April 18, 2006 4:00 AM PDT
On sentry duty in your in-box
- Related Stories
Phishers set hidden traps on eBayMarch 31, 2006
Microsoft to bring Hotmail onto the desktopMarch 29, 2006
Kits help phishing sites proliferateFebruary 27, 2006
Web site gives e-mail senders a reputationAugust 29, 2005
Sender ID's fading messageAugust 9, 2005
Data leaks denting Web shoppers' confidenceJune 23, 2005
Microsoft pushes spam-filtering technologyJune 22, 2005
Should Microsoft own antispam?November 9, 2004
Microsoft reworks antispam spec to silence criticsOctober 25, 2004
Microsoft touts 'Sender ID' to fight spam, scamsAugust 12, 2004
Microsoft wants to meld antispam proposalsMay 21, 2004
Microsoft to submit antispam standardMay 19, 2004
Yahoo, Sendmail to test antispam systemFebruary 24, 2004
Gates reveals his 'magic solution' to spamJanuary 26, 2004
(continued from previous page)
In March last year, 19 percent of the e-mails coming into Hotmail contained a valid SPF record. At the end of March this year, 31 percent of messages could be authenticated, Spiezle said. The number of Fortune 500 companies that sent Sender ID-compliant mail has increased from 7 percent in July last year to 20 percent at the end of March, he said.
While the number of Internet domains that publish an SPF record is increasing, the pace of growth is down, Wong said.
"Over the last year or so, things have slowed down a little bit. After the first wave, Microsoft is now trying to get the message out to the rest of the industry," he said.
However, the industry has done "a pitiful job" of attacking the e-mail problem, by submitting competing specifications and not reaching consensus, Forrester Research analyst Jonathan Penn said.
"Will they ever get their act together? If the past is any indication, it's doubtful. No wonder such ridiculous concepts such as everyone paying for e-mail delivery is getting any attention at all," he said, referring to AOL's proposal to use GoodMail's CertifiedEmail, software that requires marketers to pay to make sure their messages get past spam filters.
Before any real success can be reported, authentication needs to be adopted more broadly by e-mail senders and receivers, eBay's Durzy said. As more e-mail providers adopt these services and start authenticating with them, that will make it harder for phishers, he said.
The popularity of authentication is advancing at a reasonable pace, said Michael Osterman, head of Osterman Research, which focuses on Internet messaging. However, mass adoption is a ways out. "If I had to guess, I would say that we're three to four years away from very high penetration rates," he said.
Microsoft expects a jump in adoption in the months after Wednesday's Authentication Summit. About 500 people have registered to attend, including representatives from Allstate Insurance, Accenture, the American Association of Retired Persons, General Mills, Williams Sonoma and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Spiezle said.
Major marketing trade groups are also getting behind e-mail authentication. The Direct Marketing Association, for example, requires its members to adopt the technology.
The time is right to adopt e-mail authentication, industry experts agreed.
"We have had the standards hammered down," said Teney Takahashi, a market analyst with The Radicati Group. "This is the point that we really need to see broader adoption."
18 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment