Hoax prompts new Senate e-mail system
A new e-mail validation
system in the Senate will verify that all e-mails sent from Senate.gov
addresses originate from legitimate — not “cloaked” — servers, the sergeant at
arms announced Wednesday.
The system was implemented
this week after news outlets received a series of false press releases saying
that Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Frank Lautenberg
(D-N.J.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had died of cancer in their homes.
Known as “sender policy
framework” (SPF), the system “allows recipients’ e-mail systems to
automatically check inbound messages to validate that they originated from a
server authorized for the sender’s e-mail address,” according to an e-mail from
the sergeant at arms to Senate administrators.
The e-mail recommended that
news media outlets use the SPF system to verify that e-mails received from
Senate.gov addresses are legitimate.
The four hoax e-mails — now under investigation by the U.S. Capitol
Police — were modeled to look like blasts from the senators’ offices.