How ADP and Facebook battle bad e-mail

ADP and Facebook use DMARC seen by both as a way to fight phishing attacks

By , Network World |  Security, Facebook, phishing

"We accept mail for our users and we've implemented DMARC," says Mike Adkins, Facebook messaging engineer, "Our users have entrusted us with a lot of personal information and keeping their accounts secure is important to us."

Ramping up to adhere to the policy-based DMARC filtering process to protect Facebook users was fairly easy and carried out in less than a month because we "don't have a far-flung infrastructure," Adkins says.

The automated DMARC reports sent to the anti-fraud security team at Facebook through the supporting e-mail filtering eco-system that now exists have added much more visibility into how the Facebook name gets abused in phishing spam from fraudsters. And each day, Adkins says Facebook takes phishing information it gets and shares it with third-party vendors it calls upon around the world to shut down phishing operations whenever possible.

"This gives us information to try and shut down phishing operations," Adkins says. So-called "takedown vendors" which Adkins declined to specify work on behalf of Facebook around the world to get in touch with hosting providers, for example, that are hosting any identified phishing pages.

Unfortunately, many of these phishing pages have been inserted into legitimate web sites owned by unwary businesses, sometimes by hacking these business servers. However, there are also dedicated servers for phishing, too.

Some hosting providers are more responsive than others and move quickly to remove phishing content, Adkins points out. All in all, DMARC and processes such as phishing takedown efforts are needed in the constant battle to keep the billions of phishing e-mail messages circulating out of the mailboxes of their intended targets.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail:

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Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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