly Wood said phishing is threatening the legitimacy of email.
“I think it’s hard sometimes for these companies to work together. They don’t always think it’s in their best interest to come together, but I think it’s gotten to the point now where phishing scams are so prevalent, that all of these companies are worried that their customers are going to stop trusting their legitimate email,” said Wood.
The arrangement will not stop all spam or phishing but will stop what they call a “significant chunk” of malicious messages sent.
DMARC helps email senders and receivers work together to better secure emails, protecting users and brands from painfully costly abuse. Find more information at DMARC.org.