Security Quiz Answer

Pop quiz: E-mail security answers

1.) d. All of the above

For an explanation of how to secure the various layers of e-mail, listen to the E-mail Security School Lesson 1 webcast, E-mail security essentials. The webcast is available on-demand for your convenience.

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2.) c. It has scalability problems.

To better understand the scalability problems associated with S/MIME, read part 2 of the technical article, Filling SMTP gaps – The secrets to using e-mail standards.

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3.) d. A combination of techniques used to identify spam.

Listen to the webcast, Spam and virus mitigation strategies for more information on what makes up a spam cocktail. Also learn best and worst practices for ridding your network of spam and viruses.

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4.) a. First inject the footer, then digitally sign

According to E-mail Security School guest instructor Joel Snyder:

If you want to digitally sign messages and have footers, then you need to put the footer into the message before the sender adds their digital signature.

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5.) b. Ignoring case significance
c. Improper word stemming

According to E-mail Security School guest instructor Joel Snyder:

Case significance is the easy one because most keyword searching tools are case significant. You have to turn off case significance anytime you're doing policy-based keyword searches. This is the number one error that most people make.

Stemming is a more significant problem and one that is not handled easily. Without stemming, you have to search for every variation of the word that you're looking for. For example, you can't simply search for 'poop' because you won't catch the important variations 'poopy,' 'poops,' 'pooped' and 'pooping.' If you try to ignore the spaces on either side of a word (or, more precisely, the white space, which can include line breaks, tabs and other formatting characters), you'll end up with every word that has 'poop' in it, such as nincompoop (used to describe the person who wanted you to search for poop). Good regular expression and search engines handle word stemming automatically for you; more primitive ones require you to handle this kind of stemming by yourself.

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6.) d. A low false-positive rate

Learn more about the trade-off between false positives and false negatives in antispam products in the webcast Spam and virus mitigation strategies. The webcast is available on demand to listen to at your convenience.

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7.) d. All of the above

Listen to the on-demand webcast Spam and virus mitigation strategies and learn the options for dealing with messages that the virus scanner cannot scan.

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8.) c. The sender may have misspelled the recipient's e-mail address.

According to E-mail Security School guest instructor Joel Snyder:

It's true that e-mail addressed to invalid recipients are generally spam messages, because this is a common and heavily used spam technique. However, invalid recipients are also the result of spelling errors, from either new incoming e-mail (where the sender didn't know how to type a username or domain name) or replies where the sender made a 'fat-fingered' error. You can weigh the tradeoffs yourself, but it's important that you be aware of the consequences of simply deleting misaddressed e-mail.

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9.) c. The footer will invalidate the signature

According to E-mail Security School guest instructor Joel Snyder:

Injecting a footer into a message after it is signed by the sender will invalidate the digital signature.

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10.) a. When users prefer to have control.

Listen to the on-demand webcast Spam and virus mitigation strategies and learn what factors to consider when deploying an antivirus solution.

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This was first published in July 2005

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