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Tag: Authentication

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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July 2016: The Month in Email

We got to slow down — and even take a brief vacation — in July, but we still managed to do a bit of blogging here and there, which I’ll recap below in case you missed anything. At the beginning of the month, I wrote about email address harvesting from LinkedIn. As you might imagine, […]

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SPF ?all

The most read post on the blog is Authenticating with SPF: -all or ~all. In fact, it’s in the top 5 posts every single day. We still get comments on it, too. Usually from folks who disagree with my recommendations. I still stand by my recommendations, though. It doesn’t really matter if you choose ~all […]

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Gmail / Apps authentication issues

I’ve seen several reports of unexpected rejections for unauthenticated email to Google over IPv6 today. Unauthenticated mail over IPv6 is a bad idea, but Google usually spam folders it rather than rejecting it. The Gmail status dashboard is reporting an issue “Some messages sent to consumer Gmail accounts are being rejected due to authentication enforcement” so something […]

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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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