E-mail of the future to combat spam

Monday, 1 March 2004, 12:50 PM EST

With a simple adjustment in your e-mail software, you can pretend to be anyone. You can send messages marked as coming from BillGates@microsoft.com.

The trick, known as spoofing, is a popular method for spammers to hide their tracks -- you'd blame Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates and not the actual perpetrator of junk mail.

To close that loophole, Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc. are each developing systems aimed at authenticating senders of e-mail. America Online Inc. is testing a third.

"Having e-mail come in, and not really being able to identify where it comes from, this is a huge security hole," Gates said this week in announcing specifications for his proposal.

[ Read more ]

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