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Tag: Authentication

People are the weakest link

All of the technical security in the world won’t fix the biggest security problem: people. Let’s face it, we are the weakest link. Adding more security doesn’t work, it only causes people to figure out ways to get around the security. The more secure you make something, the less secure it becomes. Why? Because when […]

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Engagement drives deliverability

Return Path released an white paper today offering the Secrets of Successful Senders. I don’t think any of my readers will be surprised that it boils down to identity, reputation, and engagement. Return Path treats these as separate things and I understand why they do. I think however, that the identity and reputation are supporting players […]

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Are they using DKIM?

It’s easy to tell if a domain is using SPF – look up the TXT record for the domain and see if any of them begin with “v=spf1”. If one does, they’re using SPF. If none do, they’re not. (If more than one does? They’re publishing invalid SPF.) AOL are publishing SPF. Geocities aren’t. For DKIM […]

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ARC: Authenticated Received Chain

On Friday I talked a little about DMARC being a negative assertion rather than an authentication method, and also about how and when it could be deployed without causing problems. Today, how DMARC went wrong and a partial fix for it that is coming down the standards pipeline. What breaks? DMARC (with p=reject) risks causing problems any […]

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You’re kidding me

All the authentication and DMARC in the world can’t save you from stupid. I just got a survey request from my bank. Or, at least, it claimed to be from my bank. From: Barclays International Banking Survey <internationalbanking@barclayssurveys.com> The mail passed SPF (though the SPF record suggests this is being mailed from all over the […]

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Fun with opinions

Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a couple people get on mailing lists and make pronouncements about email. It’s great to have opinions and it’s great to share them. But they’re always a little bit right… and a little bit wrong. SPF is dead! This came from the new ESP of an experienced mailer. […]

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Mail Client Improvements

There’s been extensive and ongoing development of email through the years, but much of it has been behind the scenes. We were focused on the technology and safety and robustness of the channel. We’re not done yet, but things are much better than they were. The good part of that is there is some space […]

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August 2016: The Month in Email

August was a busy month for both Word to the Wise and the larger world of email infrastructure. A significant subscription attack targeted .gov addresses, ESPs and over a hundred other industry targets. I wrote about it as it began, and Spamhaus chief executive Steve Linford weighed in in our comments thread. As it continued, […]

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Gmail showing authentication results to endusers

A bit of older news, but worth a blog post. Early in August, Gmail announced changes to the inbox on both the web interface and the android client. They will be pushing authentication results into the interface, so end users can see which emails are authenticated. These are not deliverability changes, the presence or absence […]

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Beware the oversimplification

Setting up a DMARC record is the easy bit. Anyone can publish a record in DNS that will trigger reports to them. The challenge is what to do with those reports and now to manage them. DMARC is a complex protocol. It builds on two other protocols, each with their own nuances and implementation issues. […]

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  • OTA joins the ISOC

    The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) announced today they were joining forces with the Internet Society (ISOC). Starting in May, they will operate as an initiative under the ISOC umbrella. “The Internet Society and OTA share the belief that trust is the key issue in defining the future value of the Internet,” said Internet Society President and CEO, Kathryn Brown. “Now is the right time for these two organizations to come together to help build user trust in the Internet. At a time when cyber-attacks and identity theft are on the rise, this partnership will help improve security and data privacy for users,” added Brown.No Comments


  • Friday blogging... or lack of it

    It seems the last few Friday's I've been lax on posting. Some of that is just by Friday I'm frantically trying to complete all my client deliverables before the weekend. The rest of it is by Friday I'm just tired. Today had the added complication of watching the Trumpcare debate and following how (and how soon) it would affect my company if it passed. That's been a bit distracting, along with the other stuff I posted about yesterday. I wish everyone a great weekend.1 Comment


  • Indictments in Yahoo data breach

    Today the US government unsealed an indictment against 2 Russian agents and 2 hackers for breaking into Yahoo's servers and stealing personal information. The information gathered during the hack was used to target government officials, security employees and private individuals. Email is so central to our online identity. Compromise an email account and you can get access to social media, and other accounts. Email is the key to the kingdom.No Comments


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