An internet standards body has approved new technology that aims to detect and block phishing scam emails, it was revealed this week.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) gave its support to DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), which plans to thwart the phishers by preventing fraudulent junk emails reaching users’ inboxes.

In a combined effort to help combat email forgery, phishing and other forms of online fraud, Yahoo!, Cisco, Sendmail and PGP Corporation were all behind the push for this technology to be approved as an industry standard.

DKIM is an email authentication framework that uses cryptographic signature technology to verify the domain of the message sender. The technology authenticates, verifies and traces emails to help determine whether a message is legitimate, the body claims.

“We view protecting email users from scams as a top priority,” said Mark Delany, lead architect for Yahoo! Mail. “We currently see about a billion DomainKeys signed emails flow through Yahoo! Mail each day, and we look forward to continued momentum as more senders adopt the new email authentication standard.”

Jim Fenton, engineer at Cisco’s Technology Centre, added: “DKIM can improve users’ trust in email and in doing so make the internet a safer and more useful tool. Developing reputation-based and accreditation systems that incorporate this technology will create a safer online environment for users at work, home and on the go.”