All posts by Joao Sousa Botto

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

At the end of 2021 Cloudflare launched Security Center, a unified solution that brings together our suite of security products and unique Internet intelligence. It enables security teams to quickly identify potential security risks and threats to their organizations, map their attack surface and mitigate these risks with just a few clicks. While Security Center initially focused on application security, we are now adding crucial zero trust insights to further enhance its capabilities.

When your brand is loved and trusted, customers and prospects are looking forward to the emails you send them. Now picture them receiving an email from you: it has your brand, the subject is exciting, it has a link to register for something unique — how can they resist that opportunity?

But what if that email didn’t come from you? What if clicking on that link is a scam that takes them down the path of fraud or identity theft? And what if they think you did it? The truth is, even security minded people occasionally fall for well crafted spoof emails.

That poses a risk to your business and reputation. A risk you don’t want to take – no one does. Brand impersonation is a significant problem for organizations globally, and that’s why we’ve built DMARC Management – available in Beta today.

With DMARC Management you have full insight on who is sending emails on your behalf. You can one-click approve each source that is a legitimate sender for your domain, and then set your DMARC policy to reject any emails sent from unapproved clients.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

When the survey platform your company uses is sending emails from your domain, there’s nothing to worry about – you configured it that way. But if an unknown mail service from a remote country is sending emails using your domain that can be quite scary, and something you’ll want to address. Let’s see how.

Anti-spoofing mechanisms

Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) are three common email authentication methods. Together, they help prevent spammers, phishers, and other unauthorized parties from sending emails on behalf of a domain they do not own.

SPF is a way for a domain to list all the servers the company sends emails from. Think of it like a publicly available employee directory that helps someone to confirm if an employee works for an organization. SPF records list all the IP addresses of all the servers that are allowed to send emails from the domain.

DKIM enables domain owners to automatically “sign” emails from their domain. Specifically, DKIM uses public key cryptography:

  1. A DKIM record stores the domain’s public key, and mail servers receiving emails from the domain can check this record to obtain the public key.
  2. The private key is kept secret by the sender, who signs the email’s header with this key.
  3. Mail servers receiving the email can verify that the sender’s private key was used by applying the public key. This also guarantees that the email was not tampered with while in transit.

DMARC tells a receiving email server what to do after evaluating the SPF and DKIM results. A domain’s DMARC policy can be set in a variety of ways — it can instruct mail servers to quarantine emails that fail SPF or DKIM (or both), to reject such emails, or to deliver them.

It’s not trivial to configure and maintain SPF and DMARC, though. If your configuration is too strict, legitimate emails will be dropped or marked as spam. If it’s too relaxed, your domain might be misused for email spoofing. The proof is that these authentication mechanisms (SPF / DKIM / DMARC) have existed for over 10 years and still, there are still less than 6 million active DMARC records.

DMARC reports can help, and a full solution like DMARC Management reduces the burden of creating and maintaining a proper configuration.

DMARC reports

All DMARC-compliant mailbox providers support sending DMARC aggregated reports to an email address of your choice. Those reports list the services that have sent emails from your domain and the percentage of messages that passed DMARC, SPF and DKIM. They are extremely important because they give administrators the information they need to decide how to adjust their DMARC policies — for instance, that’s how administrators know if their legitimate emails are failing SPF and DKIM, or if a spammer is trying to send illegitimate emails.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

But beware, you probably don’t want to send DMARC reports to a human-monitored email address, as these come in fast and furious from virtually every email provider your organization sends messages to, and are delivered in XML format. Typically, administrators set up reports to be sent to a service like our DMARC Management, that boils them down to a more digestible form. Note: These reports do not contain personal identifiable information (PII).

DMARC Management automatically creates an email address for those reports to be sent to, and adds the corresponding RUA record to your Cloudflare DNS to announce to mailbox providers where to send reports to. And yes, if you’re curious, these email addresses are being created using Cloudflare Email Routing.

Note: Today, Cloudflare DNS is a requirement for DMARC Management. Cloudflare Area 1 customers will soon also be able to see DMARC reports even if they’re using third-party DNS services.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

As reports are received in this dedicated email address, they are processed by a Worker that extracts the relevant data, parses it and sends it over to our analytics solution. And you guessed again, that’s implemented using Email Workers. You can read more about the technical implementation here.

Taking action

Now that reports are coming in, you can review the data and take action.

Note: It may take up to 24 hours for mailbox providers to start sending reports and for these analytics to be available to you.

At the top of DMARC Management you have an at-a-glance view of the outbound security configuration for your domain, more specifically DMARC, DKIM, and SPF. DMARC Management will soon start reporting on inbound email security as well, which includes STARTTLS, MTA-STS, DANE, and TLS reporting.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

The middle section shows the email volume over time, with individual lines showing those that pass DMARC and those that fail.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

Below, you have additional details that include the number of email messages sent by each source (per the DMARC reports), and the corresponding DMARC, SPF and DKIM statistics. You can approve (that is, include in SPF) any of these sources by clicking on “…”, and you can easily spot applications that may not have DKIM correctly configured.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

Clicking on any source gives you the same DMARC, SPF and DKIM statistics per IP address of that source. This is how you identify if there’s an additional IP address you might need to include in your SPF record, for example.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

The ones that fail are the ones you’ll want to take action on, as they will need to either be approved (which technically means including in the SPF record) if legitimate, or stay unapproved and be rejected by the receiving server when the DMARC policy is configured with p=reject.

Getting to a DMARC reject policy is the goal, but you don’t want to apply such a restrictive policy until you have high confidence that all legitimate sending services are accounted for in SPF (and DKIM, if appropriate). That may take a few weeks, depending on the number of services you have sending messages from your domain, but with DMARC Management you will quickly grasp when you’re ready to go.

What else is needed

Once you have approved all your authorized email senders (sources) and configured DMARC to quarantine or reject, you should be confident that your brand and organization are much safer. From then on, keeping an eye on your approved sources list is a very lightweight operation that doesn’t take more than a few minutes per month from your team. Ideally, when new applications that send emails from your domain are deployed in your company, you would proactively include the corresponding IP addresses in your SPF record.

But even if you don’t, you will find new unapproved senders notices on your Security Center, under the Security Insights tab, alongside other important security issues you can review and manage.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

Or you can check the unapproved list on DMARC Management every few weeks.

Whenever you see a legitimate sender source show up as unapproved, you know what to do — click “…” and mark them as approved!

What’s coming next

DMARC Management takes email security to the next level, and this is only the beginning.

We’re excited to demonstrate our investments in features that provide customers even more insight into their security. Up next we’ll be connecting security analytics from Cloudflare’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) into the Security Center.

Stop brand impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management

This product integration will provide customers a way to understand the status of their wider SaaS security at a glance. By surfacing the makeup of CASB Findings (or security issues identified in popular SaaS apps) by severity, health of the SaaS integration, and the number of hidden issues, IT and security administrators will have a way to understand the status of their wider security surface area from a single source.

Stay tuned for more news on CASB in Security Center. In the meantime you can join the waitlist for DMARC Management beta for free today and, if you haven’t yet, we recommend you also check out Cloudflare Area 1 and request a Phishing Risk Assessment to block phishing, spoof and spam emails from coming into your environment.

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

Email is one of the most ubiquitous and also most exploited tools that businesses use every single day. Baiting users into clicking malicious links within an email has been a particularly long-standing tactic for the vast majority of bad actors, from the most sophisticated criminal organizations to the least experienced attackers.

Even though this is a commonly known approach to gain account access or commit fraud, users are still being tricked into clicking malicious links that, in many cases, lead to exploitation. The reason is simple: even the best trained users (and security solutions) cannot always distinguish a good link from a bad link.

On top of that, securing employees’ mailboxes often results in multiple vendors, complex deployments, and a huge drain of resources.

Email Link Isolation turns Cloudflare Area 1 into the most comprehensive email security solution when it comes to protecting against phishing attacks. It rewrites links that could be exploited, keeps users vigilant by alerting them of the uncertainty around the website they’re about to visit, and protects against malware and vulnerabilities through the user-friendly Cloudflare Browser Isolation service. Also, in true Cloudflare fashion,  it’s a one-click deployment.

With more than a couple dozen customers in beta and over one million links protected (so far), we can now clearly see the significant value and potential that this solution can deliver. To extend these benefits to more customers and continue to expand on the multitude of ways we can apply this technology, we’re making Email Link Isolation generally available (GA) starting today.

Email Link Isolation is included with Cloudflare Area 1 enterprise plan at no extra cost, and can be enabled with three clicks:

1. Log in to the Area 1 portal.

2. Go to Settings (the gear icon).

3. On Email Configuration, go to Email Policies > Link Actions.

4. Scroll to Email Link Isolation and enable it.

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

Defense in layers

Applying multiple layers of defense becomes ever more critical as threat actors continuously look for ways to navigate around each security measure and develop more complex attacks. One of the best examples that demonstrates these evolving techniques is a deferred phishing attack, where an embedded URL is benign when the email reaches your email security stack and eventually your users’ inbox, but is later weaponized post-delivery.

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

To combat evolving email-borne threats, such as malicious links, Area 1 continually updates its machine learning (ML) models to account for all potential attack vectors, and leverages post-delivery scans and retractions as additional layers of defense. And now, customers on the Enterprise plan also have access to Email Link Isolation as one last defense – a safety net.

The key to successfully adding layers of security is to use a strong Zero Trust suite, not a disjointed set of products from multiple vendors. Users need to be kept safe without disrupting their productivity – otherwise they’ll start seeing important emails being quarantined or run into a poor experience when accessing websites, and soon enough they’ll be the ones looking for ways around the company’s security measures.

Built to avoid productivity impacts

Email Link Isolation provides an additional layer of security with virtually no disruption to the user experience. It’s smart enough to decide which links are safe, which are malicious, and which are still dubious. Those dubious links are then changed (rewritten to be precise) and Email Link Isolation keeps evaluating them until it reaches a verdict with a high degree of confidence. When a user clicks on one of those rewritten links, Email Link Isolation checks for a verdict (benign or malign) and takes the corresponding action – benign links open in the local browser as if they hadn’t been changed, while malign links are prevented from opening altogether.

Most importantly, when Email Link Isolation is unable to confidently determine a verdict based on all available intelligence, an interstitial page is presented to ask the user to be extra vigilant. The interstitial page calls out that the website is suspicious, and that the user should refrain from entering any personal information and passwords unless they know and fully trust the website. Over the last few months of beta, we’ve seen that over two thirds of users don’t proceed to the website after seeing this interstitial – that’s a good thing!

For the users that still want to navigate to the website after seeing the interstitial page, Email Link Isolation uses Cloudflare Browser Isolation to automatically open the link in an isolated browser running in Cloudflare’s closest data center to the user. This delivers an experience virtually indistinguishable from using the local browser, thanks to our Network Vector Rendering (NVR) technology and Cloudflare’s expansive, low-latency network. By opening the suspicious link in an isolated browser, the user is protected against potential browser attacks (including malware, zero days, and other types of malicious code execution).

In a nutshell, the interstitial page is displayed when Email Link Isolation is uncertain about the website, and provides another layer of awareness and protection against phishing attacks. Then, Cloudflare Browser Isolation is used to protect against malicious code execution when a user decides to still proceed to such a website.

What we’ve seen in the beta

As expected, the percentage of rewritten links that users actually click is quite small (single digit percentage). That’s because the majority of such links are not delivered in messages the users are expecting, and aren’t coming from trusted colleagues or partners of theirs. So, even when a user clicks on such a link, they will often see the interstitial page and decide not to proceed any further. We see that less than half of all clicks lead to the user actually visiting the website (in Browser Isolation, to protect against malicious code that could otherwise be executing behind the scenes).

Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks
Email Link Isolation: your safety net for the latest phishing attacks

You may be wondering why we’re not seeing a larger amount of clicks on these rewritten links. The answer is quite simply that link Email Link Isolation is indeed that last layer of protection against attack vectors that may have evaded other lines of defense. Virtually all the well crafted phishing attacks that try and trick users into clicking malicious links are already being stopped by the Area 1 email security, and such messages don’t reach users’ inboxes.

The balance is very positive. From all the customers using Email Link Isolation beta in production, some Fortune 500, we received no negative feedback on the user experience. That means that we’re meeting one of the most challenging goals – to provide additional security without negatively affecting users and without adding the burden of tuning/administration to the SOC and IT teams.

One interesting thing we uncover is how valuable our customers are finding our click-time inspection of link shorteners. The fact that a shortened URL (e.g. can be modified at any time to point to a different website has been making some of our customers anxious. Email Link Isolation inspects the link at time-of-click, evaluates the actual website that it’s going to open, and proceeds to open locally, block or present the interstitial page as adequate. We’re now working on full link shortener coverage through Email Link Isolation.

All built on Cloudflare

Cloudflare’s intelligence is driving the decisions of what gets rewritten. We have earlier signals than others.

Email Link Isolation has been built on Cloudflare’s unique capabilities in many areas.

First, because Cloudflare sees enough Internet traffic for us to confidently identify new/low confidence and potentially dangerous domains earlier than anyone else – leveraging the Cloudflare intelligence for this early signal is key to the user experience, to not add speed bumps to legitimate websites that are part of our users’ daily routines. Next, we’re using Cloudflare Workers to process this data and serve the interstitial without introducing frustrating delays to the user. And finally, only Cloudflare Browser Isolation can protect against malicious code with a low-latency experience that is invisible to end users and feels like a local browser.

If you’re not yet a Cloudflare Area 1 customer, start your free trial and phishing risk assessment here.

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

Cloudflare Radar was launched two years ago to give everyone access to the Internet trends, patterns and insights Cloudflare uses to help improve our service and protect our customers.

Until then, these types of insights were only available internally at Cloudflare. However, true to our mission of helping build a better Internet, we felt everyone should be able to look behind the curtain and see the inner workings of the Internet. It’s hard to improve or understand something when you don’t have clear visibility over how it’s working.

On Cloudflare Radar you can find timely graphs and visualizations on Internet traffic, security and attacks, protocol adoption and usage, and outages that might be affecting the Internet. All of these can be narrowed down by timeframe, country, and Autonomous System (AS). You can also find interactive deep dive reports on important subjects such as DDoS and the Meris Botnet. It’s also possible to search for any domain name to see details such as SSL usage and which countries their visitors are coming from.

Since launch, Cloudflare Radar has been used by NGOs to confirm the Internet disruptions their observers see in the field, by journalists looking for Internet trends related to an event in a country of interest or at volume of cyberattacks as retaliation to political sanctions, by analysts looking at the prevalence of new protocols and technologies, and even by brand PR departments using Cloudflare Radar data to analyze the online impact of a major sports event.

Cloudflare Radar has clearly become an important tool for many and, most importantly, we find it has helped shed light on parts of the Internet that deserve more attention and investment.

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

Introducing Cloudflare Radar 2.0

What has made Cloudflare Radar so valuable is that the data and insights it contains are unique and trustworthy. Cloudflare Radar shows aggregate data from across the massive spectrum of Internet traffic we see every day, presenting you with datasets you won’t find elsewhere.

However, there were still gaps. Today, on the second anniversary of Cloudflare Radar, we are launching Cloudflare Radar 2.0 in beta. It will address three common pieces of feedback from users:

  • Ease of finding insights and data. The way information was structured on Cloudflare Radar made finding information daunting for some people. We are redesigning Cloudflare Radar so that it becomes a breeze.
  • Number of insights. We know many users have wanted to see insights about other important parts of the Internet, such as email. We have also completely redesigned the Cloudflare Radar backend so that we can quickly add new insights over the coming months (including insights into email).
  • Sharing insights. The options for sharing Cloudflare Radar insights were limited. We will now provide you the options you want, including downloadable and embeddable graphs, sharing to social media platforms, and an API.

Finding insights and data

On a first visit to the redesigned Cloudflare Radar homepage one will notice:

  • Prominent and intuitive filtering capabilities on the top bar. A global search bar is also coming soon.
  • Content navigation on the sidebar.
  • Content cards showing glanceable and timely information.
The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

The content you find on the homepage are what we call “quick bytes”. Those link you to more in-depth content for that specific topic, which can also be found through the sidebar navigation.

At the top of the page you can search for a country, autonomous system number (ASN), domain, or report to navigate to a home page for that specific content. For example, the domain page for

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

The navigation sidebar allows you to find more detailed insights and data related to Traffic, Security & Attacks, Adoption & Usage, and Domains. (We will be adding additional topic areas in the future.) It also gives you quick access to the Cloudflare Radar Outage Center, a tool for tracking Internet disruptions around the world and to which we are dedicating a separate blog post, and to Radar Reports, which are interactive deep dive reports on important subjects such as DDoS and the Meris Botnet.

The home page for Internet insights: Cloudflare Radar 2.0

Within these topic pages (such as the one for Adoption & Usage shown above), you will find the quick bytes for the corresponding topic at the top, and quick bytes for related topics on the right. The quick bytes on the right allow you to quickly glance at and navigate to related sections.

In the middle of the page are the more detailed charts for the topic you’re exploring.

Sharing insights

Cloudflare Radar’s reason to exist is to make Internet insights available to everyone, but historically we haven’t been as flexible as our users would want. People could download a snapshot of the graph, but not much more.

With Cloudflare Radar 2.0 we will be introducing three major new ways of using Radar insights and data:

  • Social share. Cloudflare Radar 2.0 charts have a more modern and clean look and feel, and soon you’ll be able to share them directly on the social media platform of your choice. No more dealing with low quality screenshots.
  • Embeddable charts. The beautiful charts will also be able to be embedded directly into your webpage or blog – it will work just like a widget, always showing up-to-date information.
  • API. If you like the data on Cloudflare Radar but want to manipulate it further for analysis, visualization, or for posting your own charts, you’ll have the Cloudflare Radar API available to you starting today.

For example, the last seven days of HTTP traffic data for Portugal can be obtained from

Note: The API is available today. To use the Cloudflare API you need an API token or key (more details here). Embedding charts and sharing directly to social are new features to be released later this year.

Technology changes

Cloudflare Radar 2.0 was built on a new technology stack; we will write a blog post about why and how we did it soon. A lot changed: we now have proper GraphQL data endpoints and a public API, the website runs on top of Cloudflare Pages and Workers, and we’re finally doing server-side rendering using Remix. We adopted SVG whenever possible, built our reusable data visualization components system, and are using Cosmos for visual TDD. These foundational changes will provide a better UX/UI to our users and give us speed when iterating and improving Cloudflare Radar in the future.

We hope you find this update valuable, and recommend you keep an eye on to see the new insights and topics we’ll be adding regularly. If you have any feedback, please send it to us through the Cloudflare Community.

Click Here! (safely): Automagical Browser Isolation for potentially unsafe links in email

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Click Here! (safely): Automagical Browser Isolation for potentially unsafe links in email

Click Here! (safely): Automagical Browser Isolation for potentially unsafe links in email

We’re often told not to click on ‘odd’ links in email, but what choice do we really have? With the volume of emails and the myriad of SaaS products that companies use, it’s inevitable that employees find it almost impossible to distinguish a good link before clicking on it. And that’s before attackers go about making links harder to inspect and hiding their URLs behind tempting “Confirm” and “Unsubscribe” buttons.

We need to let end users click on links and have a safety net for when they unwittingly click on something malicious — let’s be honest, it’s bound to happen even if you do it by mistake. That safety net is Cloudflare’s Email Link Isolation.

With Email Link Isolation, when a user clicks on a suspicious link — one that email security hasn’t identified as ‘bad’, but is still not 100% sure it’s ‘good’ — they won’t immediately be taken to that website. Instead, the user first sees an interstitial page recommending extra caution with the website they’ll visit, especially if asked for passwords or personal details.

Click Here! (safely): Automagical Browser Isolation for potentially unsafe links in email

From there, one may choose to not visit the webpage or to proceed and open it in a remote isolated browser that runs on Cloudflare’s global network and not on the user’s local machine. This helps protect the user and the company.

The user experience in our isolated browser is virtually indistinguishable from using one’s local browser (we’ll talk about why below), but untrusted and potentially malicious payloads will execute away from the user’s computer and your corporate network.

In summary, this solution:

  • Keeps users alert to prevent credential theft and account takeover
  • Automatically blocks dangerous downloads
  • Prevents malicious scripts from executing on the user’s device
  • Protects against zero-day exploits on the browser

How can I try it

Area 1 is Cloudflare’s email security solution. It protects organizations from the full range of email attack types (URLs, payloads, BEC), vectors (email, web, network), and attack channels (external, internal, trusted partners) by enforcing multiple layers of protection before, during, and after the email hits the inbox. Today it adds Email Link Isolation to the protections it offers.

If you are a Cloudflare Area 1 customer you can request access to the Email Link Isolation beta today. We have had Email Link Isolation deployed to all Cloudflare employees for the last four weeks and are ready to start onboarding customers.

During the beta it will be available for free on all plans. After the beta it will still be included at no extra cost with our PhishGuard plan.

Under the hood

To create Email Link Isolation we used a few ingredients that are quite special to Cloudflare. It may seem complicated and, in a sense, the protection is complex, but we designed this so that the user experience is fast, safe, and with clear options on how to proceed.

1. Find potentially unsafe domains

First, we have created a constantly updating list of domains that the Cloudflare’s DNS resolver recently saw for the first time, or that are somehow potentially unsafe (leveraging classifiers from the Cloudflare Gateway and other products). These are domains that would be too disruptive for the organization to block outright, but that should still be navigated with extra caution.

For example, people acquire domains and create new businesses every day. There’s nothing wrong with that – quite the opposite. However, attackers often set up or acquire websites serving legitimate content and, days or weeks later, send a link to intended targets. The emails flow through as benign and the attacker weaponizes the website when emails are already sitting on people’s inboxes. Blocking all emails with links to new websites would cause users to surely miss important communications, and delivering the emails while making links safe to click on is a much better suited approach.

There is also hosting infrastructure from large cloud providers, such as Microsoft or Google, that prevent crawling and scanning. These are used on our day-to-day business, but attackers may deploy malicious content there. You wouldn’t want to fully block emails with links to Microsoft SharePoint, for example, but it’s certainly safer to use Email Link Isolation on them if they link to outside your organization.

Attackers are constantly experimenting with new ways of looking legitimate to their targets, and that’s why relying on the early signals that Cloudflare sees makes such a big difference.

The second ingredient we want to highlight is that, as Cloudflare Area 1 processes and inspects emails for security concerns, it also checks the domain of every link against the suspicious list. If an email contains a link to a suspicious domain, Cloudflare Area 1 automatically changes it (rewrites) so that the interstitial page is shown, and the link opens with Cloudflare Browser Isolation by default.

Note: Rewriting email links is only possible when emails are processed inline, which is one of the options for deploying Area 1. One of the big disadvantages of any email security solution deployed as API-only is that closing this last mile gap through link rewriting isn’t a possibility.

3. Opens remotely but feels local

When a user clicks on one of these rewritten links, instead of directly accessing a potential threat, our systems will first check their current classification (benign, suspicious, malicious). Then, if it’s malicious, the user will be blocked from continuing to the website and see an interstitial page informing them why. No further action is required.

If the link is suspicious, the user is offered the option to open it in an isolated browser. What happens next? The link is opened with Cloudflare Browser Isolation in a nearby Cloudflare data center (globally within 50 milliseconds of 95% of the Internet-connect population). To ensure website compatibility and security, the target website is entirely executed in a sandboxed Chromium-based browser. Finally, the website is instantly streamed back to the user as vector instructions consumed by a lightweight HTML5-compatible remoting client in the user’s preferred web browser. These safety precautions happen with no perceivable latency to the end user.

Cloudflare Browser Isolation is an extremely secure remote browsing experience that feels just like local browsing. And delivering this is only possible by serving isolated browsers on a low latency, global network with our unique vector based streaming technology. This architecture is different from legacy remote browser isolation solutions that rely on fragile and insecure DOM-scrubbing, or are bandwidth intensive and high latency pixel pushing techniques hosted in a few high latency data centers.

4. Reassess (always learning)

Last but not least, another ingredient that makes Email Link Isolation particularly effective is that behind the scenes our services are constantly reevaluating domains and updating their reputation in Cloudflare’s systems.

When a domain on our suspicious list is confirmed to be benign, all links to it can automatically start opening with the user’s local browser instead of with Cloudflare Browser Isolation.

Similarly, if a domain on the suspicious list is identified as malign, all links to that domain can be immediately blocked from opening. So, our services are constantly learning and acting accordingly.

It’s been four weeks since we deployed Email Link Isolation to all our 3,000+ Cloudflare employees, here’s what we saw:

  • 100,000 link rewrites per week on Spam and Malicious emails. Such emails were already blocked server side by Area 1 and users never see them. It’s still safer to rewrite these as they may be released from quarantine on user request.
  • 2,500 link rewrites per week on Bulk emails. Mostly graymail, which are commercial/bulk communications the user opted into. They may end up in the users’ spam folder.
  • 1,000 link rewrites per week on emails that do not fit any of the categories above — these are the ones that normally reach the user’s inboxes. These are almost certainly benign, but there’s still enough doubt to warrant a link rewrite.
  • 25 clicks on rewritten links per week (up to six per day).
Click Here! (safely): Automagical Browser Isolation for potentially unsafe links in email

As a testament to the efficacy of Cloudflare Area 1, 25 suspicious link clicks per week for a universe of over 3,000 employees is a very low number. Thanks to Email Link Isolation, users were protected against exploits.

Better together with Cloudflare Zero Trust

In future iterations, administrators will be able to connect Cloudflare Area 1 to their Cloudflare Zero Trust account and apply isolation policies, DLP (Data Loss Protection) controls and in-line CASB (a cloud access security broker) to email link isolated traffic.

We are starting our beta today. If you’re interested in trying Email Link Isolation and start to feel safer with your email experience, you should sign up here.

Cloudflare Area 1 – how the best Email Security keeps getting better

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Cloudflare Area 1 - how the best Email Security keeps getting better

Cloudflare Area 1 - how the best Email Security keeps getting better

On February 23, 2022, after being a customer for two years and seeing phishing attacks virtually disappear from our employee’s mailboxes, Cloudflare announced the acquisition of Area 1 Security.

Thanks to its unique technology (more on that below) Cloudflare Area 1 can proactively identify and protect against phishing campaigns before they happen, and potentially prevent the 90%+ of all cyberattacks that Deloitte research identified as starting with an email. All with little to no impact on employee productivity.

But preventing 90% of the attacks is not enough, and that’s why Cloudflare Area 1 email security is part of our Zero Trust platform. Here’s what’s new.

Email Security on your Cloudflare Dashboard

Starting today you will find a dedicated Email Security section on your Cloudflare dashboard. That’s the easiest way for any Cloudflare customer to get familiar with and start using Cloudflare Area 1 Email Security.

From there you can easily request a trial, which gives you access to the full product for 30 days.

Our team will guide you through the setup, which will take just a few minutes. That’s the beauty of not having to install and tune a Secure Email Gateway (SEG). You can simply configure Area 1 inline or connect through the API, journaling, or other connectors – none of these options disrupt mail flow or the end user experience. And you don’t need any new hardware, appliances or agents.

Once the trial starts, you’ll be able to review detection metrics and forensics in real time, and will receive real-time updates from the Area 1 team on incidents that require immediate attention.

At the end of the trial you will also have a Phishing Risk Assessment where our team will walk you through the impact of the mitigated attacks and answer your questions.

Cloudflare Area 1 - how the best Email Security keeps getting better

Another option you’ll see on the Email Security section of the Cloudflare Dashboard is to explore the Area 1 demo.

At the click of a button you’ll enter the Area 1 portal of a fictitious company where you can see the product in action. You can interact with the full product, including our advanced message classifiers, the BEC protections, real time view of spoofed domains, and our unique message search and trace capabilities.

Cloudflare Area 1 - how the best Email Security keeps getting better

Product Expansions

Being cloud-native has allowed us to develop some unique capabilities. Most notably, we scan the Internet for attacker infrastructure, sources and delivery mechanisms to stop phishing attacks days before they hit an inbox. These are state of the art machine-learning models using the threat intelligence data that Area 1 has accumulated since it was founded nine years ago, and now they also incorporate data from the 124 billion cyber threats that Cloudflare blocks each day and its 1.7 trillion daily DNS queries.

Since the product is cloud-based and no local appliances are involved, these unique datasets and models benefit every customer immediately and apply to the full range of email attack types (URLs, payloads, BEC), vectors (email, web, network), and attack channels (external, internal, trusted partners). Additionally, the threat datasets, observables and Indicators of Compromise (IOC) are now additional signals to Cloudflare Gateway (part of Zero Trust), extending protection beyond email and giving Cloudflare customers the industry’s utmost protection against converged or blended threats.

The expertise Area 1 gained through this relentless focus on Threat Research and Threat Operations (i.e., disrupting actors once identified) is also leading to a new large scale initiative to make every Cloudflare customer, and the broader Internet, safer – Cloudforce One.

The Cloudforce One team is composed of analysts assigned to five subteams: Malware Analysis, Threat Analysis, Active Mitigation and Countermeasures, Intelligence Analysis, and Intelligence Sharing. Collectively, they have tracked many of the most sophisticated cyber criminals on the Internet while at the National Security Agency (NSA), USCYBERCOM, and Area 1 Security, and have worked closely with similar organizations and governments to disrupt these threat actors. They’ve also been prolific in publishing “finished intel” reports on security topics of significant geopolitical importance, such as targeted attacks against governments, technology companies, the energy sector, and law firms, and have regularly briefed top organizations around the world on their efforts.

The team will help protect all Cloudflare customers by working closely with our existing product, engineering, and security teams to improve our products based on tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) observed in the wild. Customers will get better protection without having to take any action.

Additionally, customers can purchase a subscription to Cloudforce One (now generally available), and get access to threat data and briefings, dedicated security tools, and the ability to make requests for information (RFIs) to the team’s threat operations staff. RFIs can be on any security topic of interest, and will be analyzed and responded to in a timely manner. For example, the Cloudforce One Malware Analysis team can accept uploads of possible malware and provide a technical analysis of the submitted resource.

Lastly, SPF/DKIM/DMARC policies are another tool that can be used to prevent Email Spoofing and have always been a critical part of Area 1’s threat models. Cloudflare Area 1 customers receive weekly DMARC sender reports to understand the efficacy of their configuration, but customers have also asked for help in setting up SPF/DKIM/DMARC records for their own domains.

It was only logical to make Cloudflare’s Email Security DNS Wizard part of our Email Security stack to guide customers through their initial SPF, DKIM and DMARC configuration. The wizard is now available to all customers using Cloudflare DNS, and will soon be available to Cloudflare Area 1 customers using a third party DNS. Getting SPF/DKIM/DMARC right can be complex, but it is a necessary and vital part of making the Internet safer, and this solution will help you build a solid foundation.

You’ll be hearing from us very soon regarding more expansions to the Area 1 feature set. In the meantime, if you want to experience Area 1 first-hand sign up for a Phishing Risk Assessment here or explore the interactive demo through the Email section of your Cloudflare Dashboard.

Automatic Signed Exchanges may dramatically boost your site visitor numbers

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Automatic Signed Exchanges may dramatically boost your site visitor numbers

Automatic Signed Exchanges may dramatically boost your site visitor numbers

It’s been about nine months since Cloudflare announced support for Signed Exchanges (SXG), a web platform specification to deterministically verify the cached version of a website and enable third parties such as search engines and news aggregators to serve it much faster than the origin ever could.

Giving Internet users fast load times, even on slow connections in remote parts of the globe, is to help build a better Internet (our mission!) and we couldn’t be more excited about the potential of SXG.
Signed Exchanges drive quite impressive benefits in terms of performance improvements. Google’s experiments have shown an average 300ms to 400ms reduction in Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) from SXG-enabled prefetches.  And speeding up your website usually results in a significant bounce rate reduction and improved SEO.

faster websites= better SEO and lower bounce rates

And if setting up and maintaining SXGs through the open source toolkit is a complex yet very valuable endeavor, with Cloudflare’s Automatic Signed Exchanges it becomes a no-brainer. Just enable it with one click and see for yourself.

Automatic Signed Exchanges may dramatically boost your site visitor numbers

Our own measurements

Now that Signed Exchanges have been available on Chromium for Android for several months we dove into the change in performance our customers have experienced in the real world.

We picked the 500 most visited sites that have Automatic Signed Exchanges enabled and saw that 425 of them (85%) saw an improvement in LCP, which is widely considered as the Core Web Vital with the most impact on SEO and where SXG should make the biggest difference.

Out of those same 500 Cloudflare sites 389 (78%) saw an improvement in First Contentful Paint (FCP) and a whopping 489 (98%) saw an improvement in Time to First Byte (TTFB). The TTFB improvement measured here is an interesting case since if the exchange has already been prefetched, when the user clicks on the link the resource is already in the client browser cache and the TTFB measurement becomes close to zero.

Overall, the median customer saw an improvement of over 20% across these metrics. Some customers saw improvements of up to 80%.

There were also a few customers that did not see an improvement, or saw a slight degradation of their metrics.

One of the main reasons for this is that SXG wasn’t compatible with server-side personalization (e.g., serving different HTML for logged-in users) until today. To solve that, today Google added ‘Dynamic SXG’, that selectively enables SXG for visits from cookieless users only (more details on the Google blog post here). Dynamic SXG are supported today – all you need to do is add a `Vary: Cookie’ annotation to the HTTP header of pages that contain server-side personalization.

Note: Signed Exchanges are compatible with client-side personalization (lazy-loading).

To see what the Core Web Vitals look like for your own users across the world we recommend a RUM solution such as our free and privacy-first Web Analytics.

Now available for Desktop and Android

Starting today, Signed Exchanges is also supported by Chromium-based desktop browsers, including Chrome, Edge and Opera.

If you enabled Automatic Signed Exchanges on your Cloudflare dashboard, no further action is needed – the supported desktop browsers will automatically start being served the SXG version of your site’s content. Google estimates that this release will, on average, double SXG’s coverage of your site’s visits, enabling improved loading and performance for more users.

And if you haven’t yet enabled it but are curious about the impact SXG will have on your site, Automatic Signed Exchanges is available through the Speed > Optimization link on your Cloudflare dashboard (more details here).

Automatic Signed Exchanges may dramatically boost your site visitor numbers

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

Cloudflare Email Routing has quickly grown to a few hundred thousand users, and we’re incredibly excited with the number of feature requests that reach our product team every week. We hear you, we love the feedback, and we want to give you all that you’ve been asking for. What we don’t like is making you wait, or making you feel like your needs are too unique to be addressed.

That’s why we’re taking a different approach – we’re giving you the power tools that you need to implement any logic you can dream of to process your emails in the fastest, most scalable way possible.

Today we’re announcing Route to Workers, for which we’ll start a closed beta soon. You can join the waitlist today.

How this works

When using Route to Workers your Email Routing rules can have a Worker process the messages reaching any of your custom Email addresses.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

Even if you haven’t used Cloudflare Workers before, we are making onboarding as easy as can be. You can start creating Workers straight from the Email Routing dashboard, with just one click.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

After clicking Create, you will be able to choose a starter that allows you to get up and running with minimal effort. Starters are templates that pre-populate your Worker with the code you would write for popular use cases such as creating a blocklist or allowlist, content based filtering, tagging messages, pinging you on Slack for urgent emails, etc.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

You can then use the code editor to make your new Worker process emails in exactly the way you want it to – the options are endless.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

And for those of you that prefer to jump right into writing their own code, you can go straight to the editor without using a starter. You can write Workers with a language you likely already know. Cloudflare built Workers to execute JavaScript and WebAssembly and has continuously added support for new languages.

The Workers you’ll use for processing emails are just regular Workers that listen to incoming events, implement some logic, and reply accordingly. You can use all the features that a normal Worker would.

The main difference being that instead of:

export default {
  async fetch(request, env, ctx) {

You’ll have:

export default {
  async email(message, env, ctx) {

The new `email` event will provide you with the “from”, “to” fields, the full headers, and the raw body of the message. You can then use them in any way that fits your use case, including calling other APIs and orchestrating complex decision workflows. In the end, you can decide what action to take, including rejecting or forwarding the email to one of your Email Routing destination addresses.

With these capabilities you can easily create logic that, for example, only accepts messages coming from one specific address and, when one matches the criteria, forwards to one or more of your verified destination addresses while also immediately alerting you on Slack. Code for such feature could be as simple as this:

export default {
   async email(message, env, ctx) {
       switch ( {
           case "[email protected]":
               await fetch("https://webhook.slack/notification", {
                   body: `Got a marketing email from ${ message.from }, subject: ${ message.headers.get("subject") }`,
               sendEmail(message, [

               message.reject("Unknown address");

Route to Workers enables everyone to programmatically process their emails and use them as triggers for any other action. We think this is pretty powerful.

Process up to 100,000 emails/day for free

The first 100,000 Worker requests (or Email Triggers) each day are free, and paid plans start at just $5 per 10 million requests. You will be able to keep track of your Email Workers usage right from the Email Routing dashboard.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

Join the Waitlist

You can join the waitlist today by going to the Email section of your dashboard, navigating to the Email Workers tab, and clicking the Join Waitlist button.

Route to Workers, automate your email processing

We are expecting to start the closed beta in just a few weeks, and can’t wait to hear about what you’ll build with it!

As usual, if you have any questions or feedback about Email Routing, please come see us in the Cloudflare Community and the Cloudflare Discord.

Email Routing Insights

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Email Routing Insights

Email Routing Insights

Have you ever wanted to try a new email service but worried it might lead to you missing any emails? If you have, you’re definitely not alone. Some of us email ourselves to make sure it reaches the correct destination, others don’t rely on a new address for anything serious until they’ve seen it work for a few days. In any case, emails often contain important information, and we need to trust that our emails won’t get lost for any reason.

To help reduce these worries about whether emails are being received and forwarded – and for troubleshooting if needed – we are rolling out a new Overview page to Email Routing. On the Overview tab people now have full visibility into our service and can see exactly how we are routing emails on their behalf.

Routing Status and Metrics

The first thing you will see in the new tab is an at a glance view of the service. This includes the routing status (to know if the service is configured and running), whether the necessary DNS records are configured correctly, and the number of custom and destination addresses on the zone.

Email Routing Insights

Below the configuration summary, you will see more advanced statistics about the number of messages received on your custom addresses, and what happened to those messages. You will see information about the number of emails forwarded or dropped by Email Routing (based on the rules you created), and the number that fall under other scenarios such as being rejected by Email Routing (due to errors, not passing security checks or being considered spam) or rejected by your destination mailbox. You now have the exact counts and a chart, so that you can track these metrics over time.

Email Routing Insights

Activity Log

On the Cloudflare Email Routing tab you’ll also see the Activity Log, where you can drill deeper into specific behaviors. These logs show you details about the email messages that reached one of the custom addresses you have configured on your Cloudflare zone.

For each message the logs will show you the Message ID, Sender, Custom Address, when Cloudflare Email Routing received it, and the action that was taken. You can also expand the row to see the SPF, DMARC, and DKIM status of that message along with any relevant error messaging.

And we know looking at every message can be overwhelming, especially when you might be resorting to the logs for troubleshooting purposes, so you have a few options for filtering:

  • Search for specific people (email addresses) that have messaged you.
  • Filter to show only one of your custom addresses.
  • Filter to show only messages where a specific action was taken.
Email Routing Insights

Routes and Settings

Next to the Overview tab, you will find the Routes tab with the configuration UI that is likely already familiar to you. That’s where you create custom addresses, add and verify destination addresses, and create rules with the relationships between the custom and destination addresses.

Email Routing Insights

Lastly the Settings tab includes less common actions such as the DNS configuration and the options for off boarding from Email Routing.

We hope you enjoy this update. And if you have any questions or feedback about this product, please come see us in the Cloudflare Community and the Cloudflare Discord.

Email Routing is now in open beta, available to everyone

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Email Routing is now in open beta, available to everyone

Email Routing is now in open beta, available to everyone

I won’t beat around the bush: we’ve moved Cloudflare Email Routing from closed beta to open beta 🎉

What does this mean? It means that there’s no waitlist anymore; every zone* in every Cloudflare account has Email Routing available to them.

To get started just open one of the zones in your Cloudflare Dashboard and click on Email in the navigation pane.

Email Routing is now in open beta, available to everyone

Our journey so far

Back in September 2021, during Cloudflare’s Birthday Week, we introduced Email Routing as the simplest solution for creating custom email addresses for your domains without the hassle of managing multiple mailboxes.

Many of us at Cloudflare saw a need for this type of product, and we’ve been using it since before it had a UI. After Birthday Week, we started gradually opening it to Cloudflare customers that requested access through the wait list; starting with just a few users per week and gradually ramping up access as we found and fixed edge cases.

Most recently, with users wanting to set up Email Routing for more of their domains and with some of G Suite legacy users looking for an alternative to starting a subscription, we have been onboarding tens of thousands of new zones every day into the closed beta. We’re loving the adoption and the feedback!

Needless to say that with hundreds of thousands of zones from around the world in the Email Routing beta we uncovered many new use cases and a few limitations, a few of which still exist. But these few months of closed beta gave us the confidence to move to the next stage – open beta – which now makes Cloudflare Email Routing available to everyone, including free zones.

Thank you to all of you that were part of the closed beta and provided feedback. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome everyone else!

If you have any questions or feedback about this product, please come see us in the Cloudflare Community and the Cloudflare Discord.


*we do have a few limitations, such as not currently supporting Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) and subdomains. Known limitations are listed in the documentation.

Attack Maps now available on Radar

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Attack Maps now available on Radar

Attack Maps now available on Radar

Cloudflare Radar launched as part of last year’s Birthday Week. We described it as a “newspaper for the Internet”, that gives “any digital citizen the chance to see what’s happening online [which] is part of our pursuit to help build a better, more informed, Internet”.

Since then, we have made considerable strides, including adding dedicated pages to cover how key events such as the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship and the Tokyo Olympics shaped Internet usage in participating countries, and added a Radar section for interactive deep-dive reports on topics such as DDoS.

Today, Radar has four main sections:

  • Main page with near real-time information about global Internet usage.
  • Internet usage details by country (see, for example, Portugal).
  • Domain insights, where searching for a domain returns traffic, registration and certificate information about it.
  • Deep-dive reports on complex and often underreported topics.

Cloudflare’s global network spans more than 250 cities in over 100 countries. Because of this, we have the unique ability to see both macro and micro trends happening online, including insights on how traffic is flowing around the world or what type of attacks are prevalent in a certain country.

Radar Maps will make this information even richer and easier to consume.

Introducing Radar Maps

Starting today, Radar has two new data visualizations to help us share more insights from our data and represent what’s happening on the Internet.

  • Geographical distribution of application-level attacks
  • Sankey diagrams showing the top attacks flows
Attack Maps now available on Radar

Note: The identified location of the devices involved in the attack may not be the actual location of the people performing the attack.

Geographical distribution of application-level attacks, in both directions

Cyber threats are more common than ever. In the third quarter of 2021 Cloudflare blocked an average of 76 billion cyber threats each day and had visibility over many more. Helping build a better Internet also means giving people more visibility over our data. That’s why we’ve made a near real-time view of the types of attacks, protocol distribution, and attack volume over time available on Radar from day one.

Now we’re adding a geographical representation of origin and target of such attacks using two new visualizations.

First, we have a global map drawing near real-time directional lines of the attacks, also known as a “pew pew” map — thank you, 1983 and WarGames.

Second, we have Sankey diagrams that are great for representing how strongly the attacks are flowing from one country to the other.

Attack Maps now available on Radar

We hope you like what we’ve built with our new Radar Maps. Radar, unlike any other insights platform out there, is totally built on Cloudflare components and our edge computing platform —  Workers and Workers KV. This gives us new and unique ways of representing data at scale. So do keep checking back to see the Internet evolving in (near) real-time.

Easily creating and routing email addresses with Cloudflare Email Routing

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Easily creating and routing email addresses with Cloudflare Email Routing

Easily creating and routing email addresses with Cloudflare Email Routing

Over four billion people — or half of the world’s population — have at least one email address, many of whom use it as an essential tool to stay on top of their personal and professional matters. More than 300 billion emails are sent and received every day, but seeing email as just a communications tool wouldn’t do it justice. Its impact in our lives goes far beyond being a vessel for messages — its use cases also cover being a common way of validating one’s identity online, and serving as the gateway for other communication platforms.

Today, most people use their email for sensitive purposes, such as logging in to their bank account, or communicating with governmental entities. At the same time, they will use that email to sign up for a 10% off coupon they found online, which will surely spam them for months to come. Despite these two use cases being polar opposites in relation to importance and security, people take the risk, usually for the sake of conveniently managing one account.

Much in the same way, businesses want to have different email addresses for different types of inquiries, such as sales and support, but often find it cumbersome to control who receives these emails. And as the business evolves, matters that were handled by the owner often need to be handed off to other people. But for small businesses it’s not usually straightforward to configure mailboxes and aliases.

And then there are countless individuals and families that juggle multiple mailboxes to handle the Internet identities that they use, to represent their various online presences.

We understand these challenges, and that’s why we’re launching Cloudflare Email Routing, the most straightforward way to create any number of email addresses that are redirected to the mailbox you, your family or your team are already using.

Cloudflare Email Routing

Cloudflare Email Routing is designed to simplify the way you create and manage email addresses, without needing to keep an eye on additional mailboxes.

The process is simple:

  1. You enter the email address you want to create on your domain
  2. You enter the email address you want it forwarded to
Easily creating and routing email addresses with Cloudflare Email Routing

As some of you already know, email consists of the envelope, the header, and its body.

The envelope is part of the SMTP transport protocol and tells the servers where the email is coming from and where it’s supposed to be delivered.

The headers contain structured information like the message traveled path, date, the sender and recipients’ addresses, subject, and other technical metadata like SPF pass results, DKIM signatures, and anti-spam scores. Every time the message goes through a server, it can add new headers or modify the existing ones until it reaches the final inbox.

And finally, there’s the body of the message, where the actual content resides. The body can be plain text, rich HTML, it can contain file attachments, and in some cases, it can be signed or even encrypted.

Here’s a simplified diagram of how the SMTP protocol works and how the three steps of an Email message fit together:

Easily creating and routing email addresses with Cloudflare Email Routing

Cloudflare Email Routing service acts as an intelligent router at the transport layer, handling and modifying the SMTP envelope to deliver the message at its final destination but preserving the original headers and keeping the body intact. This approach ensures that things like SPF, DKIM, and other security or anti-spam protocols don’t break and the recipient stays protected.

Furthermore, following the same privacy-first approach we use in other products, we don’t look into, queue, or store emails at any point. Messages are received, handled according to the configured rules, and delivered to their final destinations in real-time.

Private Beta access

Email Forwarding is now in private beta, and you can save your place in line through this sign-up form.

Then, to start using Email Routing, all you need to do is to add your domain to Cloudflare DNS.

If you don’t currently own a domain, you can buy one right here on our registrar.

Step-by-Step Configuration

Then there are only a few steps to creating a new email address and setting up forwarding:

  1. Go to the email page on the Cloudflare dashboard.
  2. Select Configure.
  3. Enter the email address you want to create (remember, this is for your domain, so you can pick anything you like). Alternatively, you can choose to use a catch-all so that all possible emails addresses in your domain are considered valid and forwarded.
  4. The DNS configuration step is automatic if you don’t have email configured for your domain. Otherwise, we provide straightforward guidance on how to best configure it for your needs.
  5. Lastly, you just need to validate that the destination email belongs to you. Super simple, and exactly the same as you’ve done a million times before.

We did say we made it straightforward!

With efficiency and simplicity in mind, we’re launching Email Routing with support for multiple rules and message forwarding to any upstream inbox of your choice.

However, we feel like the email scene has been long-dormant, and we have exciting new features coming soon that advantage of the Cloudflare platform, resources, and know-how.

We’re also listening. If you have questions, suggestions, or new ideas, share them in the community forum. We’ll be around.

To start using Cloudflare Email Routing just join the waitlist today through this form. We will be opening up this service to more users on a daily basis, and promise the short wait will be worth it!

Announcing Project Turpentine: an easy way to get off Varnish

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Announcing Project Turpentine: an easy way to get off Varnish

Announcing Project Turpentine: an easy way to get off Varnish

When Varnish and the Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) were first introduced 15 years ago, they were an incredibly powerful combination to configure caching on servers (and your networks). It seemed a logical choice for a language to configure CDNs — caching in the cloud.

A lot has changed on the Internet since then.

In particular, caching is just one of many things that “CDNs” are expected to do: load balancing, DDoS protection, rate limiting, transformations, synthetic responses, routing and more. But above all what “CDNs” need to be is programmable, not just configurable.

Configuration went from a niche activity to a much more common — and often involved — requirement. We’ve heard from a lot of teams that want to remove critical dependencies on the one person they have who knows how to make configuration changes — because they’re the only one on the team who knows how to write in VCL.

But it’s not just about who can write VCL — it’s what VCL is increasingly being asked to do. A lot of our customers have told us that they have much greater expectations for what they expect the network to do: they don’t just want to configure anymore… they want to be able to program it! VCL is being pushed and stretched into things it was never envisaged to do.

These are often the frustrations we hear from customers about the use of VCL. And yet, at the same time, migrations are always hard. Taking thousands of lines of code that have been built up over the years for a mission critical service, and rewriting it from scratch? Nobody wants to do that.

Today, we are excited to announce a solution to all these problems: Turpentine. Turpentine is a true VCL-to-TypeScript converter: it is the easiest and most effective way for you to migrate your legacy Varnish to a modern, Turing-complete programming language and onto the edge. But don’t think that because you’re moving up in terms of language abstraction that you’re giving up performance — it’s the opposite. Turpentine enables porting your VCL-based configuration to Cloudflare Workers — which is known for its speed. Beyond being able to eliminate the use of VCL, Turpentine enables you to take full advantage of Cloudflare: including proxies, firewall, load balancers, tiered caching/shielding and everything else Cloudflare offers.

And you’ll be able to configure it using one of the most widely used languages in the world.
Whether you’re using standard configurations, or have a heavily customized VCL file, Turpentine will generate human-readable and well commented TypeScript code and deploy it to our serverless platform that is… fast.

Announcing Project Turpentine: an easy way to get off Varnish

How It Works

To turn a VCL into TypeScript code that is well optimized, human-readable, and commented, Turpentine takes a three-phase approach:

  1. The VCL is parsed, its meaning is understood, and TypeScript code that preserves its intentions is generated. This is more than transpiling. All the functionality configured in the VCL is rewritten to the best solution available. For example, rate limiting might be custom code on your VCL — but have native functionality on Cloudflare.
  2. The code is cleaned and optimized. During this phase, Turpentine looks for redundancies and inefficiencies, and removes them. Your code will be running on Cloudflare Workers, the fastest serverless platform in the world, and we definitely don’t want to leave behind inefficiencies that would prevent you from enjoying its benefits to the full extent.
  3. The final step is pretty printing. The whole point of this exercise is to make the code easy to understand by as many people as possible on your team — so that virtually any engineer on your team, not just infrastructure experts, can program your network moving forward.

Turpentine in Action

We’ve been perfecting Turpentine in a private beta with some very large customers who have some very complicated VCL files.

Here’s a demo of a VCL file being converted to a Worker:

Legacy to Modern

Happily, this all occurs without the pains of the usual legacy migration. There’s no project plan. No engineers and IT teams trying to replicate each bit of configuration or investigating whether a specific feature even existed.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please register your interest in the sign-up form here — we’d love to explore with you. For now, we’re staying in private beta, so we can walk every new customer through the process. A Cloudflare engineer will help your team get up to speed and comfortable with the new infrastructure.

Announcing Project Turpentine: an easy way to get off Varnish

Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

Web Analytics is Cloudflare’s privacy-focused real user measurement solution. It leverages a lightweight JavaScript beacon and does not use any client-side state, such as cookies or localStorage, to collect usage metrics. Nor does it “fingerprint” individuals via their IP address, User Agent string, or any other data.

Cloudflare Web Analytics makes essential web analytics, such as the top-performing pages on your website and top referrers, available to everyone for free, and it’s becoming more powerful than ever.

Focusing on Performance

Earlier this year we merged Web Analytics with our Browser Insights product, which enabled customers proxying their websites through Cloudflare to evaluate visitors’ experience on their web properties through Core Web Vitals such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID).

It was important to bring the Core Web Vitals performance measurements into Web Analytics given the outsized impact that page load times have on bounce rates. A page load time increase from 1s to 3s increases bounce rates by 32% and from 1s to 6s increases it by 106% (source).

Now that you know the impact a slow-loading web page can have on your visitors, it’s time for us to make it a no-brainer to take action. Read on.

Becoming Action-Oriented

We believe that, to deliver the most value to our users, the product should facilitate the following process:

  1. Measure the real user experience
  2. Grade this experience — is it satisfactory or in need of improvement?
  3. Provide actionable insights — what part of the web page should be tweaked to improve the user experience?
  4. Repeat
Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

And it all starts with Web Analytics Vitals Explorer, which started rolling out today.

Introducing Web Analytics Vitals Explorer

Vitals Explorer enables you to easily pinpoint which elements on your pages are affecting users the most, with accurate measurements from the visitors perspective and an easy-to-read impact grading.

To do that, we have automatically updated the Web Analytics JavaScript beacon so that it collects the relevant vital measurements from the browser. As always, we are not collecting any information that would invade your visitors’ privacy.


Once this new beacon is updated on your sites — and again the update will happen transparently to you — you can then navigate to the Core Web Vitals page on Web Analytics. When entering that page, you will see three graphs grading the user experience for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Below each graph you can see the debug section with the top five elements with a negative impact on the metric. Lastly, when clicking on either of these elements shown in the data table, you will be presented with its impact and exact paths so that you can easily decide whether this is worth keeping on your website in its current format.

Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

In addition to this new Core Web Vitals content, we have also added First Paint and First Contentful Paint to the Page Load Time page. When you navigate to this page you will now see the page load summary and a graph representing page load timing. These will allow you to quickly identify any regressions to these important performance metrics.

Discovering what’s slowing down your website with Web Analytics

Measurement details

This additional debugging information for Core Web Vitals is measured during the lifespan of the page (until the user leaves the tab or closes the browser window, which updates visibilityState to a hidden state).

Here’s what we collect:

Common for all Core Web Vitals

  • Element is a CSS selector representing the DOM node. With this string, the developer can use `document.querySelector(<element_name>)` in their browser’s dev console to find out which DOM node has a negative impact on your scores/values.
  • Path is the URL path at the time the Core Web Vitals are captured.
  • Value is the metric value for each Core Web Vitals. This value is in milliseconds for LCP or FID and a score for CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift).

Largest Contentful Paint

  • URL is the source URL (such as image, text, web fonts).
  • Size is the source object’s size in bytes.

First Input Delay

  • Name is the type of event (such as mousedown, keydown, pointerdown).

Cumulative Layout Shift

Layout information is a JSON value that includes width, height, x axis position, y axis position, left, right, top, and bottom. You are able to observe layout shifts that happen on the page by observing these values.

  • CurrentRect is the largest source element’s layout information after the shift. This JSON value is shown as Current under Layout Shifts section in the Web Analytics UI.
  • PreviousRect is the largest source element’s layout information before the shift. This JSON value is shown as Previous under Layout Shifts section in the Web Analytics UI.

Paint Timings

Additionally, we have added two important paint timings

  • First Paint is the time between navigation and when the browser renders the first pixels to the screen.
  • First Contentful Paint is the time when the browser renders the first bit of content from the DOM.

A lot of this is based on standard browser measurements, which you can read about in detail on this blog post from Google.

Moving forward

And we are by no means done. Moving forward, we will bring this structured approach with grading and actionable insights into as Web Analytics measurements as possible, and keep guiding you through how to improve your visitors’ experience. So stay tuned.
And in the meantime, do let us know what you think about this feature and ask questions on the community forums.

Working with those who protect human rights around the world

Post Syndicated from Joao Sousa Botto original

Working with those who protect human rights around the world

Working with those who protect human rights around the world

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing use of Internet shutdowns and cyberattacks that restrict the availability of information in communities around the world. In 2020, Access Now’s #KeepItOn coalition documented at least 155 Internet shutdowns in 29 countries. During the same period, Cloudflare witnessed a five-fold increase in cyberattacks against the human rights, journalism, and non-profit websites that benefit from the protection of Project Galileo.

These disruptive measures, which put up barriers to those looking to use the Internet to express themselves, earn a livelihood, gather and disseminate information, and participate in public life,  affect the lives of millions of people around the world.

As described by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Internet is not only a key means by which individuals exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression, it “facilitates the realization of a range of other human rights” including “economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to education and the right to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, as well as civil and political rights, such as the rights to freedom of association and assembly.” The effect of Internet disruptions are particularly profound during elections, as they disrupt the dissemination and sharing of information about electoral contests and undermine the integrity of the democratic process.

At Cloudflare, we’ve spent time talking to human rights defenders who push back on governments that shut down the Internet to stifle dissent, and on those who help encourage fair, democratic elections around the world. Although we’ve long protected those defenders from cyberattacks with programs like Project Galileo, we thought we could do more. That is why today, we are announcing new programs to help our civil society partners track and document Internet shutdowns and protect democratic elections around the world from cyberattacks.

Radar Alerts

Internet shutdowns intended to prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online are widely condemned, and have been described as “measures that can never be justified under human rights law.” Nonetheless, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association recently reported that Internet shutdowns have increased in length, scale, and sophistication, and have become increasingly challenging to detect. From January 2019 through May 2021, the #KeepItOn coalition documented at least 79 incidents of protest-related shutdowns, including in the context of elections.

Cloudflare runs one of the world’s largest networks, with data centers in more than 100 countries worldwide and one billion unique IP addresses connecting to Cloudflare’s network. That global network gives us exceptional visibility into Internet traffic patterns, including the variations in traffic that signal network anomalies. To help provide insight to these Internet trends, Cloudflare launched Radar in 2020, a platform that helps anyone see how the Internet is being used around the globe. In Radar one can visually identify significant drops in traffic, typically associated with an Internet shutdown, but these trend graphs are most helpful when one is already looking for something specific.

Working with those who protect human rights around the world
Radar chart for Internet Traffic in Uganda, showing a significant change for January 13-15

Internally Cloudflare has had an alert system for potential Internet disruptions, that we use as an early warning to shifts in network patterns and incidents. This internal system allows us to see these disruptions in real-time, and after many conversations with civil society groups that track and report these shutdowns, such as The Carter Center, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Internet Society, Internews, The National Democratic Institute and Access Now, it was clear that they would benefit from such a system, fine-tuned to report Internet traffic drops quickly and reliably. We then built an additional validation layer and a notification system that sends notifications through various channels, including e-mail and social media.

“In the fight to end internet shutdowns, our community needs accurate reports on internet disruptions at a global scale. When leading companies like Cloudflare share their data and insights, we can make more timely interventions. Together with civil society, Cloudflare will help #KeepItOn.”
Peter Micek, General Counsel, Access Now

“Internet shutdowns undermine election integrity by restricting the right of access to information and freedom of expression. When shutdowns are enacted, reports of their occurrence are often anecdotal, piecemeal, and difficult to substantiate. Radar Alerts provide The Carter Center with real-time information about the occurrence, breadth, and impact of shutdowns on an election process. This information enables The Carter Center to issue evidence-backed statements to substantiate harms to election integrity and demand the restoration of fundamental human rights.”
Michael Baldassaro, Senior Advisor, Digital Threats to Democracy at The Carter Center.

“Internet censorship, throttling and shutdowns are threats to an open Internet and to the ability of people to access and produce trustworthy information. Internews is excited to see Cloudflare share its data to help raise the visibility of shutdowns around the world.”
Jon Camfield, Director of Global Technological Strategy, Internews

Working with those who protect human rights around the world

Now, as we detect these drops in traffic, we may still not have the expertise, backstory or sense of what is happening on the ground when this occurs — at least not in as much detail as our partners. We are excited to be working with these organizations to provide alerts on when Cloudflare has detected significant drops in traffic with the hope that the information is used to document, track and hold institutions accountable for these human rights violations.

If you are an organization that tracks and reports on Internet shutdowns and would like to join the private beta, please contact [email protected] and follow the Cloudflare Radar alert Twitter page.