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How to secure your email address book and beyond

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Email viruses (or worms) have become a severe threat to the business utility of email systems. In spite of existing countermeasures such as email virus scanners, many people (including the authors) constantly receive suspicious emails. Most, if not all, email viruses proliferate by exploiting the email address books on the infected hosts, simply because the address books are not protected by any means whatsoever. In this paper we explore a novel method to protect email systems, based on appropriately encrypting the email addresses in the email address books and email boxes (or folders). To our knowledge, this work is the first to investigate robust methods for protecting email addresses. We have implemented two prototype systems based on our method, one for a cell phone platform and the other for a desktop platform. Simulation study shows that our method is effective, even if only some users deployed our mechanisms. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007.




Kartaltepe, E. J., Parker, T. P., & Xu, S. (2007). How to secure your email address book and beyond. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 4856 LNCS, pp. 228–246). Springer Verlag.

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