Berne, 15 November 2006
As the next step in the battle against spam, the four largest Internet service providers in Switzerland will introduce SMTP authentication starting 1 November 2006. At the same time, the four providers will found the S.I.A.S. (Swiss ISPs Against Spam). With this move, a working group will be formed that transcends common declarations of intent and implements technical measures to fight spam effectively. All customers can find information and individual instructions on how to make the necessary changes to their e-mail programmes on the shared Internet site www.stopspam.ch.
Almost 80% of all e-mails sent are spam e-mails: they clog up electronic mailboxes and annoy customers. With SMTP authentication, the four largest ISPs in Switzerland will make it possible for their customers to actively contribute to reducing spam over the long run. This technology offers enhanced security when sending e-mail as well as protection against identity theft.
One of the greatest security risks on the Internet today is the number of computers that are controlled "remotely" without the knowledge and consent of their owners, and misused for illegal activities such as sending unauthorised e-mails. When this happens, the e-mail address found on the besieged computer is used as the sender. This type of identity theft is largely prevented by SMTP authentication.
At the same time, authentication also reduces the probability of legitimate e-mails landing in the recipient's spam filter. And last but not least, the availability of the provider's e-mail infrastructure is increased because only legitimate e-mails from the actual sender are sent. All users benefit from this.
SMTP authentication (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) can be activated easily and free of charge in the user's e-mail programme. Customers of the four providers can find the right instructions for their e-mail programme under www.stopspam.ch. When activated in the e-mail programme, the computer always logs on to the provider with the user name and password each time e-mails are sent or retrieved. Unauthorised e-mails can no longer go unnoticed as a result.
The ground was laid for cooperation between the four Internet service providers back in May 2005. Approximately 80% of all e-mail sent in Switzerland - the most popular use of the Internet - is handled by the Bluewin, cablecom, green and sunrise platforms. The S.I.A.S. (Swiss ISPs Against Spam) working group is dedicated to secure and reliable e-mail communication and offers consumers all-encompassing security standards. An important component here is that users make a vital contribution to fighting spam in their own interest and in the interest of other Internet users.