May 15, 2016

DMARC stops scam? No, it's scam itself

I was always sure that DMARC, advertised as a scam/phishing preventing solution, is a kind of scam itself. It's misleading for email marketers.

It's pretty straightforward - a scammer isn't really tied to the real sending domain of a company. Let's say there's a sending domain which identity I'd like to spoof. If I was a spammer I would be aware that:
- top mailbox providers are likely to filter out or land into Spam all the mail which isn't authenticated the same way as original emails coming from it
- most of email users see and care only about visible part of from email but not the real from address

So what's the reason for me to use "Company Name <>"? I would rather go with "Company Name <>".

And as soon as I'm not using the original domain name DMARC policy of becomes useless.

Couple years ago I had sales calls with a Agari and Return Path representatives in regard of their DMARC-based solutions. The only question I've asked them was "What's the point in your product if a spammer can easily avoid any DMARC-based defense?". I've got no real answer.

Today I've found the proof that I was right. Return Path whitepaper states DMARC is protecting brands from only 30% of email-borne attacks.