Cooperation of the three largest email providers will try to fight fake e-mail messages by promoting the message source verification standard. Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo users will be the first to benefit from the initiative.
The 3 world's largest email providers - Microsoft, Yahoo and Google - have launched a new initiative aimed to fight and prevent phishing by mail. This collaboration is establish between 15 companies, including AOL e-mail provider, the social networks Facebook and LinkedIn and financial companies such as Bank of America and PayPal. The purpose of this initiative is to create a uniform standard in order to identifying messages from authorized parties compared with messages from impostors, and thus to increase the credibility of the government e-mail messages or other sites holding personal information.
The new standard is called DMARC - An acronym for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. The new standard is a combination of several technologies that enables the sender and receiver of e-mails to share information which can verify the source of the message. This allows the mail server of the recipient to distinguish more easily between genuine messages and rogue messages, as opposed to the current situation in which it must "guessed" according to an algorithm.
Today, fake email messages are used mainly as "bites": crooks send fake message that seems as if it comes from the bank or from another site that holds personal information about the user and warned him that his account will be closed if he will take no action whatsoever. The email turn the user to a page formatted to look like a login page of a financial service or social network, when in fact it sends the username and password to the criminals and gives them access to the personal information.
One of the companies that are a favorite target for these emails is “PayPal” payment service owned by eBay. Brett McDowell, executive director of PayPal who is chairman of the DMARC cooperation, said that the company already uses authentication technologies underlying the initiative of the collaboration with Yahoo and Google, and now it filters about 200,000 fake emails every day. With the use of DMARC any e-mail services participants in the project will enjoy an improved filtering service, and the companies hope that other email providers will adopt the standard.