Re: [IETF] DMARC methods in mailman

Viktor Dukhovni <> Mon, 26 December 2016 18:31 UTC

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Subject: Re: [IETF] DMARC methods in mailman
From: Viktor Dukhovni <>
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Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2016 13:31:28 -0500
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> On Dec 26, 2016, at 9:49 AM, Theodore Ts'o <> wrote:
>> The need for email origin authentication to specify that "Sender" preempts
>> "From" has been well understood for a long time before there there was DMARC.
>> If there is to be a non-broken replacement, it must correct this design error
>> and place the "burden" of dealing with that on any MUAs that fail to display
>> Sender (as e.g. from <sender> on behalf of <author>).
> But if MUA's do this, then it becomes trivial to phish consumers,
> which was the original excuse for DMARC.  So if MUA's do this,
> eventually Yahoo and the other big mail providers will promulgate a
> non-standard "fix" that will bounce message with Sender lines that
> aren't equal to the From field.   And then what will you do?

You're still operating under the false assumption that DMARC's purpose
is to solve phishing.  It's real purpose (at Yahoo et. al.) is to reduce
support desk workload at the sending domain.  Any minimal efficacy at
reducing phishing is entirely incidental.

Anyway, there's no additional phishing risk. One of the few things
that Outlook does right is display both Sender and From, as

	<sender> on behalf of <author>.

If the DMARC replacement authentication (via DKIM's d= or similar
is then applied to <sender>, there's no new phishing risk.

Users who don't understand that "on behalf of" means allegedly
from are just as likely to be confused by a myriad other perplexing
signals in email and web content.  The phishing problem has no solution
by way of email authentication for sufficiently naive and gullible users.