Thursday, October 4, 2007

Taking a bite out of spam

One of the fascinating things about life on the web is, time and time again, that about the time you really start thinking "why don't they do this?", it turns out someone's been hard at work on it.

In this case, it's digitally signed email. As the BBC lays out in this piece, Yahoo! and eBay/PayPal are about to deploy a system that filters out unsigned mail to Yahoo! mail users (they don't use the term "private key" quite the way I understand it, but the gist is there). Underlying this is DKIM (RFC 4871), which came out in May of this year.

Once major players start to roll out signed mail, it shouldn't be long until all the major mail clients can handle the messages, and maybe not too much longer until ordinary folks start deciding to get keys. And then you'll be able to tell I wrote this (or at least, someone with my key did).

History tells us that this won't be the last chapter in the spam/phishing wars, but it should at least help.

1 comment:

David Hull said...

Note to self: mail is in the cloud now ... Digital signatures are involved. But not in the same way.