University of Twente Student Theses


Characterizing Sender Policy Framework configurations at scale

Kahraman, G.M. (2020) Characterizing Sender Policy Framework configurations at scale.

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Abstract:Phishing involves disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication, for example, by pretending to send e-mail on behalf of a company. Phishing e-mails can be prevented if domains implement e-mail security techniques. One of the techniques to improve e-mail security is the Sender Policy Framework (SPF). To enable SPF, the administrator of a domain can specify an SPF policy in the DNS zone of the domain. The SPF policy determines which IP addresses are authorised to send e-mail from the administrator’s domain. When an e-mail server receives an e-mail, the e-mail server retrieves the SPF policy of the sender’s domain. Next, the IP address of the sender will be queried against the SPF record, and the response of this query determines how to handle the incoming e-mail. This thesis addresses the missing of a large-scale analysis of how SPF is deployed. We will investigate the adoption of SPF among 168 million domains over a five-year period. We will analyse how administrators typically configure SPF. Next, we will consider is whether we can identify a change in the use of SPF over time. The last research question to address is whether we can recognise problematic trends in SPF use.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Computer Science MSc (60300)
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