„Spam Salt“ aka „Message Salt“

An invention against email abuse (Spam), introducing an email sender authentication mechanism.

Author: Kai Engert

Document version 3, 2010-09-27:

Abstract: The idea is to assign an additional secret key (salt) to each email user account. The email sender uses the salt and the message contents to calculate a hash value and adds that hash value as a new email header. For each email domain a verification server is registered in the DNS that can be contacted to verify the authenticity of messages that contain a hash value in the email headers. An email recipient can contact a verification server and filter incoming messages based on the verification response. As soon as multiple email recipients report that a sender is sending spam, the sender's salt gets changed, and future verification requests for messages that used the older salt will fail and such messages can be rated as Spam.

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Known issues and proposed improvements:

This invention has been submitted to the USPTO by my employer Red Hat, Inc., a member of the Open Invention Network.