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The Cyber Magic of the Whitelist
By: Developer Shed
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    The Cyber Magic of the Whitelist
    by Niall Roche

    Before we start getting deep into the meat of this articleit's important to explain

    some standard terminology to make sure the rest of thisarticle makes sense.


    *An IP address is a number which identifies your location onthe Internet.


    *A blacklist is a list of IP addresses which your antispamsoftware uses to block

    incoming spam.


    *A whitelist is the exact opposite of a blacklist.



    A whitelist is a predefined list of IP addresses that areallowed to send email to

    and receive email from each other. Blacklists exclude knownand suspected spammers.


    Whitelists can be used to exclude everyone except known IPaddresses. Think of it

    like this. A whitelist is a like having a phonebook which isowned by a small group

    of people who only wish to speak directly to each other.They don't want just anybody ringing them. Not only that but the entire groupneed to approve new phone numbers before they appear in this exclusivephonebook.



    To send email to a whitelist you must be approved by theowner of the whitelist. This

    is a lot like the double optin systems used by legimiateezines and mailing list

    owners. Whitelists are the nightclub bouncers of the virtualworld - if you ain't on

    the list you ain't getting in. Simple but very effective.



    A real world example of a whitelist would be if twocompanies wanted to exchange

    email only with each other. These companies could implementa whitelist that

    contained the IP address for just the two email servers thatwant to send email to

    each other. That would mean that any email coming from an IPaddress not on the

    whitelist would be returned to sender. For companies theycan ensure that employees are only dealing with work related email and notchatting with their friends.



    The benefits of whitelists are many but proper management ofthe whitelists is

    equally important. Misuse of whitelists will only lead tomore headaches for everyone

    involved with missing email, irate customers and ITdepartments doing overtime just

    being the tip of the iceberg.


    ============================================================ reviews and tests spam filteringsoftware for the business


    and end user. Niall Roche is the content author and owner





    Niall Roche

    Spam filters tested and reviewed

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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