Press send to help secure email around the globe

By on 13 Jul 2020

Category: Tech matters

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Even though it’s over 40 years old, email is still one of the most important communication tools on the Internet, and, still, one of the most difficult infrastructures to get right.

The rise of spam and other unsolicited messages combined with the multitude of technologies to combat these (SPF, DMARC, DKIM, DNSSEC) have caused many of those managing email servers headaches, let alone the more recent need to support IPv6.

As part of my PhD, I’m conducting a measurement study to understand how ‘well’ — compliant to the multitude of standards and technologies — email senders around the world are.

As we want to understand email sending, we need your help to receive emails from as many email systems and providers as possible. While it is easy to get messages from the major players (outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo, GMX), there are countless smaller services that we’d like to check too. These include individual companies, regional and national ISPs, and mail providers only common in a single economy. 

Furthermore, studies as this one are often dominated by providers from Europe, North America and Australia. However, we would like to understand how the global picture looks. So, if you are from the APNIC, AFRINIC, or LACNIC regions, we especially need your help.

How you can help

Go to https://www.email-security-scans.org/ to find out how you can help us, or compose a new email with any subject line and copy and paste all of the below addresses into the To: field):

measurement@v4-mail.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v6-mail.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v6-mail.v6only.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v4-mail.v6only.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v6-mail.dnssec-broken.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v4-mail.dnssec-broken.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v4-mail-greylisting.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@v6-mail-greylisting.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@mail-tls-force.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@mail-tls-invalid.measurement.email-security-scans.org, measurement@mail-tlsa-invalid.measurement.email-security-scans.org

If your mail provider does not accept the email due to individual addresses being undeliverable, please feel free to remove those addresses from the To: header.

For more information on the study, including what data we are collecting and how long we will store it, check out the project website. In case you want to get a summary of how your mail-setup has been doing, or just get into contact with the researchers, please drop a mail to t.fiebig@tudelft.nl

The study will run for the coming 1-2 months after which we will share the results in a follow-up blog post, so stay tuned!

Contributors: Tobias Fiebig.

Olamide Omolola is a researcher analyzing and improving existing security protocols and services. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications, TU Graz.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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