Browse Prior Art Database

Method to impose a secure hidden route

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030908D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-01

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The method described hereunder applies to e-mail processing, more particularly with SMTP protocol, the object being to limit the possible risks during e-mail transfer. When a message is issued by a mail system user, the message could go thru different routes according to the configuration of the Message Transfer Agent (MTA). In fact a lot of SMTP Relay are used when a message in sent across oceans. The fact that a message may transit through several unknown SMTP relay servers has been recognized as a risk with respect to different aspects, as outlined below: · Privacy risk: if the message transits through a SMTP relay connected to the public Internet network, such a SMTP relay can store the message envelope information and then aggregate this information with others to build illicit Directory (spammer behaviour). · Service Level risk: if the message transits through a SMTP relay based on another transport protocol, or simply following other mail delivery service level policies, then there is a risk of mail delivery service level downgrade that the message sender does not want to take. · Security risk: if the message transits through a SMTP relay which is not operated by a trusted organisation, then the message sender may consider the risk of having the whole message spied by a competitor or simply a hacker. In order to get rid of the above problems and risks, the proposed invention provides an innovative method to guarantee the route towards the final destination and to secure the anonymity of the addresses. Furthermore a business aspect is surfacing in the mail system space as the transit of SMTP messages is starting to provide economic issues (handling mails in transit is clearly not for free and asks for more and more stringent resource requirements), so it becomes important to be able to impose routes when messages are sent