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    Imagine playing a whack-a-mole game where the mole moves to a different hole in the amount of time it takes one to raise and lower a mallet. Instead of just six holes, however, there are millions.

    Few would want to play such a game. People would rightfully conclude that random attempts to hit the mole would improve their chances. With so many holes, the mole will proceed unabated, except in the rare cases that it does get hit. Stopping phishing attempts is similar to playing such a game.

    Normally, an email message is accepted after checks are made against the sources’ reputation. As in the whack-a-mole game, the amount of time given for one to react with a mallet is comparable to the amount of time allotted for reputations to accumulate then propagate. To help deal with this, Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP), an extension of DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), allows Author Domains to make assertions about whether they use DKIM to sign all of their outbound email messages or not.

    This is the introduction to a more in-depth article discussing email authentication, Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP), and a proposed addition—third-party authorization labels, which makes email authentication a more complete solution.

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