NSDI '06 Abstract
Pp. 297310 of the Proceedings
RE: Reliable Email
Scott Garriss, Carnegie Mellon University; Michael Kaminsky, Intel Research Pittsburgh; Michael J. Freedman, New York University and and Stanford University; Brad Karp, University College London; David Mazières, Stanford University; Haifeng Yu,
Intel Research Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University
The explosive growth in unwanted email has prompted the development of
techniques for the rejection of email, intended to shield
recipients from the onerous task of identifying the legitimate email
in their inboxes amid a sea of spam. Unfortunately, widely used
content-based filtering systems have converted the spam problem into a
false positive one: email has become unreliable. Email
acceptance techniques complement rejection ones; they can help
prevent false positives by filing email into a user's inbox before it
is considered for rejection. Whitelisting, whereby recipients accept
email from some set of authorized senders, is one such
We present Reliable Email (RE:), a new whitelisting system that
incurs zero false positives among socially connected users.
Unlike previous whitelisting systems, which require that whitelists
be populated manually, RE: exploits friend-of-friend
relationships among email correspondents to populate whitelists
automatically. To do so, RE: permits an email's recipient to discover
whether other email users have whitelisted the email's sender, while
preserving the privacy of users' email contacts with cryptographic
private matching techniques.
Using real email traces from two sites, we demonstrate that RE:
renders a significant fraction of received email reliable. Our
evaluation also shows that RE: can
prevent up to 88% of the false positives incurred by a widely
deployed email rejection system, at modest computational cost.
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