SOURCE: Authentication and Online Trust Alliance

March 07, 2007 09:00 ET

Fortune 500 Demonstrates Commitment to Online Safety

AOTA Announces Online Safety Leadership Awards at April Summit; Call for Nominations of Companies Committed to Protecting Consumer Safety Online

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2007 -- Today, the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA) named the top Fortune 500 companies who have demonstrated commitment to online safety by authenticating their email and domains, protecting users from forged email and phishing ploys. In just 20 months, the Fortune 500 has shown an increase in adoption of Sender ID from seven percent to over 25 percent.

The leaders represent top brands spanning many industries, including industrial manufacturers Boeing Aircraft, Caterpillar and Exxon; consumer brands Disney, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sears and Best Buy; technology leaders Cisco, Dell, IBM and Microsoft; and financial institutions AIG, American Express, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorganChase, New York Life, Wachovia and Wells Fargo. A monthly score card for the Fortune 500 companies is available at

"These companies are to be commended, and it is our hope others will follow their leadership and make a commitment to online safety," said Craig Spiezle, executive director and chair of AOTA. "Companies that adopt will gain a competitive advantage, and we urge consumers and users to demand that their retailers, banks and insurance companies take these necessary steps. Those who do not adopt authentication are putting their customers, investors and users at an unnecessary risk."

For nearly three years, email authentication has been advocated by the industry and the Federal Trade Commission and is required for membership with the Direct Marketing Association and Email Sender and Provider Coalition. Combined, they estimate that upwards of 85 percent of all email marketers are now compliant. In addition, email authentication is a best practice advocated by TRUSTe, the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).

AOTA Announces Call for Nominations for Online Safety Leadership Awards Program

To recognize the safety efforts of responsible organizations, AOTA has announced a call for nominations of companies who have demonstrated leadership in online safety. Nominated companies must be authenticating outbound email and corporate domain via SenderID or Domain Keys and will be judged based on several criteria including but not limited to:

--  Adoption of innovative technologies
--  Commitment to user education
--  Industry and business collaboration
--  Dedication to working with governments and law enforcement to bring
    online criminals to justice
--  Achievements
Nominations can be made through April 2, 2007, at Winners will be announced at the upcoming Authentication and Online Trust Summit, April 18-19, 2007 at the Boston Sheraton. The annual AOTA summit includes experts in global authentication, domain defense and online threats. Speakers from consumer brands and technology providers will share prescriptive information about building online trust using authentication, identity and reputation. Register by April 6 and save $100 at

Keynotes include Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley, Scott Charney, corporate VP of Microsoft, and Howard Schmidt, former CSO and CIO to eBay and Homeland Security. Additional featured speakers include representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, Homeland Security, Department of Treasury, FBI and Secret Service. Technology leaders and executives from AOL, Cisco, IronPort, Microsoft, RSA, Secure Computing, Symantec and VeriSign will provide case studies illustrating how IT decision makers can protect their infrastructure, brands and customers. Marketers will hear from the DMA, Epsilon, Datran Media, Acxiom and leading brands including eBay, Bank of America, American Red Cross, Publishers Clearing House, OgilivyOne and

About the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA):

Founded in October 2004, the mission of AOTA is to enhance online trust and confidence by facilitating best practices and the deployment of Internet authentication and reputation standards and solutions. With the onslaught of phishing and forged email, this collaboration is critical to help ensure the reliability and deliverability of email, reinforce online trust and confidence and to protect the brands and domains of businesses worldwide.

AOTA's steering committee members include Acxiom Digital, Datran Media, the Direct Marketing Association, Epsilon, IronPort Systems, MarkMonitor, Microsoft Corporation, RSA, the Security Division of EMC, Secure Computing Corporation and Symantec Corporation. For more information, visit

The listing is based the Fortune 500 list for 2006 as published at This analysis is based on web domains which resolve to a company's corporate home page. Determination of companies authenticating their corporate domain is based on the presence of a valid Sender ID Framework (SIDF) compliant SPF text record found in the domain's zone file. DNS queries were completed on March 5, 2007 using the Sender ID Wizard and validated by MarkMonitor, AOTA recognizes that listed companies may be authenticating other domains and mail streams utilizing other complementary technologies. Results are not an indicator of the intent or the reputation of the name companies and neither AOTA, Inc. nor its members or underwriters endorse any of the listed companies. Companies listed are not necessarily endorsing AOTA, AOTA underwriters, and/or the Sender ID Framework. To report updates, email "staff AT" Validated updates will be posted monthly on

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