The Complete Guide to Email Authentication


The objective of this paper is to provide a brief overview and description of the most commonly used email authentication practices and methodologies. It is not exhaustive in nature, and does not cover every aspect of every technology in use today. It does, however, cover the main topics and points of discussion with regard to the mainstream standards used today for authenticating email.

Spam and Other Online Threats

In a recent report released by Cisco Systems, it was revealed that nearly 200 billion spam email messages are sent each day – approximately 90% of worldwide email. Other online threats that were cited include phishing, botnets, social engineering, and reputation hijacking – all used in collaboration with spamming. Because spam and other cyber security issues continue to increase year after year, technology integrators have turned to alternative methods to secure their communications. Email authentication is one such method, along with a wide set of other tools used by email senders and receivers to establish sender reputation.

Email Authentication

Generally defined, email authentication is a multi-method approach to securing email communications using either IP based and/or cryptographic standards. Email senders create a public record that verifies that their sending domain is authorized to send email from a particular IP address or mail server. Receiving ISPs can then use this record to validate the legitimacy of the sender and the messages they are sending. Additionally, ISPs commonly use this validation along with other metrics to determine the reputation of a sender, and ultimately if they will deliver the sender’s messages.

There are currently four different methods or standards that are typically used to authenticate email today: Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Sender ID, DomainKeys, and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). Each standard authenticates using a different methodology. While a sender can authenticate using all of the standards, an ISP may choose to only verify one or more of them.

Email Spoofing

One of the main benefits to using email authentication is that it dramatically reduces the problem of email forging or spoofing (also known as phishing) – where a user will receive an email that appears to originate from one source, when in reality it was sent from another source. Email spoofing is a classic spammer tactic used to coerce unsuspecting users into disclosing secure or confidential information without their knowledge or authorization.

A classic example of email spoofing that still occurs today are emails purportedly from a bank or financial institution, alerting the user that their account has been compromised and, in order to resolve the situation, they must click the link in the email to log into their account. Both the link, as well as the sender information have been spoofed or forged to look as if the message came from the purported bank.


Install Self Signed Exchange 2010 SSL certificate

For my example, my domains are…

Local domain: vcp.local
Outside domain:

#NETBIOS name of Client Access exchange server:        vcpsydex01
#Internal FQDN (AD name):        vcpsydex01.vcp.local
#External FQDN (Public name):
#Autodiscover name:  

Run the following command on the Client Access Server for generating the new Self-Signed SSL cert using the names listed above:

New-ExchangeCertificate -FriendlyName “SelfSigned Cert” -SubjectName “” -DomainName vcpsydex01,vcpsydex01.vcp.local,, -PrivateKeyExportable $True

Prior to Windows Vista SP1, the Windows RPC/HTTP client-side component required that the Subject Name (aka Common Name) on the certificate match the “Certificate Principal Name” configured for the Outlook Anywhere connection in the Outlook profile. Therefore, as a best practice, you should ensure that is listed as the Subject Name in your certificate unless you plan on changing the configuration which can be achieved by using the Set-OutlookProvider cmdlet with the -EXPR parameter as described in

Open IIS on the Exchange Server and tell it to use this certificate.

  1. Click on the Default Web Site
  2. Click Bindings on the right
  3. Select HTTPS, and choose edit
  4. Under SSL certificate, click the drop down list and choose your certificate that you created earlier.
  5. You need to setup the following external DNS entries 1. 2., these need to point to the external IP address of your Exchange CAS server.
    The next few steps are to install the certificate to the Clients.
  6. From Internet Explorer, navigate to the website of your OWA, Click on Certificate Error, then click View certificates.
  7. Click Install Certificate
  8. Click Next
  9. Select the second option
  10. Select the box Show Physical Stores, Under Trusted Root Certification Authorities, select Registry and click OK

    Please note, you will need to repeat this step again and choose Local Computer. 

  11. Click Finish
  12. Select Yes. Close and re-open Internet Explorer.
  13. Close and restart Internet Explorer.

For more information, please refer to

Beware of online fraudsters

Beware of online fraudsters trying to obtain your personal details

Important tips for safe online banking

Anti-spam,email,knowledge base,phishing,security

Setting Up Your POP or IMAP Email Address in MS Outlook Express

To Set Up Your E-mail Account in Microsoft Outlook Express

  • In Microsoft Outlook Express, from the Tools menu, select Accounts

  • Go to the Mail tab and from the Add menu, select Mail.

  • In the Display Name field, enter you full name and click .

  • In the E-mail address field, enter your email address and click Next.

  • On the E-mail Server Names page, complete your information as follows:
    • My incoming mail server is a POP3 or IMAP.
    • Incoming mail (POP3, IMAP or HTTP) server
    • POP or IMAP
    • Outgoing mail (SMTP) server

Click Next.

NOTE:“” is an SMTP relay server. In order to use this server to send e-mails, you must first activate SMTP relay on your e-mail account. Log on to your Manage Email Accounts page to set up SMTP relay. If you do not have SMTP relay set up and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) allows it, you can use the outgoing mail server for your Internet Service Provider. Contact your Internet Service Provider to get this setting.

  • In the Account Name and Password fields, enter your email address and password, and then click Next.

  • On the setup confirmation page, click Finish.

  • On the Mail tab, select the account you just created, and then click Properties.

  • Go to the Servers tab.
  • Select My server requires authentication, and then click Apply.


  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • In the Server Port Numbers section, change Outgoing mail (SMTP) to 80, and then click OK.

  • (Optional) If you want to keep a copy of email messages stored on your email provider’s servers, in theDelivery section, select Leave a copy of messages on server.

Your Outlook Express account is now set up. Click Close to close the Internet Accounts window and return to your Outlook Express.



Citibank on Phishing e-mails