The Anti-Phishing Email Client Standards

Email, the world’s largest online communication application, hasn’t changed much over the years. It's time.

Email Applications Suck

  • They have no way of knowing what prior analysis has been performed on an email (eg, by mailbox operators)
  • They lack intelligence on how to handle legitimate email.
  • They are limited in their ability to detect and block fraud.

Email Interfaces Suck

  • Users spend a lot of time sorting through their email.
  • There is no forum for people who build email applications; there is no W3C equivalent in the email world.
  • No forum means innovations are acquired and controlled by large companies.

People need better email clients!

APECS stands for Anti-Phishing Email Client Standards. An initial goal is to warn users directly in their email client that a link is potentially dangerous, without the need for advanced warning systems that depend on huge data feeds. There is a great deal that can be done under this model and we’re forming the community to make it happen.

Good News

  • DMARC is tackling the email identity crisis.
    Email authentication is solved at the technical level, with adoption being pushed out quickly.
  • Email senders largely adhere to best practices already.
    It won’t require everyone to do something new when sending email.
  • People are already managing legitimate email on a daily basis.
    There is a large opportunity to test and refine approaches.
  • There are already large industries in place to detect and address fraud.
    They’re just not available to email applications.

What's Missing

  • A forum is needed for people who make email applications.
    Like how web browsers have the W3C.
  • Standardized methods for email applications to:
    Allow operators to convey information regarding legitimacy to email applications.
    Integrate user-specific intelligence and advanced filtering.
    Access fraud detection and remediation capabilities.
  • A framework that can be adopted in piecemeal fashion over time.
    Can’t boil the ocean.

There are many parts to this problem. If you’d like to help, let us know!