Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and AOL are among the leaders in offering web-based email services. Today those companies along with others are teaming up to form DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). It's a new technical working group that is developing a new set of email standards designed to combat email spam and phishing.
In the group's press release, it states:
By introducing a standards-based framework, DMARC has defined a more comprehensive and integrated way for email senders to introduce email authentication technologies into their infrastructure. For example, a sender could set policies to easily request a provider to discard unauthenticated email in order to block phishing attacks. The specification also creates a mechanism for email providers to send detailed reports back to email senders to help catch any gaps in the authentication system. This feedback loop raises the trust level within the email ecosystem and makes it easier to detect and stop phishing attempts.
More information about how these new specifications will work can be found at the DMARC.org web site. DMARC plans to offer its specifications to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for their approval. Other companies involved in this effort include Facebook, LinkedIn, and PayPal.