Google to use Return Path anti-phishing system

Battles brand spoofing spam

Google has joined Yahoo, software site Tucows and filtering firm Cloudmark in signing up to use Return Path's now formally launched Domain Assurance service which the company claims will turn the screw on phishing and brand-hijacking spam.

The service is based on the observation that while the modern email delivery depends on authentication schemes such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), companies have little way of monitoring this across a multitude of domains this in order to spot problems.

In some cases, ISPs might block legitimate email because it has not authenticated properly or not block it because of uncertainty over its status. Into this gap jump spammers looking to use well-known brands - for instance those claiming to be from banks - to send plausible-looking phishing spam.

Enterprises subscribing to Domain Assurance audit their authentication by submitting email server IP addresses and domains to an audit list, which is then checked against failure statistics supplied by ISPs, including now Google.

The companies can view this data using a dashboard, spotting email from their domains which is not being properly authenticated, possibly by a marketing partner, as well as get insight into spoofing problems.

With an audit complete, they can pass back a request to ISPs to block all email that cannot authenticate safe in the knowledge that are not harming their own activities. They also have a clearer idea of which domains need to be taken down.

ISPs such as Google and Yahoo gain from the system even though they do not pay to use it because in the long run their servers and users will, in theory, receive fewer fraudulent emails.

"Currently companies can only react to a phishing attack, Domain Assurance changes the game by blocking phishing emails before they get delivered to the customer mailbox," said Return Path's president, George Bilbrey.

A key issue for the service is scale - the more customers, the better the blocking that can be carried out by ISPs. But it also needs large ISPs because there are what provides data on authentication problems and spoofing. The company currently claims that around 2,500 enterprises use the service.

In fact elements of the service has existed for some years and the formal launch of Domain assurance reflects its confidence that it has now reached a critical mass to offer more integrated services.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags YahooGoogleAssuranceCloudmarksecuritySME

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?