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These best practices and white papers represent the cooperative efforts of M3AAWG members to provide the industry with recommendations and background information to improve messaging security and protect users. M3AAWG best practices are updated as needed and new documents are added as they become available.

December 30, 2018

M3AAWG Recommendations for Senders Handling of Complaints

Email abuse rates can significantly affect a sender’s reputation and, consequently, its ability to deliver customers’ emails to the inbox. This paper explains some of the common processes senders can use to effectively manage and monitor email complaints and to help their customers, who are the list owners, develop healthy email practices that generate better results.
of email lists.

November 03, 2017

M3AAWG Recommendation on Web Form Signup Attacks

Many list web forms provoke an email confirmation to the subscriber's email address provided in the form but malicious entities are now using this feature to do bulk form submissions with forged addresses that flood the subscriber’s inbox. M3AAWG members collaborated across the industry to propose a header as an initial step that hosting and sending companies can implement to help protect against these attacks. The header allows receivers to identify floods of mail coming from sign-up forms that are bombarding victim mailboxes.

August 30, 2017

M3AAWG Best Practices for Managing SPF Records

This document covers best practices on how to properly construct and maintain an SPF record, common errors and some unintended consequences.  It is targeted at those with a basic understanding of the purpose and usage of SPF.

July 31, 2017

M3AAWG Best Practices for Implementing DKIM To Avoid Key Length Vulnerability, Revised July 2017

Due to disclosed vulnerabilities associated with the use of short DKIM keys, organizations should review their DKIM email authentication implementation based on these best practices updated in July 2017.  Also see a short video on this issue at the M3AAWG YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/maawg).

May 20, 2017

M3AAWG Introduction to Reflective DDoS Attacks

Many thousands of individual Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks take place each day. While many of these are relatively small, they are sufficient to take unprepared sites offline and threaten connectivity over large regions of the internet. It is in everyone’s interest to take all possible precautions to thwart these damaging DDoS attacks. This paper provides an overview of how this very common form of attack works, what measures can be taken to help eliminate it and pointers to some of the many technical documents that can provide more detail. Also see the video Understanding and Preventing Reflective DDoS Attacks with M3AAWG Senior Technical Advisor Dr. Richard Clayton of Cambridge University explaining reflective DDoS attacks and some of the actions the industry can take to protect against them.