Yahoo! and Cisco Drive Industry Toward a Unified E-Mail Authentication Standard to Combat E-Mail Forgery
DomainKeys Identified Mail Available Royalty-free to the Industry-at-Large
SUNNYVALE and SAN JOSE, Calif. - June 1, 2005 - As part of a shared commitment to make Internet e-mail as safe as possible for communications and commerce, Yahoo! Mail, the largest e-mail provider in the U.S.*, and Cisco Systems announced their collaboration on an authentication technology designed to combat e-mail forgery by verifying the address of origin of e-mail messages. Yahoo! and Cisco have been working with the broader industry to develop a merged specification of the Companies' two cryptographic-based technologies, DomainKeys from Yahoo! and Internet Identified Mail from Cisco. The combined technology solution will be called DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and will be offered royalty-free to the industry-at-large.
DKIM is a unified e-mail authentication proposal that enhances consumer protection from e-mail forgery, and enhances accountability for spam and phishing scams. This approach uses public key cryptography to allow users to verify and maintain message integrity, and clearly identifies legitimate messages. DKIM uses the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) in the same manner as DomainKeys. DKIM also leverages Identified Internet Mail's header-signing technology, ensuring signature consistency as messages are sent through the network.
The benefits of signing e-mail using DKIM can be significant for companies that commonly send transactional e-mail to consumers, such as banks, utilities, and e-commerce services. For these companies, providing customers with a means to detect fraudulent e-mail can translate directly into increased user satisfaction, reduced customer care costs, and strengthened brand reputation.
"Yahoo! is receiving more than 350 million messages signed by DomainKeys per day. By collaborating with key industry players like Cisco and technology visionaries like Eric Allman of Sendmail, we can offer a solution that addresses the problem of e-mail forgery today, and increases the level of defense against fraudulent e-mails and phishing attacks," said Miles Libbey, anti-spam product manager for Yahoo! Mail.
"E-mail fraud is a global problem that ultimately costs companies millions of dollars in direct losses, technology expenditures, lost productivity and even network downtime," said Jim Fenton, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco Systems. "In accordance with our commitment to standards, Cisco is pleased to join forces with key partners such as Yahoo! on the development of an effective solution that significantly mitigates the impact of e-mail fraud on both consumers and businesses."
Yahoo! developed and implemented DomainKeys technology in an effort to address the growing threat of e-mail forgery. DomainKeys strengthens e-mail authentication and helps to better identify legitimate vs. fraudulent e-mails. As part of its multi-faceted approach to combating spam, DomainKeys leverages public-key cryptography to verify the sender of an e-mail message at the domain level. A sending system uses a private key to generate a signature and inserts the signature in the e-mail header; and the receiving e-mail system uses the public key, published in the Internet's Domain Name System, to verify the signature of the e-mail.
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Cisco, Cisco Systems, PIX, IOS and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. or its affiliates in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! seeks to provide online products and services essential to users' lives, and offers a full range of tools and marketing solutions for businesses to connect with Internet users around the world. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.
*According to comScore Media Metrix, 4/05