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Tag: Authentication

Email Authentication in a nutshell

There are 3 types of authentication currently in use for email. DKIM SPF DMARC The different strategies do different things with email. DKIM cryptographically signs emails, preventing changes in transit, and designates a “responsible domain” through the d= value in the signature. SPF compare the sending IP and the envelope from (also known as the bounce string, return […]

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Office365 checking DMARC on the inbound

According to a recent blog post, Office365 is starting to evaluate incoming messages for DMARC. I talked a little bit about DMARC in April when Yahoo started publishing a p=reject message. DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. What DMARC does is allow domain owners to publish policy statements in DNS telling receiver domains […]

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Spam, Phish or Malware?

Some mornings I check mail from my phone. This showed up this morning. My first thought was “oh, no, Pizza Hut is spamming, wonder who sold them my address.” Then I remembered that iOS is horrible and won’t show you anything other than the Friendly From and maybe it was some weird phishing scheme. When […]

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Authenticating with SPF: -all or ~all

What is SPF? Sender policy framework (SPF, RFC 7208) is an authentication process that ties the 5321.from (also known as the mail from, envelope from or return path) to authorized sending IP addresses. This authorization is published in a TXT record in DNS. Receivers can check SPF at the beginning of a SMTP transaction, compare […]

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CNN warns about Target copy-cat phishes

Target did indeed do a blast to customers to offer one year of free credit monitoring. The problem is scammers are also on the prowl and are sending out similar emails. Target even says it has identified and stopped at least 12 scams preying on consumers via email, Facebook and other outlets.CNN: Did you get […]

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SPF Fail: too many DNS lookups

I’ve had a couple folks come to me recently for help troubleshooting SPF failures. The error messages said the SPF record was invalid, but by all checks it was valid. Eventually, we tracked the issue down to how many include files were in the SPF record. The SPF specification specifically limits the number of lookups […]

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DMARC: Please Be Careful!

(Cross posted from Spam Resource.) Every couple of days, somebody new pops up on the DMARC-Discuss mailing list to ask some question or share an observation. It’s great to see people interested and joining the conversation. Clearly, DMARC interest and adoption are growing. What’s really frustrating, though, is that for about a quarter of the new subscribers, […]

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New player in the DMARC space

Over on the DMARC-Discuss list, Comcast announced they had turned on DMARC validation and companies that publish DMARC records should start receiving reports from Comcast.

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Hotmail moves to SPF authentication

Hotmail has recently stopped using Sender ID for email authentication and switched to authenticating with SPF. The protocol differences between SenderID and SPF were subtle and most senders who were getting a pass at Hotmail were already publishing SPF records. From an email in my inbox from September: Authentication-Results: hotmail.com; sender-id=pass (sender IP is 65.55.240.72) […]

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Gmail sending out warnings for 512 bit DKIM keys

As an update to yesterday’s post, Gmail is contacting postmasters at domains signing with 512 bit keys to warn them of the upcoming changes. This message also clarifies “DKIM keys failing.” Messages signed with 512 bit keys or less will be treated as unsigned by Gmail in the next week or so. Hello, We noticed […]

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