Twitter has announced a new approach to authentication to protect its users from online fraud and attacks. DMARC, or Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance is a new specification designed to offer protection by authenticating the sender of an email. As one of the most commonly abused online names, Twitter will employ DMARC to prevent users from receiving emails pretending to be from the popular social networking site.
DMARC works differently to previous authentication methods making it stand out from the crowd. Firstly, it is not a protocol that stands alone. DMARC works hand in hand with pre-existing popular security methods such as DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail), a technique that links an email address to an authorised domain. The protocol also works alongside policy which detects spoofing, commonly known as Sender Policy Framework (SPF).
DMARC boasts backing from all major email providers as well as some of the worlds biggest (and most abused) online companies such as Paypal. Another feature that gives DMARC a headstart against other authentication protocols is that it doesn’t follow the traditional approach of simply blacklisting unauthorised addresses. Domain Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance protocol solves operational, deployment and the reporting of issues linked to email authentication allowing faux domains to be blocked before reaching the user and potentially causing harm to their profiles and networks.