Twitter implements messaging authentication protocol to combat malware

Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) has finally found a way of lowering the amount of fake Twitter emails being sent to unsuspecting users. At one time, there was a height of 110 million attack emails using the Twitter name. Unfortunately, the emails were created by cyber-criminals with the intention of getting recipients to open malware-infested links. Today, the number of those types of emails has dropped significantly to 10,000 a day.

So, how did Twitter accomplish this feat? They did it by adopting a messaging authentication protocol called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). This protocol was first started two years ago. The purpose was to fight the surge of fake emails using well-known company names such as Google, Paypal, Microsoft and Facebook.

MalwareDMARC works by verifying that emails came from their stated source. It can then block fake emails. The process combines what is called “DomainKeys Identified Mail” and “Sender Policy Framework” with the “Authentication Failure Reporting Format.” Additionally, it is supported by Google, YahooMail, AOL and Microsoft.

Today, Twitter believes that 90% of its user base is protected by DMARC filtering. Furthermore, some Chinese ISPs have also implemented DMARC. For DMARC to work, Twitter had to cooperate with other companies, such as to assist with authentication.

Additionally, Twitter had to ensure it worked with strategic companies that managed email infrastructures. does just that. When it comes to cyber threats, this is a win for Twitter as well as Google and Facebook. There is no doubt cyber-criminals will continue to try new tactics for infecting users with malware. However, it is good news that tech companies are becoming more proactive at finding and combating those threats.