Major companies unite to fight e-mail scams and spam | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 31.01.2012
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Major companies unite to fight e-mail scams and spam

A new initiative to help fight spam and e-mail scams, such as phishing, has been launched by major technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Paypal and Bank of America.

Screen full of alphanumerics depicting encryption and the word password emphasized by a magnifying glass

DMARC helps identify fraudulent e-mails

Major technology companies have joined up to design a system for combating e-mail scams such as phishing that trick people into revealing information such as passwords by pretending to come from a reputable source.

Fifteen companies, among them Google, Yahoo, Bank of America, Microsoft, AOL, and LinkedIn, have formed an organization called DMARC, short for domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance.

DMARC will expand on existing methods to fight spam and scams like phishing and try to standardize the various approaches used at present. PayPal, Google and Facebook have already been using the DMARC system for 18 months. Now, other companies can sign up to the organization.

"With DMARC, large e-mail senders can ensure that the e-mail they send is being recognized by mail providers like Gmail as legitimate, as well as set policies so that mail providers can reject messages that try to spoof the senders' addresses," Google product manager Adam Dawes wrote in a blog.

The group's founders are Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Google; financial service providers Bank of America, Fidelity Investments and eBay's PayPal; online service companies Facebook, LinkedIn and American Greetings Corporation, and security companies Agari, Cloudmark, eCert, Return Path and the Trusted Domain Project.

Author: Nicole Goebel (AP, dpa)
Editor: Mark Hallam

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