The big e-mail companies such as Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp, AOL Inc., and Google Inc., have started a mutual fight against the phishing e-mails, which have the purpose of tricking the recipients that they come from a reliable source. These companies together with Bank of America, eBay, and other large corporations, want to find a method of assuring the recipient that the received e-mail is secure.
The companies have created DMARC.org, which includes the collaboration of 15 companies, which want to promote a set of technologies which will enhance the security of the e-mails. Some of these technologies are already in use. They are based on the digital signature which can help identify a sender. The problem is that senders do not authenticate each message they send. This forces the recipients to basically guess if the e-mail comes from a trustworthy source or not.
According to Brett McDowell, chair of DMARC, who is also a senior manager at PayPal, stated that the e-mail providers should find a way of treating messages which haven’t been authenticated. By doing so, the e-mail providers will be able to block the fake ones, and to guarantee for the ones which are trustworthy.
PayPal started using the authentication method with Yahoo since 2007 and with Google since 2008. According to Mr. McDowell, more than 200,000 fake e-mails are being blocked each day. It seems that 15 percent of the messages which the two e-mail providers allow to enter in the inbox are protected by the authentication safeguard.
If these companies would find a way of detecting the fake e-mails, the companies would be able to communicate with their customers much more efficiently. For example, a bank customer would be able to click the links provided in the e-mail in order to update his profile, without worrying that he might reveal that information.