Reuters Says Yahoo! said it is working on technology to combat e-mail spam by changing the way the Internet works to require authentication of a message's sender. Yahoo said its "Domain Keys" software, which it hopes to launch in 2004, will be made available freely to the developers of the Web's major open-source e-mail software and systems.
Under Yahoo's new architecture, a system sending an e-mail message would embed a secure, private key in a message header. The receiving system would check the Internet's Domain Name System for the public key registered to the sending domain.
If the public key is able to decrypt the private key embedded in the message, then the e-mail is considered authentic and can be delivered. If not, then the message is assumed not to be an authentic one from the sender and is blocked.