Cleartext Systems

Secure Cloud Communication & Collaboration Solutions
Call +44 (0)1494-453945
ELECTRONIC MAIL
1965 -

FIRST EMAIL OVER A NETWORK

Ray Tomlinson sent the first mail over a network, and used the "@" sign. Dave Crocker developed the standard format for mail.
1971- 1972

ARPANET

Predecessor to the Internet, Arpanet, says three quarters of their data traffic from it's 2000+ users is email.
1973-

GCHQ's Clifford Cocks

A British mathematician and cryptographer he discovered the encryption algorithm now commonly known as RSA, about three years before it was independently rediscovered by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman at MIT.
1973-

FIRST SPAM

Dave Crocker received what is widely acknowledged to have been the first spam message, sent over the ARPANET by Gary Thuerk, a marketer for my Digital Equipment Corp.

1978

UNIX NETWORKS

Unix mail is networked together with USENET newsgroup postings. Arpanet, UUCP and BerkNet in use with BITNET providing educational email services.

1978- 1980's

LAN BASED SYSTEMS

Private local area network (LAN) server based email systems become important and eventually link organisations running the same systems via dial up connections.

e.g. cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, Lotus Notes 1980's

SIMPLE MAIL TRANSFER PROTOCOL

SMTP is an Internet standard for electronic mail transmission. First defined by RFC 821 it was last updated in 2008 with the Extended SMTP additions by RFC 5321 - which is the protocol in widespread use today.

1981

DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network.

MX Records would not appear until 1985-6 1983- 1987

POST OFFICE PROTOCOL

POP was the first of modern internet email protocols that allowed email client software to collect mail from email servers. Email was transferred in plain text or with POP3 optionally encrypted with SSL.

Mostly email was downloaded in plain text. 1984- 1988

DNS MX RECORDS

Whilst at CSnet Craig Partridge works with Jon Postel and Paul Mockapetris of ISI to develop a method of using DNS records to route email. Their combined work is published in 1986.

1985- 1986

INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL

IMAP is now the common client side email protocol and allows complex message management on the server from multiple devices rather than the older POP protocol which generally only provided an email download service.

1986- 1994 on

LINKING SILOS

MCI and CompuServe link their email networks creating a user base purported to be around half a million users. Leading the way to open federated internet email.

Until now these were closed [email] networks. 1986

INTEROPERABILITY

Service providers work towards common connection and messaging technology. Novell builds on MHS to connect systems such as cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail and the emerging SMTP.

1986- 1990's

EUDORA

Eudora was a popular early email program that was used on the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems but is no longer under development.

19882013

MICROSOFT ACQUIRES INTERMAIL

Later to become Microsoft Mail, the second acquisition of it's newly formed Integrated Office Systems division following the acquisition of Forethought for its Powerpoint product.

1988

INTERNET EMAIL

Standalone online services like Compuserve and MCI Mail start to add connections to the internet to allow inter service email. The era of incompatible email silos starts to wane.

1989

PRETTY GOOD PRIVACY

Phil Zimmermann creates PGP a data [email] encryption and decryption computer program that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication for data communication.

First generation public/private key secure mail communication 1991

MICROSOFT OUTLOOK

Originally bundled as an MS-DOS product with Microsoft Exchange 5.5 server, Outlook 98 for Windows saw the addition of HTML email.

1992-

AMERICA ONLINE

Founded in 1985 by Jim Kimsey as Quantum Computer Services, later to become AOL, they launched email services and opened up to the Internet in 1993.

1993-

MODERN EMAIL ARRIVES

X.400 loses favour to SMTP as the dominant email transfer mechanism over the internet replacing messaging 'middleware' systems like MHS.

1994- 1996

SECURE SOCKETS LAYER

Netscape releases the first version of SSL, v2 quickly followed by v3 in 1996 to fix some security flaws. SSL becomes the default protocol for secure email and web connections.

1995

S/MIME

One of several early competing technologies, v2 becoming the IETF's standards track protocol in 1998 leading to it emerging as the standard for email encryption and digital signatures.

1995

PHISHING

First recorded use of the term “Phishing”, a technique used to steal users data via an email, often containing a web link to malware and masquerading as a trusted sender, eg a bank.

1995

WEB MAIL ARRIVES

Hotmail, now Outlook.com, was founded by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith, and was one of the first webmail services along with Four11's RocketMail (later Yahoo! Mail)

5 years after the birth of the world wide web, August 1991. 19964th July

PUSH EMAIL

An extension to IMAP, IDLE gave email servers the ability to notify client software that a new email had arrived, or to tell the client software this when the client asks.

1997June

OpenPGP

PGP Inc. asks the IETF create a standard called OpenPGP. RFC 4880 is published in November, 1997 and is under active development with additions as recent as 2014.

1997July

YAHOO! MAIL

Borne out of directory company Four11's Rocketmail webmail service, Yahoo! quickly acquired Four11 and launched Yahoo! Mail Plus in 2002.

1997October

FIRST EMAIL WORM

Happy99 (also termed Ska or I-Worm)[5] is a computer worm (often called a virus) for Microsoft Windows. It first appeared in mid-January 1999, spreading through email and usenet.

1999January

TRANSPORT LAYER SECURITY

TLS is an upgrade for SSL v3 although no longer backward compatible with SSL. As at July 2015 TLS 1.3 is a working draft and will drop support for insecure features.

1999January

STRONG BROWSER BASED SECURITY

Launch of browser based internet banking at UBS AG (Union Bank of Switzerland) with the advent of strong cryptography in industry standard browsers.

1999January

GNU PRIVACY GUARD

GnuPG or GPG is a free replacement for Symantec's PGP cryptographic software suite and is compliant with RFC 4880, which is the IETF standards track specification of OpenPGP.

1999September

USA LIFTS SOME CRYPTO EXPORT RULES

To allow the export and reexport of any encryption commodity or software to individuals, commercial firms, and other non-government end-users in all destinations.

2000January

RSA PATENT EXPIRES

One of the first practical public-key cryptosystems. Royalty rights to the algorithm are released within 2 weeks of the patent going to expire. The IETF could then allow use in security standards like S/MIME v3

200021 September

MAILCHIMP

MailChimp the email marketing service provider has 7 million users that collectively send over 10 billion emails through the service each month.

2001

ANTI SPAM ACT 2003

The Australian Government outlaws SPAM requiring opt in to electronic marketing communications. The Act covers all forms of electronic communication.

2003

BLACKBERRY PUSH EMAIL

BlackBerry launches it's smartphone and server technology to sit alongside email platforms without push, thereby adding push notifications to users on the move.

2003-

CAN SPAM ACT

The US Government takes seven years to codify the CAN SPAM Act into law, basically legalising SPAM in the USA as long as you don’t falsify the headers and give an opt out.

19972004

GMAIL

Google launches Gmail in beta form, finally comes out of beta in 2009. Mostly noted for it's comprehensive search feature and extensive use of the AJAX web browser technology

Initial privacy concerns due to searching of body text and lack of SSL. 2004May

CAMPAIGN MONITOR

Australian company Freshview launches Campaign Monitor an outbound email marketing platform that's become a leader in the space with more than 120k customers and growing at 5000/week.

2004

SENDER POLICY FRAMEWORK

From an idea in 2000, SPF is a simple DNS based email-validation system designed to detect email spoofing and thereby reduce the likelihood that a server will accept spam.

See also DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), 2004-. 2005July

MULTI-MEDIA CONTENT

A new message format (RFC 5322) is introduced, superseding previous formats and including multi-media attachment RFC's alongside it.

2008October

SENDGRID

SendGrid provides a cloud-based email delivery service that assists businesses with transactional email management while abiding by anti-spam regulations.

2009

DMARC

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an email validation system designed to detect email spoofing (an anti-spam technology).

2012January

INTERNATIONALISED EMAIL HEADERS

The IETF publishes a proposed standard to update the Internet Message Format and MIME to allow use of Unicode in mail addresses and most header field content.

2012February

SECURE EMAIL SERVICE SUSPENDED

Following the Edward Snowden incident Lavabit suspends services after US government ordered it to turn over its Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) private keys.

2013

CANADIAN ANTI-SPAM LAW

More in line with the Australian Anti Spam Act than the US's CAN-SPAM legislation, Canadian law covers all electronic messaging and requires an opt in.

2014July

ASSURED EMAIL

Cleartext Systems launches Assured.EMail offering secure immediate delivery of sensitive email without the cost and complexity of deploying a secure email platform.

2015July
THE FUTURE OF EMAIL

Contact us to discover how we can help grow your business.

If you’re an IT vendor looking to grow your market or achieve value added channel management, or if you’re a reseller who wants superior technical and admin support, and access to leading IT solutions, contact Cleartext Systems today on: +44 (0)1494-453945