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Securing Electronic Mail

Electronic mail is the lifeblood of modern organizational communication. The capability to send and receive mail messages from external sources is a common requirement. As is the case with any information from external sources, e-mail presents a host of security problems, including the following:

  • Flooding. The e-mail server is hammered with a large number of messages, which can result in denial of service and system crash.

  • Spoofing. The e-mail message has an incorrect sender name or address.

  • Viruses. Application attachments may contain hostile macros (for example, the ActiveX-based Melissa).

  • Nonrepudiation. The receiver needs to verify that the sender actually sent the message, and the sender needs to verify that the receiver got the message.

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