Despite the rapid advancement of technology, there has been one thorn in the side of every email user for the last several decades: Spam. Spam filters have come a long way, but few things are more frustrating than receiving an email alert only to discover junk or a phishing scheme. In November 2018, Salesforce took a giant step forward to help combat the scourge of spam through blockchain technology.
“I’m excited to see where these two powerhouses take this technology!” says Chuck George, Salesforce Practice Lead/IT Recruiting Manager, CSS-Tec, a Contemporary Staffing Company.
Patenting Blockchain To Combat Altered Email
Salesforce has secured a patent for its platform that can identify spam using blockchain technology. Through its cloud-based email system, Salesforce can detect alterations that may have occurred at the initial stage of email delivery. Blockchain acts as a filter to distinguish between spam emails and legitimate emails.
The system makes that identification by reaching back to the server from which the message was originated. It registers a component in the “block” and then receives feedback from other nodes throughout the transmission system. When the recipient’s server gets the message, it is compared to the original, validating that no alterations have occurred. If the data matches, the email is passed through. If an alteration has been detected, the email is kicked into the spam folder.
According to the patent filing documents, the system is designed to “help ensure that messages and attachments to those messages have not been modified during transit over a network…messaging systems are often abused and used to distribute unwanted or undesirable messages (or other network traffic), which are commonly referred to as spam.”
Greater Spam Filter Accuracy Through Blockchain
The filing also says the technology is designed to reduce the number of “false positives” that occur in existing spam filters which can sometimes cause legitimate business emails to get marked as spam. “The [system] can also better identify legitimate (wanted) messages and distinguish them from illegitimate (unsolicited) messages. Used properly, the immutability and distributed nature of the blockchain can make it impossible to modify information once it has been committed to the blockchain.”
The patent also expresses an interest in expanding the technology to help verify and guarantee the authenticity of things like legal documents, educational transcripts, deeds and property rights, medical records and more.
It remains to be seen just how the technology will work once deployed, but Salesforce has high hopes for blockchain.
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