Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

10/23/2006
09:25 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Promises Open Email Security

Microsoft pulled its Sender ID email authentication protocol under its OSP program to promote development of the once-controversial spec

Microsoft is now offering its Sender ID email authentication specification under its Open Specification Promise (OSP) program, the company said today.

OSP is basically a guarantee from Microsoft that the technology is available to developers, ISPs, and users for free, without licensing restrictions and fees.

Richi Jennings, an analyst with Ferris Research, says this means Microsoft is confirming that it won't take action to protect its patents and other intellectual property associated with Sender ID, namely its Purported Responsible Address (PRA), which is patented. Concerns about PRA's licensing derailed its adoption as an IETF standard two years ago, although Sender ID remains an IETF RFC.

Sender ID is Microsoft's protocol for verifying that an email came from the Internet domain it says it came from. It checks the sending server's IP address to prevent the spread of malware, spam, and phishing emails.

But the protocol has met with some resistance by developers worried about licensing as well as technology problems. "Few developers chose to implement the extra features of Sender ID that distinguish it from SPF [Sender Policy Framework], most notably the PRA algorithm," Jennings explains. "This was because of a combination of [intellectual property] licensing worries and some concerns that PRA could generate more false positives than SPF alone."

Jennings says today's announcement is merely Microsoft's formalizing the OSP program. "[Microsoft] made similar promises back in 2004 -- it's just reiterating the promises today."

Microsoft has acknowledged concerns about its licensing terms. In a Q&A on its Website, it said putting Sender ID under the OSP umbrella will help "promote further industry interoperability among all commercial software solutions that use email authentication, including open source solutions, by making Sender ID more clearly available to the entire Internet ecosystem."

There are over 600 million users worldwide of Sender ID, according to Microsoft. Some 36 percent of all legitimate email sent worldwide is Sender ID-compliant, and around 5.5 million domains, according to the company, which says adoption of Sender ID by the Fortune 500 has jumped from 7 percent a year ago to over 23 percent today.

"Sender authentication technologies like Sender ID are important tools that help ensure email security, and by making Sender ID available under OSP, Microsoft is addressing the interoperability needs of heterogeneous email infrastructures," Eric Allman, chief science officer at Sendmail, said in a statement.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
  • Ferris Research Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
     

    Recommended Reading:

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
    Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
    Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
    Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
    Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
    Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Current Issue
    Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
    This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
    Flash Poll
    The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
    The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
    This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2020-17489
    PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
    An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
    CVE-2020-17495
    PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
    django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
    CVE-2020-0260
    PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
    There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
    CVE-2020-16170
    PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
    The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.
    CVE-2020-17487
    PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
    radare2 4.5.0 misparses signature information in PE files, causing a segmentation fault in r_x509_parse_algorithmidentifier in libr/util/x509.c. This is due to a malformed object identifier in IMAGE_DIRECTORY_ENTRY_SECURITY.