Sendmail Drives Adoption of Sender Authentication

Posted by dave on Feb 23, 2004 7:29 AM EDT
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Dominant Email Technology Provider Accelerates Deployment of New Anti-Fraud and Anti-Spam Technologies Through Its Open Source and Commercial Products

Sendmail, Inc., the global provider of electronic message management solutions, has announced that it will develop and distribute sender authentication technologies to its customers and the open source community to combat spam, viruses and identity fraud in email.

Over 60% of the world's email traffic runs on Sendmail's commercial and open source Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). By incorporating a selection of sender authentication technologies into these applications, Sendmail aims to significantly hasten the global adoption of mainstream authentication initiatives such as DomainKeys, recently introduced by Yahoo!, as well as proposals put forward by Microsoft and others.

Sender authentication technology allows organizations to verify the source of a message before accepting it by automatically checking if an email came from where it claims it did. The immediate benefit of sender authentication is to allow legitimate senders to `prove' their identity and to provide receivers the information they need to control their inbox.

Sendmail is extensively testing mainstream sender authentication schemes in an effort to determine which approaches are the most effective in preventing unnecessary message traffic from entering users' networks. Based on its conclusions, the company will develop and openly distribute authentication tools as plug-ins to the open source sendmail MTA that is distributed freely on the Internet. The company will also integrate the sender authentication technologies into its commercial message management products.

"By open sourcing implementations of the leading sender authentication schemes, Sendmail believes we can help drive deployment in record time," said Eric Allman, CTO of Sendmail. "The mail system needs this capability and it needs it now."

"Our products are being structured to ensure Sendmail's customers can deploy a combination of sender authentication schemes. Being able to use multiple schemes for authentication is like accepting either a driver's license or passport for identification," said Dave Anderson, Sendmail's CEO. "Assuming that there will be only one form of authentication world-wide is about as likely as having a world-wide ID card that every country accepts in place of passports. It is unlikely to happen."

In addition to helping block spam, proving the identity of a message sender will help prevent identity theft, which occurs when fraudulent senders impersonate a known brand by using the brand's domain name.

"We believe sender authentication will radically alter the way organizations manage email security," continued Anderson. "Today, the standard approach is to let everything in and then hope your filter can get rid of the unwanted messages. In the future, users will have a choice about what email is automatically accepted. The known good mail can be let in automatically and then message content scanning and other entry mechanisms can be used to let in the unknown but good mail. These filters will become just another component in the anti-spam process."

About Sendmail, Inc.

Sendmail, Inc. builds secure email systems for large enterprises and service providers who depend on email in their businesses. With proven technology and expertise, Sendmail works with customers to address their most complex messaging challenges. The result is a dependable email infrastructure that is easy to manage and built to grow. Sendmail customers include Sherwin-Williams, the United States Executive Office of the President, Cablevision and Avaya. Sendmail was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., with offices and distributors in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. For more information about Sendmail, Inc., go to [] or call 1-877-363-6245.

(C) Sendmail, Inc. 2004. All rights reserved. Sendmail is a registered trademark of Sendmail Inc. and Sendmail Mailstream Manager, Sendmail Mailcenter, Mailstream Anti-spam Solution, Intelligent Inbox, Flow Control Filter and Sendmail Directory Service are all trademarks or servicemarks of Sendmail, Inc.

All other trademarks, registered trademarks, servicemarks or trade names are the property of their respective owners.

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