Microsoft Details Spam-Fighting Plans

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Microsoft has tapped IronPort Systems to provide antispam protections for its MSN and Hotmail e-mail services, the companies announced this week.

IronPort will provide Microsoft with its "bonded sender" e-mail certification program, which aims to create a list of certified senders of bulk e-mail, the San Bruno, California, company says. Microsoft has been testing the IronPort program for the past five months, according to IronPort.

To qualify for the so-called "white list," senders of bulk e-mail pay a financial bond, agree to a set of best practices for sending commercial e-mail and are monitored by TRUSTe, a nonprofit organization that monitors complaints against bulk e-mailers, IronPort says.

Should senders violate any of these best practices, debts are taken against the bonds, which are calculated based on the monthly volume of mail sent, the company says.

Caller ID Plans

Since February, Microsoft has been spearheading its Coordinated Spam Reduction Initiative (CSRI), an antispam movement that seeks to thwart spam on a number of fronts, including the authentication of e-mail senders.

As part of that effort, Microsoft also published its Caller ID for E-mail specification, aimed at stopping the spoofing of e-mail addresses.

Caller ID specification works by having companies register the IP addresses of their outgoing e-mail servers in a DNS record for their domain. IronPort's bonded system also works in a similar fashion.

Along with its white list service, IronPort provides a "blacklist" service known as Spamcop, that identifies IP addresses for third parties to block.

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