DKIM stands for Domain Keys Identified Mail. It has to do with MTA or Mail Transfer Agents. This discussion is regarding the trustworthiness or integrity of received email. DKIM is used by Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, Fastmail, and others. DKIM refers to the sender’s signature or author’s signature in the header field. The email is verified by the receiver.
Domain Keys was designed by Mark Delaney of Yahoo, which is why Yahoo has the patent on it.
DKIM creates a method to insure that people are receiving legitimate email and to screen out spammers. It allows responsible emails to go through while acting in concert with anti-phishing efforts, which are an effort to prevent spammers from lifting user names, passwords, etc. from emails. Anti-phishing makes it easier to detect abuse and forgery and therefore keeps emails safer. DKIM encourages the integrity of the sender’s email. It acts to discourage spoofing and phishing as well.
Using DKIM doesn’t stop spammers. Spammers could use DKIM and get their emails to go through but most don’t bother, which is why it still works most of the time.
When being used with SPF or sender ID there may be a higher probability of security. DKIM detects the origin of email in order to make sure you are receiving the right ones.
Google uses DKIM with PayPal and eBay. There is a good likelihood that emails from these sources are secure because of it.
DKIM is a specification: RFC4871 involving a cryptographic email signature.
When it is combined with a reputation monitoring service such as Sender Score Certified there is a greater possibility of email security. If the consumer were to join a certified email white list he would have greater chance of email integrity as well.
DKIM is designed to ensure the integrity of email headers and the body of the email.
Most email is authenticated by SPF (Sender ID) and Domain Keys. This does not stop spammers. They can authenticate it themselves. While it cannot totally stop them it is helpful security feature and does act as a deterrent; DKIM is best used with reputation databases to be effective.
Personal accreditations can be conducted according to DKIM/SPF using white list from SPF and a white list from DKIM. DKIM has to do with the verifiable transmission of email messages. The integrity of the message is based on the author’s reputation. An authority such as Administrative Management Domain must sign messages digitally. Their signature declares that they take responsibility for the integrity of the message.
DKIM was produced in 2004 when it merged with Domain Keys.
To use DKIM, a code must be added to the system and fed into the filtering engine, for example. The signature must be validated. Then it must be fed into a vetting mechanism, which is part of the validating filter. DKIM is to be used right away. It is up and ready to go. Benefits can be had by all parties immediately. The signing of all email can immediately effect the detection of falsified mail, eliminating spam, phishing, and spoofing.
• Domain name ID
• Public key cryptography
• Public key publishing service
DKIM is more efficient than older versions such as S/MIME and OpenPGP.