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Versions: (draft-kucherawy-rfc5451bis) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 09 10 RFC 7001

Individual submission                                       M. Kucherawy
Internet-Draft                                             April 3, 2013
Obsoletes: 5451, 6577
(if approved)
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: October 5, 2013


   Message Header Field for Indicating Message Authentication Status
                    draft-ietf-appsawg-rfc5451bis-00

Abstract

   This document specifies a header field for use with electronic mail
   messages to indicate the results of message authentication efforts.
   Any receiver-side software, such as mail filters or Mail User Agents
   (MUAs), can use this header field to relay that information in a
   convenient and meaningful way to users, or make sorting and filtering
   decisions.

   This document is a candidate for Internet Standard status.  [RFC
   Editor: Please delete this notation, as I imagine it will be
   indicated some other way.]

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on October 5, 2013.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents



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   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.1.  Purpose  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.2.  Trust Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.3.  Processing Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     1.4.  Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     1.5.  Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.1.  Key Words  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.2.  Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.3.  Email Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     1.6.  Trust Environment  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   2.  Definition and Format of the Header Field  . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.1.  General Description  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.2.  Formal Definition  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.3.  Authentication Identifier Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     2.4.  Version Tokens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     2.5.  Result Values  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       2.5.1.  DKIM and DomainKeys Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       2.5.2.  SPF and Sender-ID Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       2.5.3.  "iprev" Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       2.5.4.  SMTP AUTH Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       2.5.5.  Extension Result Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
     2.6.  Authentication Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.6.1.  Definitions for Existing Methods . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.6.2.  Extension Methods  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   3.  The "iprev" Authentication Method  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   4.  Adding the Header Field to A Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     4.1.  Header Field Position and Interpretation . . . . . . . . . 20
     4.2.  Local Policy Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   5.  Removing the Header Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
     6.1.  The Authentication-Results Header Field  . . . . . . . . . 23
     6.2.  Email Authentication Method Name Registry  . . . . . . . . 23
     6.3.  Email Authentication Result Name Registry  . . . . . . . . 24
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     7.1.  Forged Header Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     7.2.  Misleading Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     7.3.  Header Field Position  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     7.4.  Reverse IP Query Denial-of-Service Attacks . . . . . . . . 26



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     7.5.  Mitigation of Backscatter  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     7.6.  Internal MTA Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     7.7.  Attacks against Authentication Methods . . . . . . . . . . 27
     7.8.  Intentionally Malformed Header Fields  . . . . . . . . . . 27
     7.9.  Compromised Internal Hosts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     7.10. Encapsulated Instances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     7.11. Reverse Mapping  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
   8.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     8.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     8.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
   Appendix B.  Legacy MUAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
   Appendix C.  Authentication-Results Examples . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     C.1.  Trivial Case; Header Field Not Present . . . . . . . . . . 31
     C.2.  Nearly Trivial Case; Service Provided, But No
           Authentication Done  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
     C.3.  Service Provided, Authentication Done  . . . . . . . . . . 33
     C.4.  Service Provided, Several Authentications Done, Single
           MTA  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
     C.5.  Service Provided, Several Authentications Done,
           Different MTAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
     C.6.  Service Provided, Multi-Tiered Authentication Done . . . . 37
     C.7.  Comment-Heavy Example  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
   Appendix D.  Operational Considerations about Message
                Authentication  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
   Appendix E.  Known Implementations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
   Appendix F.  Changes since RFC5451 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
























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1.  Introduction

   [AR-ORIG] defined a new header field for electronic mail messages
   that presents the results of a message authentication effort in a
   machine-readable format.  This document revises that definition based
   on current use of various authentication protocols in use today and
   incorporates errata logged since the publication of the original
   specification.

   The intent of the header field is to create a place to collect such
   data when message authentication mechanisms are in use so that a Mail
   User Agent (MUA) and downstream filters can make filtering decisions
   and/or provide a recommendation to the user as to the validity of the
   message's origin and possibly the safety and integrity of its
   content.

   End users are not expected to be direct consumers of this header
   field.  This header field is intended for consumption by programs
   that will then use or render such data in a human-usable form.

   This document specifies both the format of this header field and
   discusses the implications of its presence or absence.  However, it
   does not discuss how the data contained in the header field ought to
   be used (i.e. what filtering decisions are appropriate, or how an MUA
   might render those results) as these are local policy and/or user
   interface design questions that are not appropriate for this
   document.

   At the time of publication of this document, [ADSP], [AUTH], [DKIM],
   [SPF], and [VBR] are published DNS domain-level email authentication
   methods in common use.  [DOMAINKEYS] is also referenced here, though
   it has "Historic" status as it is no longer common.  This proposal is
   not intended to be restricted to domain-based authentication, but
   this has proven to be a good starting point for implementations.  As
   various methods emerge, it is necessary to prepare for their
   appearance and encourage convergence in the area of interfacing
   verifiers to filters and MUAs.

   Although [SPF] defined a header field called Received-SPF and
   [DOMAINKEYS] defined one called DomainKey-Status for this purpose,
   those header fields are specific to the conveyance of their
   respective results only and thus are insufficient to satisfy the
   requirements enumerated below.  In addition, many SPF implementations
   have adopted the header field specified below, and DomainKeys has
   been obsoleted by DKIM.






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1.1.  Purpose

   The header field defined in this document is expected to serve
   several purposes:

   1.  Convey the results of various message authentication checks being
       applied by upstream filters and Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) to
       MUAs and downstream filters within the same "trust domain", as
       such agents may wish to render those results to end users or use
       that data to apply more or less stringent content checks based on
       authentication results;

   2.  Provide a common location within a message for this data;

   3.  Create an extensible framework for reporting new authentication
       methods as they emerge.

   In particular, the mere presence of this header field SHOULD NOT be
   construed as meaning that its data is valid, but rather that it is
   asserting some kind of validity based on one or more authentication
   schemes applied somewhere upstream.  For an MUA or downstream filter
   to treat the assertions as actually valid, there must be an
   assessment of the trust relationship between such agents and the
   validating MTA.

1.2.  Trust Boundary

   This document makes several references to the "trust boundary" of an
   administrative management domain (ADMD).  Given the diversity among
   existing mail environments, a precise definition of this term isn't
   possible.

   Simply put, a transfer from the creator of the header field to the
   consumer must occur within a context of trust that the creator's
   information is correct.  How this trust is obtained is outside the
   scope of this document.  It is entirely a local matter.

   Thus, this document defines a "trust boundary" as the delineation
   between "external" and "internal" entities; "external" here includes
   all hosts that do not deliberately provide some kind of messaging
   service for the receiving ADMD's users, and "internal" includes those
   hosts that do.  By this definition, the hosts within a "trust
   boundary" may lie entirely within a receiving ADMD's direct control,
   or they can include hosts managed by another ADMD (such as an ISP or
   commercial filtering service) but that also provide services for the
   former.





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1.3.  Processing Scope

   This specification is intended to address the needs of authenticating
   messages or properties of messages during their actual transport.  It
   is not meant to address the security of messages that might be
   encapsulated within other messages, such as a message/rfc822 [MIME]
   part within a message.

1.4.  Requirements

   This document establishes no new requirements on existing protocols
   or servers.

   In particular, this document establishes no requirement on MTAs to
   reject or filter arriving messages that do not pass authentication
   checks.  The data conveyed by the specified header field's contents
   are for the information of MUAs and filters and are to be used at
   their discretion.

1.5.  Definitions

   This section defines various terms used throughout this document.

1.5.1.  Key Words

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [KEYWORDS].

1.5.2.  Security

   [SECURITY] discusses authentication and authorization and the
   conflation of the two concepts.  The use of those terms within the
   context of recent message security work has given rise to slightly
   different definitions, and this document reflects those current
   usages, as follows:

   o  "Authorization" is the establishment of permission to use a
      resource or represent an identity.  In this context, authorization
      indicates that a message from a particular ADMD arrived via a
      route the ADMD has explicitly approved.

   o  "Authentication" is the assertion of validity of a piece of data
      about a message (such as the sender's identity) or the message in
      its entirety.

   As examples: [SPF] and [SENDERID] are authorization mechanisms in
   that they express a result that shows whether or not the ADMD that



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   apparently sent the message has explicitly authorized the connecting
   [SMTP] client to relay messages on its behalf, but do not actually
   validate any property of the message itself.  By contrast, [DKIM] is
   agnostic as to the routing of a message but uses cryptographic
   signatures to authenticate agents claiming responsibility for the
   message (which implies authorization) and ensure it was not modified
   in transit.  Since the signatures are not tied to SMTP connections,
   they can be added by either the ADMD of origin, intermediate ADMDs
   (such as a mailing list server), or both.

   Rather than create a separate header field for each class of
   solution, this proposal groups them both into a single header field.

1.5.3.  Email Architecture

   o  A "border MTA" is an MTA that acts as a gateway between the
      general Internet and the users within an organizational boundary.
      (See also Section 1.2.)

   o  A "delivery MTA" (or Mail Delivery Agent or MDA) is an MTA that
      actually enacts delivery of a message to a user's inbox or other
      final delivery.

   o  An "intermediate MTA" is an MTA that handles messages after a
      border MTA and before a delivery MTA.

   The following diagram illustrates the flow of mail among these
   defined components:

                          +-----+   +-----+   +------------+
                          | MUA |-->| MSA |-->| Border MTA |
                          +-----+   +-----+   +------------+
                                                    |
                                                    |
                                                    V
                                               +----------+
                                               | Internet |
                                               +----------+
                                                    |
                                                    |
                                                    V
   +-----+   +-----+   +------------------+   +------------+
   | MUA |<--| MDA |<--| Intermediate MTA |<--| Border MTA |
   +-----+   +-----+   +------------------+   +------------+

   Generally, it is assumed that the work of applying message
   authentication schemes takes place at a border MTA or a delivery MTA.
   This specification is written with that assumption in mind.  However,



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   there are some sites at which the entire mail infrastructure consists
   of a single host.  In such cases, such terms as "border MTA" and
   "delivery MTA" might well apply to the same machine or even the very
   same agent.  It is also possible that some message authentication
   tests could take place on an intermediate MTA.  Although this
   document doesn't specifically describe such cases, they are not meant
   to be excluded.

   See [EMAIL-ARCH] for further discussion on general email system
   architecture, and Appendix D of this document for discussion about
   the common aspects of email authentication in current environments.

1.6.  Trust Environment

   This header field permits one or more message validation mechanisms
   to communicate output to one or more separate assessment mechanisms.
   These mechanisms operate within a unified trust boundary that defines
   an Administrative Management Domain (ADMD).  An ADMD contains one or
   more entities that perform validation and generate the header field,
   and one or more that consume it for some type of assessment.  The
   field contains no integrity or validation mechanism of its own, so
   its presence must be trusted implicitly.  Hence, use of the header
   field depends upon ensuring that mail entering the ADMD has instances
   of the header field claiming to be valid within its boundaries
   removed, so that occurrences of such header fields can be used safely
   by consumers.

   The "authserv-id" token defined in Section 2.2 can be used to label
   an entire ADMD or a specific validation engine within an ADMD.
   Although the labeling scheme is left as an operational choice, some
   guidance for selecting a token is provided in later sections of this
   document.

2.  Definition and Format of the Header Field

   This section gives a general overview of the format of the header
   field being defined, and then provides more formal specification.

2.1.  General Description

   The header field specified here is called "Authentication-Results".
   It is a Structured Header Field as defined in [MAIL] and thus all of
   the related definitions in that document apply.

   This header field is added at the top of the message as it transits
   MTAs that do authentication checks so some idea of how far away the
   checks were done can be inferred.  It is therefore considered to be a
   Trace Field as defined in [MAIL], and thus all of the related



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   definitions in that document apply.

   The value of the header field (after removing [MAIL] comments)
   consists of an authentication identifier, an optional version, and
   then a series of "method=result" statements indicating which
   authentication method(s) were applied and their respective results,
   and then, for each applied method, an optional "reason" string, plus
   optional "property=value" statements indicating which message
   properties were evaluated to reach that conclusion.

   The header field can appear more than once in a single message, or
   more than one result MAY be represented in a single header field, or
   a combination of these MAY be applied.

2.2.  Formal Definition

   Formally, the header field is specified as follows using [ABNF]:

     authres-header = "Authentication-Results:" [CFWS] authserv-id
              [ [CFWS] "/" [CFWS] authres-version ]
              ( [CFWS] ";" [CFWS] "none" / 1*resinfo ) [CFWS] CRLF
            ; the special case of "none" is used to indicate that no
            ; message authentication is performed

     authserv-id = value
                 ; see below for a description of this element

     authserv-version = 1*DIGIT [CFWS]
             ; indicates which version of this specification is in use;
             ; this specification is version "1", and the absence of a
             ; version implies this version of the specification

     resinfo = [CFWS] ";" methodspec [ CFWS reasonspec ]
               *( CFWS propspec )

     methodspec = [CFWS] method [CFWS] "=" [CFWS] result
                ; indicates which authentication method was evaluated
                ; and what its output was

     reasonspec = "reason" [CFWS] "=" [CFWS] value
                ; a free-form comment on the reason the given result
                ; was returned

     propspec = ptype [CFWS] "." [CFWS] property [CFWS] "=" pvalue
              ; an indication of which properties of the message
              ; were evaluated by the authentication scheme being
              ; applied to yield the reported result, and would be
              ; useful to reveal to end users as authenticated



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     method = Keyword [ [CFWS] "/" [CFWS] method-version ]
            ; a method indicates which method's result is
            ; represented by "result", and is one of the methods
            ; explicitly defined as valid in this document
            ; or is an extension method as defined below

     method-version = 1*DIGIT [CFWS]
            ; indicates which version of the method specification is
            ; in use, corresponding to the matching entry in the IANA
            ; Email Authentication Methods registry; a value of "1"
            ; is assumed if this version string is absent

     result = Keyword
            ; indicates the results of the attempt to authenticate
            ; the message; see below for details

     ptype = "smtp" / "header" / "body" / "policy"
           ; indicates whether the property being evaluated was
           ; a parameter to an [SMTP] command, or was a value taken
           ; from a message header field, or was some property of
           ; the message body, or some other property evaluated by
           ; the receiving MTA

     special-smtp-verb = "mailfrom" / "rcptto"
             ; special cases of [SMTP] commands that are made up
             ; of multiple words

     property = special-smtp-verb / Keyword
             ; if "ptype" is "smtp", this indicates which [SMTP]
             ; command provided the value that was evaluated by the
             ; authentication scheme being applied; if "ptype" is
             ; "header", this indicates from which header field the
             ; value being evaluated was extracted; if "ptype" is
             ; "body", this indicates where in the message body
             ; a value being evaluated can be found (e.g., a specific
             ; offset into the message or a reference to a MIME part);
             ; if "ptype" is "policy" then this indicates the name
             ; of the policy that caused this header field to be
             ; added (see below)

     pvalue = [CFWS] ( value / [ [ local-part ] "@" ] domain-name )
              [CFWS]
            ; the value extracted from the message property defined
            ; by the "ptype.property" construction; if the value
            ; identifies something intended to be an e-mail identity,
            ; then it MUST use the right hand portion of this ABNF
            ; definition




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   "local-part" is defined in Section 3.4.1, and "CFWS" is defined in
   Section 3.2.2, of [MAIL].

   "Keyword" is defined in Section 4.1.2 of [SMTP].

   The "value" is as defined in Section 5.1 of [MIME].

   The "domain-name" is as defined in Section 3.5 of [DKIM].

   The "Keyword" used in "result" above is further constrained by the
   necessity of being enumerated in Section 2.5 or an amendment to it.

   See Section 2.3 for a description of the "authserv-id" element.

   The list of commands eligible for use with the "smtp" ptype can be
   found in [SMTP] and subsequent amendments.

   The "propspec" may be omitted if, for example, the method was unable
   to extract any properties to do its evaluation yet has a result to
   report.

   The "ptype" and "property" values used by each authentication method
   MUST be defined in the specification for that method (or its
   amendments).

   Where an SMTP command is being reported as a "property", the MAIL
   FROM command MUST be represented by "mailfrom" and the RCPT TO
   command MUST be represented by "rcptto".  All other SMTP commands
   MUST be represented unchanged.

   A "ptype" value of "policy" indicates a policy decision about the
   message not specific to a property of the message that could be
   extracted.  For example, if a method would normally report a
   "ptype.property" of "header.From" and no From: header field was
   present, the method can use "policy" to indicate that no conclusion
   about the authenticity of the message could be reached.

2.3.  Authentication Identifier Field

   Every Authentication-Results header field has an authentication
   service identifier field ("authserv-id" above).  This is similar in
   syntax to a fully-qualified domain name.

   The authentication service identifier field provides a unique
   identifier that refers to the authenticating service within a given
   ADMD.  The uniqueness of the identifier MUST be guaranteed by the
   ADMD that generates it and MUST pertain to exactly that one ADMD.
   This identifier is intended to be machine-readable and not



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   necessarily meaningful to users.  MUAs or downstream filters SHOULD
   use this identifier to determine whether or not the data contained in
   an Authentication-Results header field ought to be used or ignored.

   For simplicity and scalability, the authentication service identifier
   SHOULD be a common token used throughout the ADMD, such as the DNS
   domain name used by or within that ADMD.

   For tracing and debugging purposes, the authentication identifier MAY
   instead be the hostname of the MTA performing the authentication
   check whose result is being reported.  This is also useful for
   another purpose, as described in Section 4.  Moreover, some
   implementations have considered appending a delimiter such as "/" and
   following it with useful transport tracing data such as the [SMTP]
   queue ID or a timestamp.

   Note, however, that using a local, relative identifier like a single
   hostname, rather than a hierarchical and globally unique ADMD
   identifier like a DNS domain name, makes configuration more difficult
   for large sites.  The hierarchical identifier permits aggregating
   related, trusted systems together under a single, parent identifier,
   which in turn permits assessing the trust relationship with a single
   reference.  The alternative is a flat namespace requiring
   individually listing each trusted system.  Since consumers will use
   the identifier to determine whether to use the contents of the header
   field:

   o  Changes to the identifier impose a large, centralized
      administrative burden.

   o  Ongoing administrative changes require constantly updating this
      centralized table, making it difficult to ensure that an MUA or
      downstream filter will have access to accurate information for
      assessing the usability of the header field's content.  In
      particular, consumers of the header field will need to know not
      only the current identifier(s) in use, but previous ones as well
      to account for delivery latency or later re-assessment of the
      header field's contents.

   Examples of valid authentication identifiers are "example.com",
   "mail.example.org", "ms1.newyork.example.com", and "example-auth".

2.4.  Version Tokens

   The grammar above provides for the optional inclusion of versions on
   both the header field itself (attached to the authserv-id token) and
   on each of the methods being reported.  The method version refers to
   the method itself, which is specified in the documents describing



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   those methods, while the authserv-id version refers to this document
   and thus the syntax of this header field.

   The purpose of including these is to avoid misinterpretation of the
   results.  That is, if a parser finds a version after an authserv-id
   that it does not explicitly know, it can immediately discontinue
   trying to parse since what follows might not be in an expected
   format.  For a method version, the parser SHOULD ignore a method
   result if the version is not supported in case the semantics of the
   result have a different meaning than what is expected.  For example,
   if a hypothetical DKIM version 2 yielded a "pass" result for
   different reasons than version 1 does, a consumer of this field might
   not want to use the altered semantics.  Allowing versions in the
   syntax is a way to indicate this and let the consumer of the header
   field decide.

2.5.  Result Values

   Each individual authentication method returns one of a set of
   specific result values.  The subsections below define these results
   for the authentication methods specifically supported by this
   document, and verifiers SHOULD use these values as described below.
   New methods not specified in this document intended to be supported
   by the header field defined here MUST include a similar result table
   either in its defining document or in a supplementary one.

2.5.1.  DKIM and DomainKeys Results

   The result values used by [DKIM] and [DOMAINKEYS] are as follows:

   none:  The message was not signed.

   pass:  The message was signed, the signature or signatures were
      acceptable to the verifier, and the signature(s) passed
      verification tests.

   fail:  The message was signed and the signature or signatures were
      acceptable to the verifier, but they failed the verification
      test(s).

   policy:  The message was signed but the signature or signatures were
      not acceptable to the verifier.

   neutral:  The message was signed but the signature or signatures
      contained syntax errors or were not otherwise able to be
      processed.  This result SHOULD also be used for other failures not
      covered elsewhere in this list.




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   temperror:  The message could not be verified due to some error that
      is likely transient in nature, such as a temporary inability to
      retrieve a public key.  A later attempt may produce a final
      result.

   permerror:  The message could not be verified due to some error that
      is unrecoverable, such as a required header field being absent.  A
      later attempt is unlikely to produce a final result.

   A signature is "acceptable to the verifier" if it passes local policy
   checks (or there are no specific local policy checks).  For example,
   a verifier might require that the signature(s) on the message be
   added using the DNS domain present in the From: header field of the
   message, thus making third-party signatures unacceptable.

   [DKIM] advises that if a message fails verification, it is to be
   treated as an unsigned message.  A report of "fail" here permits the
   receiver of the report to decide how to handle the failure.  A report
   of "neutral" or "none" preempts that choice, ensuring the message
   will be treated as if it had not been signed.

2.5.2.  SPF and Sender-ID Results

   The result values are used by [SPF] and [SENDERID] as follows:

   none:  No policy records were published at the sender's DNS domain.

   neutral:  The sender's ADMD has asserted that it cannot or does not
      want to make a statement as to whether the sending IP address is
      authorized to send mail using the sender's DNS domain.

   pass:  The client is authorized by the sender's ADMD to inject or
      relay mail on behalf of the sender's DNS domain.

   policy:  The client is authorized to inject or relay mail on behalf
      of the sender's DNS domain according to the authentication
      method's algorithm, but local policy dictates that the result is
      unacceptable.

   fail:  This client is explicitly not authorized to inject or relay
      mail using the sender's DNS domain.

   softfail:  The sender's ADMD believes the client was not authorized
      to inject or relay mail using the sender's DNS domain, but is
      unwilling to make a strong assertion to that effect.






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   temperror:  The message could not be verified due to some error that
      is likely transient in nature, such as a temporary inability to
      retrieve a policy record from DNS.  A later attempt may produce a
      final result.

   permerror:  The message could not be verified due to some error that
      is unrecoverable, such as a required header field being absent or
      a syntax error in a retrieved DNS TXT record.  A later attempt is
      unlikely to produce a final result.

   The distinction between and interpretation of "none" and "neutral"
   under these methods is discussed further in [SPF].

   The "policy" result would be returned if, for example, [SPF] returned
   as "pass" result, but a local policy check matches the sending DNS
   domain to one found in an explicit list of unacceptable DNS domains
   (e.g., spammers).

   If the retrieved sender policies used to evaluate [SPF] and
   [SENDERID] do not contain explicit provisions for authenticating the
   local-part (see Section 3.4.1 of [MAIL]) of an address, the "pvalue"
   reported along with results for these mechanisms SHOULD NOT include
   the local-part.

2.5.3.  "iprev" Results

   The result values are used by the "iprev" method, defined in
   Section 3, are as follows:

   pass:  The DNS evaluation succeeded, i.e., the "reverse" and
      "forward" lookup results were returned and were in agreement.

   fail:  The DNS evaluation failed.  In particular, the "reverse" and
      "forward" lookups each produced results but they were not in
      agreement, or the "forward" query completed but produced no
      result, e.g., a DNS RCODE of 3, commonly known as NXDOMAIN, or an
      RCODE of 0 (NOERROR) in a reply containing no answers, was
      returned.

   temperror:  The DNS evaluation could not be completed due to some
      error that is likely transient in nature, such as a temporary DNS
      error, e.g., a DNS RCODE of 2, commonly known as SERVFAIL, or
      other error condition resulted.  A later attempt may produce a
      final result.







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   permerror:  The DNS evaluation could not be completed because no PTR
      data are published for the connecting IP address, e.g., a DNS
      RCODE of 3, commonly known as NXDOMAIN, or an RCODE of 0 (NOERROR)
      in a reply containing no answers, was returned.  This prevented
      completion of the evaluation.  A later attempt is unlikely to
      produce a final result.

   There is no "none" for this method since any TCP connection
   delivering email has an IP address associated with it, so some kind
   of evaluation will always be possible.

   For discussion of the format of DNS replies, see [DNS].

2.5.4.  SMTP AUTH Results

   The result values are used by the [AUTH] method are as follows:

   none:  SMTP authentication was not attempted.

   pass:  The SMTP client had authenticated to the server reporting the
      result using the protocol described in [AUTH].

   fail:  The SMTP client had attempted to authenticate to the server
      using the protocol described in [AUTH] but was not successful, yet
      continued to send the message about which a result is being
      reported.

   temperror:  The SMTP client attempted to authenticate using the
      protocol described in [AUTH] but was not able to complete the
      attempt due to some error which is likely transient in nature,
      such as a temporary Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
      lookup error.  A later attempt may produce a final result.

   permerror:  The SMTP client attempted to authenticate using the
      protocol described in [AUTH] but was not able to complete the
      attempt due to some error that is likely not transient in nature,
      such as a permanent LDAP lookup error.  A later attempt is not
      likely produce a final result.

   Note that an agent making use of the data provided by this header
   field SHOULD consider "fail" and "temperror" to be the synonymous in
   terms of message authentication, i.e., the client did not
   authenticate.

2.5.5.  Extension Result Codes

   Additional result codes (extension results) might be defined in the
   future by later revisions or extensions to this specification.



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   Result codes MUST be registered with the Internet Assigned Numbers
   Authority (IANA) and preferably published in an RFC.  See Section 6
   for further details.

   Extension results MUST only be used within ADMDs that have explicitly
   consented to use them.  These results and the parameters associated
   with them are not formally documented.  Therefore, they are subject
   to change at any time and not suitable for production use.  Any MTA,
   MUA or downstream filter intended for production use SHOULD ignore or
   delete any Authentication-Results header field that includes an
   extension result.

2.6.  Authentication Methods

   This section defines the supported authentication methods and
   discusses the proper means for applying experimental and other
   extension methods.

2.6.1.  Definitions for Existing Methods

   As they are currently existing specifications for message
   authentication, it is appropriate to define an authentication method
   identifier for each of [ADSP], [ATPS], [AUTH], [DKIM], [DOMAINKEYS],
   [SENDERID], [SPF], and [VBR].  Therefore, the authentication method
   identifiers "dkim-adsp", "dkim-atps", "auth", "dkim", "domainkeys",
   "sender-id", "spf", and "vbr", respectively are defined for MTAs
   applying those specifications for email message authentication.

   Furthermore, method "iprev" is defined in Section 3.

   See Section 6 for details.

2.6.2.  Extension Methods

   Additional authentication method identifiers (extension methods) may
   be defined in the future by later revisions or extensions to this
   specification.  Method identifiers MUST be registered with the
   Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and, preferably, published
   in an RFC.  See Section 6 for further details.

   Extension methods can be defined for the following reasons:

   1.  To allow additional information from new authentication systems
       to be communicated to MUAs or downstream filters.  The names of
       such identifiers SHOULD reflect the name of the method being
       defined, but ought not be needlessly long.





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   2.  To allow the creation of "sub-identifiers" that indicate
       different levels of authentication and differentiate between
       their relative strengths, e.g., "auth1-weak" and "auth1-strong".

   Authentication method implementers are encouraged to provide adequate
   information, via [MAIL] comments if necessary, to allow an MUA
   developer to understand or relay anciliary details of authentication
   results.  For example, if it might be of interest to relay what data
   was used to perform an evaluation, such information could be relayed
   as a comment in the header field, such as:

        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  foo=pass bar.baz=blob (2 of 3 tests OK)

   Experimental method identifiers MUST only be used within ADMDs that
   have explicitly consented to use them.  These method identifiers and
   the parameters associated with them are not documented in RFCs.
   Therefore, they are subject to change at any time and not suitable
   for production use.  Any MTA, MUA, or downstream filter intended for
   production use SHOULD ignore or delete any Authentication-Results
   header field that includes an experimental (unknown) method
   identifier.

3.  The "iprev" Authentication Method

   This section defines an additional authentication method called
   "iprev".

   In general, "iprev" is an attempt to verify that a client appears to
   be valid based on some DNS queries.  Upon receiving a session
   initiation of some kind from a client, the IP address of the client
   peer is queried for matching names (i.e., a number-to-name
   translation, also known as a "reverse lookup" or a "PTR" record
   query).  Once that result is acquired, a lookup of each of the names
   (i.e., a name-to-number translation, or an "A" or "AAAA" record
   query) thus retrieved is done.  The response to this second check
   will typically result in at least one mapping back to the client's IP
   address.

   Expressed as an algorithm: If the client peer's IP address is I, the
   list of names to which I maps (after a "PTR" query) is the set N, and
   the union of IP addresses to which each member of N maps (after
   corresponding "A" and "AAAA" queries) is L, then this test is
   successful if I is an element of L.

   The response to a PTR query could contain multiple names.  To prevent
   heavy DNS loads, agents performing these queries MUST be implemented
   such that the number of names evaluated by generation of



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   corresponding A or AAAA queries is finite, though it MAY be
   configurable by an administrator.  As an example, Section 5.5 of
   [SPF] chose a limit of 10 for its implementation of this algorithm.

   [DNS-IP6] discusses the query formats for the IPv6 case.

   A successful test using this algorithm constitutes a result of "pass"
   since the ADMD in which the client's PTR claims it belongs has
   confirmed that claim by including corresponding data in its DNS
   domain.  A failure to match constitutes a "fail".  There is no case
   in which a "neutral" result can be returned.  The remaining
   "temperror" and "permerror" cases refer, respectively, to temporary
   and permanent DNS query errors.

   There is some contention regarding the wisdom and reliability of this
   test.  For example, in some regions it can be difficult for this test
   ever to pass because the practice of arranging to match the forward
   and reverse DNS is infrequently observed.  Therefore, the precise
   implementation details of how a verifier performs an "iprev" test are
   not specified here.  The verifier MAY report a successful or failed
   "iprev" test at its discretion having done some kind of check of the
   validity of the connection's identity using DNS.  It is incumbent
   upon an agent making use of the reported "iprev" result to understand
   what exactly that particular verifier is attempting to report.

   Extensive discussion of reverse DNS mapping and its implications can
   be found in [DNSOP-REVERSE].  In particular, it recommends that
   applications avoid using this test as a means of authentication or
   security.  Its presence in this document is not an endorsement, but
   is merely acknowledgement that the method remains common and provides
   the means to relay the results of that test.

4.  Adding the Header Field to A Message

   This specification makes no attempt to evaluate the relative
   strengths of various message authentication methods that may become
   available.  As such, the order of the presented authentication
   methods and results MUST NOT be used either to imply or infer the
   importance or strength of any given method over another.  Instead,
   the MUA or downstream filter consuming this header field is to
   interpret the result of each method based on its own knowledge of
   what that method evaluates.

   Each "method" MUST refer to an authentication method declared in the
   IANA registry, or an extension method as described in Section 2.6.2,
   and each "result" MUST refer to a result code declared in the IANA
   registry, or an extension result code as defined in Section 2.5.5.
   See Section 6 for further information about the registered methods



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   and result codes.

   An MTA compliant with this specification MUST add this header field
   (after performing one or more message authentication tests) to
   indicate which MTA or ADMD performed the test, which test got applied
   and what the result was.  If an MTA applies more than one such test,
   it MUST add this header field either once per test, or once
   indicating all of the results.  An MTA MUST NOT add a result to an
   existing header field.

   An MTA MAY add this header field containing only the authentication
   identifier portion and the "none" token (see Section 2.2) to indicate
   explicitly that no message authentication schemes were applied prior
   to delivery of this message.

   An MTA adding this header field MUST take steps to identify it as
   legitimate to the MUAs or downstream filters that will ultimately
   consume its content.  One REQUIRED process to do so is described in
   Section 5.  Further measures may be necessary in some environments.
   Some possible solutions are enumerated in Section 7.1.  This document
   does not mandate any specific solution to this issue as each
   environment has its own facilities and limitations.

   For MTAs that add this header field, adding header fields in order
   (at the top), per Section 3.6 of [MAIL], is particularly important.
   Moreover, this header field SHOULD be inserted above any other trace
   header fields such MTAs might prepend.  This allows easy detection of
   header fields that can be trusted.

   End users making direct use of this header field might inadvertently
   trust information that has not been properly vetted.  If, for
   example, a basic [SPF] result were to be relayed that claims an
   authenticated addr-spec, the local-part of that addr-spec has
   actually not been authenticated.  Thus, an MTA adding this header
   field SHOULD NOT include any data that has not been authenticated by
   the method(s) being applied.  Moreover, MUAs SHOULD NOT render to
   users such information if it is presented by a method known not to
   authenticate it.

4.1.  Header Field Position and Interpretation

   In order to ensure non-ambiguous results and avoid the impact of
   false header fields, MUAs and downstream filters SHOULD NOT interpret
   this header field unless specifically instructed to do so by the user
   or administrator.  That is, this interpretation should not be "on by
   default".  Naturally then, users or administrators ought not activate
   such a feature unless they are certain the header field will be added
   by the border MTA that accepts the mail that is ultimately read by



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   the MUA, and instances of the header field appearing to originate
   within the ADMD but are actually added by foreign MTAs will be
   removed before delivery.

   Furthermore, MUAs and downstream filters SHOULD NOT interpret this
   header field unless the authentication service identifier it bears
   appears to be one used within its own ADMD as configured by the user
   or administrator.

   MUAs and downstream filters MUST ignore any result reported using a
   "result" not specified in the result code registry, or a "ptype" not
   listed in the corresponding registry for such values as defined in
   Section 6.  Moreover, such agents MUST ignore a result indicated for
   any "method" they do not specifically support.

   An MUA SHOULD NOT reveal these results to end users unless the
   results are accompanied by, at a minimum, some associated reputation
   data about the authenticated origin identifiers within the message.
   For example, an attacker could register examp1e.com (note the digit
   "one") and send signed mail to intended victims; a verifier would
   detect that the signature was valid and report a "pass" even though
   it's clear the DNS domain name was intended to mislead.  See
   Section 7.2 for further discussion.

   As stated in Section 2.1, this header field SHOULD be treated as
   though it were a trace header field as defined in Section 3.6.7 of
   [MAIL], and hence MUST NOT be reordered and MUST be prepended to the
   message, so that there is generally some indication upon delivery of
   where in the chain of handling MTAs the message authentication was
   done.

   MUAs SHOULD ignore instances of this header field discovered within
   message/rfc822 [MIME] attachments.

   Further discussion of this can be found in Section 7 below.

4.2.  Local Policy Enforcement

   If a site's local policy is to consider a non-recoverable failure
   result (e.g., "fail" for DKIM, "hardfail" for SPF) for any particular
   authentication method as justification to reject the message
   completely, the border MTA SHOULD issue an [SMTP] rejection response
   to the message rather than adding this header field with the failure
   result and allowing it to proceed toward delivery.  This is more
   desirable than allowing the message to reach an internal host's MTA
   or spam filter, thus possibly generating a local rejection such as a
   [DSN] to a forged originator.  Such generated rejections are
   colloquially known as "backscatter".



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   The same MAY also be done for local policy decisions overriding the
   results of the authentication methods (e.g., the "policy" result
   codes described in Section 2.5).

   Such rejections at the SMTP protocol level are not possible if local
   policy is enforced at the MUA and not the MTA.

5.  Removing the Header Field

   For security reasons, any MTA conforming to this specification MUST
   delete any discovered instance of this header field that claims, by
   virtue of its authentication service identifier, to have been added
   within its trust boundary and that did not come directly from another
   trusted MTA.  For example, an MTA for example.com receiving a message
   MUST delete or otherwise obscure any instance of this header field
   bearing an authentication service identifier indicating the header
   field was added within example.com prior to adding its own header
   fields.  This could mean each MTA will have to be equipped with a
   list of internal MTAs known to be compliant (and hence trustworthy).

   For simplicity and maximum security, a border MTA MAY remove all
   instances of this header field on mail crossing into its trust
   boundary.  However, this may conflict with the desire to access
   authentication results performed by trusted external service
   providers.  It may also invalidate signed messages whose signatures
   cover external instances of this header field.  A more robust border
   MTA could allow a specific list of authenticating MTAs whose
   information is to be admitted, removing all others.

   As stated in Section 1.2, a formal definition of "trust boundary" is
   deliberately not made here.  It is entirely possible that a border
   MTA for example.com will explicitly trust authentication results
   asserted by upstream host example.net even though they exist in
   completely disjoint administrative boundaries.  In that case, the
   border MTA MAY elect not to delete those results; moreover, the
   upstream host doing some authentication work could apply a signing
   technology such as [DKIM] on its own results to assure downstream
   hosts of their authenticity.  An example of this is provided in
   Appendix C.

   Similarly, in the case of messages signed using [DKIM] or other
   message signing methods that sign header fields, this removal action
   could invalidate one or more signatures on the message if they
   covered the header field to be removed.  This behavior can be
   desirable since there's little value in validating the signature on a
   message with forged header fields.  However, signing agents MAY
   therefore elect to omit these header fields from signing to avoid
   this situation.



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   An MTA SHOULD remove any instance of this header field bearing a
   version (express or implied) that it does not support.  However, an
   MTA MUST remove such a header field if the [SMTP] connection relaying
   the message is not from a trusted internal MTA.

6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has registered the defined header field and created two tables
   as described below.  These registry actions were originally defined
   by [AR-ORIG] and are repeated here to provide a single, current
   reference.

6.1.  The Authentication-Results Header Field

   [AR-ORIG] added the "Authentication-Results" header field to the IANA
   Permanent Message Header Field Registry, per the procedure found in
   [IANA-HEADERS].  That entry is to be updated to reference this
   document.  The following is the registration template:

     Header field name: Authentication-Results
     Applicable protocol: mail ([MAIL])
     Status: Standard
     Author/Change controller: IETF
     Specification document(s): [this memo]
     Related information:
       Requesting review of any proposed changes and additions to
       this field is recommended.

6.2.  Email Authentication Method Name Registry

   Names of message authentication methods supported by this
   specification are to be registered with IANA, with the exception of
   experimental names as described in Section 2.6.2.  A registry was
   created by [AR-ORIG] for this purpose.  This document changes the
   rules governing that registry.

   New entries are assigned only for values that have received Expert
   Review, per [IANA-CONSIDERATIONS].  The Designated Expert shall be
   appointed by the IESG.  The Designated Expert has discretion to
   request that a publication be referenced if a clear, concise
   definition of the authentication method cannot be provided such that
   interoperability is assured.  Registrations should otherwise be
   permitted.  The Designated Expert can also handle requests to mark
   any current registration as "deprecated".

   Each method must register a name, the specification that defines it,
   a version number associated with the method being registered
   (preferably starting at "1"), and zero or more "ptype" values



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   appropriate for use with that method, which "property" value(s)
   should be reported by that method, and a description of the "value"
   to be used with each.

   All existing registry entries that reference [AR-ORIG] are to be
   updated to reference this document.

   IANA is also requested to add a "version" field to all existing
   registry entries.  All current methods are to be recorded as version
   "1".

6.3.  Email Authentication Result Name Registry

   Names of message authentication result codes supported by this
   specification must be registered with IANA, with the exception of
   experimental codes as described in Section 2.5.5.  A registry was
   created by [AR-ORIG] for this purpose.  This document changes the
   rules governing that registry.

   New entries are assigned only for values that have received Expert
   Review, per [IANA-CONSIDERATIONS].  The Designated Expert shall be
   appointed by the IESG.  The Designated Expert has discretion to
   request that a publication be referenced if a clear, concise
   definition of the authentication result cannot be provided such that
   interoperability is assured.  Registrations should otherwise be
   permitted.  The Designated Expert can also handle requests to mark
   any current registration as "deprecated".

   All existing registry entries that reference [AR-ORIG] are to be
   updated to reference this document.

7.  Security Considerations

   The following security considerations apply when adding or processing
   the "Authentication-Results" header field:

7.1.  Forged Header Fields

   An MUA or filter that accesses a mailbox whose mail is handled by a
   non-conformant MTA, and understands Authentication-Results header
   fields, could potentially make false conclusions based on forged
   header fields.  A malicious user or agent could forge a header field
   using the DNS domain of a receiving ADMD as the authserv-id token in
   the value of the header field, and with the rest of the value claim
   that the message was properly authenticated.  The non-conformant MTA
   would fail to strip the forged header field, and the MUA could
   inappropriately trust it.




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   It is for this reason an MUA should not have processing of the
   "Authentication-Results" header field enabled by default; instead it
   should be ignored, at least for the purposes of enacting filtering
   decisions, unless specifically enabled by the user or administrator
   after verifying that the border MTA is compliant.  It is acceptable
   to have an MUA aware of this specification, but have an explicit list
   of hostnames whose "Authentication-Results" header fields are
   trustworthy; however, this list should initially be empty.

   Proposed alternate solutions to this problem are nascent:

   1.  Possibly the simplest is a digital signature protecting the
       header field, such as using [DKIM], that can be verified by an
       MUA by using a posted public key.  Although one of the main
       purposes of this document is to relieve the burden of doing
       message authentication work at the MUA, this only requires that
       the MUA learn a single authentication scheme even if a number of
       them are in use at the border MTA.  Note that [DKIM] requires
       that the From header field be signed, although in this
       application, the signing agent (a trusted MTA) likely cannot
       authenticate that value, so the fact that it is signed should be
       ignored.

   2.  Another would be a means to interrogate the MTA that added the
       header field to see if it is actually providing any message
       authentication services and saw the message in question, but this
       isn't especially palatable given the work required to craft and
       implement such a scheme.

   3.  Yet another might be a method to interrogate the internal MTAs
       that apparently handled the message (based on Received: header
       fields) to determine whether any of them conform to Section 5 of
       this memo.  This, too, has potentially high barriers to entry.

   4.  Extensions to [IMAP], [SMTP], and [POP3] could be defined to
       allow an MUA or filtering agent to acquire the "authserv-id" in
       use within an ADMD, thus allowing it to identify which
       Authentication-Results header fields it can trust.

   5.  On the presumption that internal MTAs are fully compliant with
       Section 3.6 of [MAIL], and the compliant internal MTAs are using
       their own host names or the ADMD's DNS domain name as the
       "authserv-id" token, the header field proposed here should always
       appear above a Received: header added by a trusted MTA.  This can
       be used as a test for header field validity.

   Support for some of these is being considered for future work.




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   In any case, a mechanism needs to exist for an MUA or filter to
   verify that the host that appears to have added the header field (a)
   actually did so, and (b) is legitimately adding that header field for
   this delivery.  Given the variety of messaging environments deployed
   today, consensus appears to be that specifying a particular mechanism
   for doing so is not appropriate for this document.

   Mitigation of the forged header field attack can also be accomplished
   by moving the authentication results data into meta-data associated
   with the message.  In particular, an [SMTP] extension could be
   established that is used to communicate authentication results from
   the border MTA to intermediate and delivery MTAs; the latter of these
   could arrange to store the authentication results as meta-data
   retrieved and rendered along with the message by an [IMAP] client
   aware of a similar extension in that protocol.  The delivery MTA
   would be told to trust data via this extension only from MTAs it
   trusts, and border MTAs would not accept data via this extension from
   any source.  There is no vector in such an arrangement for forgery of
   authentication data by an outside agent.

7.2.  Misleading Results

   Until some form of service for querying the reputation of a sending
   agent is widely deployed, the existence of this header field
   indicating a "pass" does not render the message trustworthy.  It is
   possible for an arriving piece of spam or other undesirable mail to
   pass checks by several of the methods enumerated above (e.g., a piece
   of spam signed using [DKIM] by the originator of the spam, which
   might be a spammer or a compromised system).  In particular, this
   issue is not resolved by forged header field removal discussed above.

   Hence, MUAs and downstream filters must take some care with use of
   this header even after possibly malicious headers are scrubbed.

7.3.  Header Field Position

   Despite the requirements of [MAIL], header fields can sometimes be
   reordered enroute by intermediate MTAs.  The goal of requiring header
   field addition only at the top of a message is an acknowledgement
   that some MTAs do reorder header fields, but most do not.  Thus, in
   the general case, there will be some indication of which MTAs (if
   any) handled the message after the addition of the header field
   defined here.

7.4.  Reverse IP Query Denial-of-Service Attacks

   Section 5.5 of [SPF] describes a DNS-based denial-of-service attack
   for verifiers that attempt DNS-based identity verification of



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   arriving client connections.  A verifier wishing to do this check and
   report this information need to take care not to go to unbounded
   lengths to resolve "A" and "PTR" queries.  MUAs or other filters
   making use of an "iprev" result specified by this document need to be
   aware of the algorithm used by the verifier reporting the result and,
   especially, its limitations.

7.5.  Mitigation of Backscatter

   Failing to follow the instructions of Section 4.2 can result in a
   denial-of-service attack caused by the generation of [DSN] messages
   (or equivalent) to addresses that did not send the messages being
   rejected.

7.6.  Internal MTA Lists

   Section 5 describes a procedure for scrubbing header fields that may
   contain forged authentication results about a message.  A compliant
   installation will have to include, at each MTA, a list of other MTAs
   known to be compliant and trustworthy.  Failing to keep this list
   current as internal infrastructure changes may expose an ADMD to
   attack.

7.7.  Attacks against Authentication Methods

   If an attack becomes known against an authentication method, clearly
   then the agent verifying that method can be fooled into thinking an
   inauthentic message is authentic, and thus the value of this header
   field can be misleading.  It follows that any attack against the
   authentication methods supported by this document (and later
   amendments to it) is also a security consideration here.

7.8.  Intentionally Malformed Header Fields

   It is possible for an attacker to add an Authentication-Results
   header field that is extraordinarily large or otherwise malformed in
   an attempt to discover or exploit weaknesses in header field parsing
   code.  Implementers must thoroughly verify all such header fields
   received from MTAs and be robust against intentionally as well as
   unintentionally malformed header fields.

7.9.  Compromised Internal Hosts

   An internal MUA or MTA that has been compromised could generate mail
   with a forged From header field and a forged Authentication-Results
   header field that endorses it.  Although it is clearly a larger
   concern to have compromised internal machines than it is to prove the
   value of this header field, this risk can be mitigated by arranging



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   that internal MTAs will remove this header field if it claims to have
   been added by a trusted border MTA (as described above), yet the
   [SMTP] connection is not coming from an internal machine known to be
   running an authorized MTA.  However, in such a configuration,
   legitimate MTAs will have to add this header field when legitimate
   internal-only messages are generated.  This is also covered in
   Section 5.

7.10.  Encapsulated Instances

   [MIME] messages can contain attachments of type "message/rfc822",
   which contain other [MAIL] messages.  Such an encapsulated message
   can also contain an Authentication-Results header field.  Although
   the processing of these is outside of the intended scope of this
   document (see Section 1.3), some early guidance to MUA developers is
   appropriate here.

   Since MTAs are unlikely to strip Authentication-Results header fields
   after mailbox delivery, MUAs are advised in Section 4.1 to ignore
   such instances within [MIME] attachments.  Moreover, when extracting
   a message digest to separate mail store messages or other media, such
   header fields should be removed so that they will never be
   interpreted improperly by MUAs that might later consume them.

7.11.  Reverse Mapping

   Although Section 3 of this memo includes explicit support for the
   "iprev" method, its value as an authentication mechanism is limited.
   Implementers of both this proposal and agents that use the data it
   relays are encouraged to become familiar with the issues raised by
   [DNSOP-REVERSE] when deciding whether or not to include support for
   "iprev".

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [ABNF]                 Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for
                          Syntax Specifications: ABNF", STD 68,
                          RFC 5234, January 2008.

   [AR-ORIG]              Kucherawy, M., "Message Header Field for
                          Indicating Message Authentication Status",
                          RFC 5451, April 2009.

   [IANA-HEADERS]         Klyne, G., Nottingham, M., and J. Mogul,
                          "Registration Procedures for Message Header
                          Fields", BCP 90, RFC 3864, September 2004.



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   [KEYWORDS]             Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to
                          Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14,
                          RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [MAIL]                 Resnick, P., Ed., "Internet Message Format",
                          RFC 5322, October 2008.

   [MIME]                 Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose
                          Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part One:
                          Format of Internet Message Bodies", RFC 2045,
                          November 1996.

8.2.  Informative References

   [ADSP]                 Allman, E., Fenton, J., Delany, M., and J.
                          Levine, "DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
                          Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP)",
                          RFC 5617, August 2009.

   [ATPS]                 Kucherawy, M., "DomainKeys Identified Mail
                          (DKIM) Authorized Third-Party Signatures",
                          RFC 6541, February 2012.

   [AUTH]                 Siemborski, R. and A. Melnikov, "SMTP Service
                          Extension for Authentication", RFC 4954,
                          July 2007.

   [DKIM]                 Crocker, D., Hansen, T., and M. Kucherawy,
                          "DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
                          Signatures", RFC 6376, September 2011.

   [DNS]                  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names -
                          implementation and specification", STD 13,
                          RFC 1035, November 1987.

   [DNS-IP6]              Thomson, S., Huitema, C., Ksinant, V., and M.
                          Souissi, "DNS Extensions to Support IP Version
                          6", RFC 3596, October 2003.

   [DNSOP-REVERSE]        Senie, D. and A. Sullivan, "Considerations for
                          the use of DNS Reverse Mapping", Work
                          in Progress, March 2008.

   [DOMAINKEYS]           Delany, M., "Domain-Based Email Authentication
                          Using Public Keys Advertised in the DNS
                          (DomainKeys)", RFC 4870, May 2007.

   [DSN]                  Moore, K. and G. Vaudreuil, "An Extensible



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                          Message Format for Delivery Status
                          Notifications", RFC 3464, January 2003.

   [EMAIL-ARCH]           Crocker, D., "Internet Mail Architecture",
                          RFC 5598, October 2008.

   [IANA-CONSIDERATIONS]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for
                          Writing an IANA Considerations Section in
                          RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226, May 2008.

   [IMAP]                 Crispin, M., "INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL
                          - VERSION 4rev1", RFC 3501, March 2003.

   [POP3]                 Myers, J. and M. Rose, "Post Office Protocol -
                          Version 3", STD 53, RFC 1939, May 1996.

   [SECURITY]             Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for
                          Writing RFC Text on Security Considerations",
                          BCP 72, RFC 3552, July 2003.

   [SENDERID]             Lyon, J. and M. Wong, "Sender ID:
                          Authenticating E-Mail", RFC 4406, April 2006.

   [SMTP]                 Klensin, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol",
                          RFC 5321, October 2008.

   [SPF]                  Wong, M. and W. Schlitt, "Sender Policy
                          Framework (SPF) for Authorizing Use of Domains
                          in E-Mail, Version 1", RFC 4408, April 2006.

   [VBR]                  Hoffman, P., Levine, J., and A. Hathcock,
                          "Vouch By Reference", RFC 5518, April 2009.

Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   The author wishes to acknowledge the following for their review and
   constructive criticism of this update: Dave Cridland, Scott
   Kitterman, S. Moonesamy, Alessandro Vesely, [other names]

Appendix B.  Legacy MUAs

   Implementers of this protocol should be aware that many MUAs are
   unlikely to be retrofitted to support the new header field and its
   semantics.  In the interests of convenience and quicker adoption, a
   delivery MTA might want to consider adding things that are processed
   by existing MUAs in addition to the Authentication-Results header
   field.  One suggestion is to include a Priority header field, on
   messages that don't already have such a header field, containing a



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   value that reflects the strength of the authentication that was
   accomplished, e.g., "low" for weak or no authentication, "normal" or
   "high" for good or strong authentication.

   Some modern MUAs can already filter based on the content of this
   header field.  However, there is keen interest in having MUAs make
   some kind of graphical representation of this header field's meaning
   to end users.  Until this capability is added, other interim means of
   conveying authentication results may be necessary while this proposal
   and its successors are adopted.

Appendix C.  Authentication-Results Examples

   This section presents some examples of the use of this header field
   to indicate authentication results.

C.1.  Trivial Case; Header Field Not Present

   The trivial case:

        Received: from mail-router.example.com
                      (mail-router.example.com [192.0.2.1])
                  by server.example.org (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        From: sender@example.com
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: receiver@example.org
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@example.com>
        Subject: here's a sample

        Hello!  Goodbye!

   Example 1: Trivial case

   The "Authentication-Results" header field is completely absent.  The
   MUA may make no conclusion about the validity of the message.  This
   could be the case because the message authentication services were
   not available at the time of delivery, or no service is provided, or
   the MTA is not in compliance with this specification.











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C.2.  Nearly Trivial Case; Service Provided, But No Authentication Done

   A message that was delivered by an MTA that conforms to this
   specification but provides no actual message authentication service:

        Authentication-Results: example.org/1; none
        Received: from mail-router.example.com
                      (mail-router.example.com [192.0.2.1])
                  by server.example.org (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        From: sender@example.com
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: receiver@example.org
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@example.com>
        Subject: here's a sample

        Hello!  Goodbye!

   Example 2: Header present but no authentication done

   The "Authentication-Results" header field is present, showing that
   the delivering MTA conforms to this specification.  It used its DNS
   domain name as the authserv-id.  The presence of "none" (and the
   absence of any method and result tokens) indicates that no message
   authentication was done.  The version number of the specification to
   which the field's content conforms is explicitly provided.
























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C.3.  Service Provided, Authentication Done

   A message that was delivered by an MTA that conforms to this
   specification and applied some message authentication:

        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  spf=pass smtp.mailfrom=example.net
        Received: from dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net
                      (dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net [192.0.2.200])
                  by mail-router.example.com (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        From: sender@example.net
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: receiver@example.com
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@example.net>
        Subject: here's a sample

        Hello!  Goodbye!

   Example 3: Header reporting results

   The "Authentication-Results" header field is present, indicating that
   the border MTA conforms to this specification.  The authserv-id is
   once again the DNS domain name.  Furthermore, the message was
   authenticated by that MTA via the method specified in [SPF].  Note
   that since that method cannot authenticate the local-part, it has
   been omitted from the result's value.  The MUA could extract and
   relay this extra information if desired.






















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C.4.  Service Provided, Several Authentications Done, Single MTA

   A message that was relayed inbound via a single MTA that conforms to
   this specification and applied three different message authentication
   checks:

        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  auth=pass (cram-md5) smtp.auth=sender@example.com;
                  spf=pass smtp.mailfrom=example.com
        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  sender-id=pass header.from=example.com
        Received: from dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      (dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net [192.0.2.200])
                  by mail-router.example.com (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: receiver@example.net
        From: sender@example.com
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@example.com>
        Subject: here's a sample

        Hello!  Goodbye!

   Example 4: Headers reporting results from one MTA

   The "Authentication-Results" header field is present, indicating the
   delivering MTA conforms to this specification.  Once again, the
   receiving DNS domain name is used as the authserv-id.  Furthermore,
   the sender authenticated herself/himself to the MTA via a method
   specified in [AUTH], and both [SPF] and [SENDERID] checks were done
   and passed.  The MUA could extract and relay this extra information
   if desired.

   Two "Authentication-Results" header fields are not required since the
   same host did all of the checking.  The authenticating agent could
   have consolidated all the results into one header field.

   This example illustrates a scenario in which a remote user on a
   dialup connection (example.net) sends mail to a border MTA
   (example.com) using SMTP authentication to prove identity.  The
   dialup provider has been explicitly authorized to relay mail as
   "example.com" resulting in passes by the SPF and SenderID checks.








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C.5.  Service Provided, Several Authentications Done, Different MTAs

   A message that was relayed inbound by two different MTAs that conform
   to this specification and applied multiple message authentication
   checks:

        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  sender-id=fail header.from=example.com;
                  dkim=pass (good signature) header.d=example.com
        Received: from mail-router.example.com
                      (mail-router.example.com [192.0.2.1])
                  by auth-checker.example.com (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id i7PK0sH7021929;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:22 -0800
        DKIM-Signature:  v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=gatsby; d=example.com;
                  t=1188964191; c=simple/simple; h=From:Date:To:Subject:
                  Message-Id:Authentication-Results;
                  bh=sEuZGD/pSr7ANysbY3jtdaQ3Xv9xPQtS0m70;
                  b=EToRSuvUfQVP3Bkz ... rTB0t0gYnBVCM=
        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  auth=pass (cram-md5) smtp.auth=sender@example.com;
                  spf=fail smtp.mailfrom=example.com
        Received: from dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net
                      (dialup-1-2-3-4.example.net [192.0.2.200])
                  by mail-router.example.com (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                      with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
                  Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        From: sender@example.com
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: receiver@example.com
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@example.com>
        Subject: here's a sample

        Hello!  Goodbye!

   Example 5: Headers reporting results from multiple MTAs

   The "Authentication-Results" header field is present, indicating
   conformance to this specification.  Once again, the authserv-id used
   is the recipient's DNS domain name.  The header field is present
   twice because two different MTAs in the chain of delivery did
   authentication tests.  The first, "mail-router.example.com" reports
   that [AUTH] and [SPF] were both used, and [AUTH] passed but [SPF]
   failed.  In the [AUTH] case, additional data is provided in the
   comment field, which the MUA can choose to render if desired.

   The second MTA, "auth-checker.example.com", reports that it did a
   [SENDERID] test (which failed) and a [DKIM] test (which passed).



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   Again, additional data about one of the tests is provided as a
   comment, which the MUA may choose to render.  Also noteworthy here is
   the fact that there is a DKIM signature added by example.com that
   assured the integrity of the lower Authentication-Results field.

   Since different hosts did the two sets of authentication checks, the
   header fields cannot be consolidated in this example.

   This example illustrates more typical transmission of mail into
   "example.com" from a user on a dialup connection "example.net".  The
   user appears to be legitimate as he/she had a valid password allowing
   authentication at the border MTA using [AUTH].  The [SPF] and
   [SENDERID] tests failed since "example.com" has not granted
   "example.net" authority to relay mail on its behalf.  However, the
   [DKIM] test passed because the sending user had a private key
   matching one of "example.com"'s published public keys and used it to
   sign the message.


































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C.6.  Service Provided, Multi-Tiered Authentication Done

   A message that had authentication done at various stages, one of
   which was outside the receiving ADMD:

        Authentication-Results: example.com;
              dkim=pass reason="good signature"
                header.i=@mail-router.example.net;
              dkim=fail reason="bad signature"
                header.i=@newyork.example.com
        Received: from mail-router.example.net
                  (mail-router.example.net [192.0.2.250])
              by chicago.example.com (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                  for <recipient@chicago.example.com>
                  with ESMTP id i7PK0sH7021929;
              Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:22 -0800
        DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=furble;
              d=mail-router.example.net; t=1188964198; c=relaxed/simple;
              h=From:Date:To:Message-Id:Subject:Authentication-Results;
              bh=ftA9J6GtX8OpwUECzHnCkRzKw1uk6FNiLfJl5Nmv49E=;
              b=oINEO8hgn/gnunsg ... 9n9ODSNFSDij3=
        Authentication-Results: example.net;
              dkim=pass (good signature) header.i=@newyork.example.com
        Received: from smtp.newyork.example.com
                  (smtp.newyork.example.com [192.0.2.220])
              by mail-router.example.net (8.11.6/8.11.6)
                  with ESMTP id g1G0r1kA003489;
              Fri, Feb 15 2002 17:19:07 -0800
        DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=gatsby;
              d=newyork.example.com;
              t=1188964191; c=simple/simple;
              h=From:Date:To:Message-Id:Subject;
              bh=sEu28nfs9fuZGD/pSr7ANysbY3jtdaQ3Xv9xPQtS0m7=;
              b=EToRSuvUfQVP3Bkz ... rTB0t0gYnBVCM=
        From: sender@newyork.example.com
        Date: Fri, Feb 15 2002 16:54:30 -0800
        To: meetings@example.net
        Message-Id: <12345.abc@newyork.example.com>
        Subject: here's a sample

   Example 6: Headers reporting results from multiple MTAs in different
   ADMDs

   In this example we see multi-tiered authentication with an extended
   trust boundary.

   The message was sent from someone at example.com's New York office
   (newyork.example.com) to a mailing list managed at an intermediary.



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   The message was signed at the origin using [DKIM].

   The message was sent to a mailing list service provider called
   example.net, which is used by example.com.  There,
   meetings@example.net is expanded to a long list of recipients, one of
   that is at the Chicago office.  In this example, we will assume that
   the trust boundary for chicago.example.com includes the mailing list
   server at example.net.

   The mailing list server there first authenticated the message and
   affixed an Authentication-Results header field indicating such using
   its DNS domain name for the authserv-id.  It then altered the message
   by affixing some footer text to the body, including some
   administrivia such as unsubscription instructions.  Finally, the
   mailing list server affixes a second [DKIM] signature and begins
   distribution of the message.

   The border MTA for chicago.example.com explicitly trusts results from
   mail-router.example.net so that header field is not removed.  It
   performs evaluation of both signatures and determines that the first
   (most recent) is a "pass" but, because of the aforementioned
   modifications, the second is a "fail".  However, the first signature
   included the Authentication-Results header added at mail-
   router.example.net that validated the second signature.  Thus,
   indirectly, it can be determined that the authentications claimed by
   both signatures are indeed valid.

   Note that two styles of presenting meta-data about the result are in
   use here.  In one case, the "reason=" clause is present which is
   intended for easy extraction by parsers; in the other case, the CFWS
   production of the ABNF is used to include such data as a header field
   comment.  The latter can be harder for parsers to extract given the
   varied supported syntaxes of mail header fields.

C.7.  Comment-Heavy Example

   The formal syntax permits comments within the content in a number of
   places.  For the sake of illustration, this example is also legal:

       Authentication-Results: foo.example.net (foo) / (bar) 1 (baz);
           dkim (Because I like it) / 1 (One yay) = (wait for it) fail
             policy (A dot can go here) . (like that) expired
             (this surprised me) = (as I wasn't expecting it) 1362471462

   Example 7: A very comment-heavy but perfectly legal example






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Appendix D.  Operational Considerations about Message Authentication

   This protocol is predicated on the idea that authentication (and
   presumably in the future, reputation) work is typically done by
   border MTAs rather than MUAs or intermediate MTAs; the latter merely
   make use of the results determined by the former.  Certainly this is
   not mandatory for participation in electronic mail or message
   authentication, but this protocol and its deployment to date are
   based on that model.  The assumption satisfies several common ADMD
   requirements:

   1.  Service operators prefer to resolve the handling of problem
       messages as close to the border of the ADMD as possible.  This
       enables, for example, rejections of messages at the SMTP level
       rather than generating a DSN internally.  Thus, doing any of the
       authentication or reputation work exclusively at the MUA or
       intermediate MTA renders this desire unattainable.

   2.  Border MTAs are more likely to have direct access to external
       sources of authentication or reputation information since modern
       MUAs are more likely to be heavily firewalled.  Thus, some MUAs
       might not even be able to complete the task of performing
       authentication or reputation evaluations without complex proxy
       configurations or similar burdens.

   3.  MUAs rely upon the upstream MTAs within their trust boundaries to
       make correct (as much as that is possible) evaluations about the
       message's envelope, header and content.  Thus, MUAs don't need to
       know how to do the work that upstream MTAs do; they only need the
       results of that work.

   4.  Evaluations about the quality of a message, from simple token
       matching (e.g., a list of preferred DNS domains) to cryptanalysis
       (e.g., public/private key work), are at least a little bit
       expensive and thus need to be minimized.  To that end, performing
       those tests at the border MTA is far preferred to doing that work
       at each MUA that handles a message.  If an ADMD's environment
       adheres to common messaging protocols, a reputation query or an
       authentication check performed by a border MTA would return the
       same result as the same query performed by an MUA.  By contrast,
       in an environment where the MUA does the work, a message arriving
       for multiple recipients would thus cause authentication or
       reputation evaluation to be done more than once for the same
       message (i.e., at each MUA) causing needless amplification of
       resource use and creating a possible denial-of-service attack
       vector.





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   5.  Minimizing change is good.  As new authentication and reputation
       methods emerge, the list of methods supported by this header
       field would presumably be extended.  If MUAs simply consume the
       contents of this header field rather than actually attempting to
       do authentication and/or reputation work, then MUAs only need to
       learn to parse this header field once; emergence of new methods
       requires only a configuration change at the MUAs and software
       changes at the MTAs (which are presumably fewer in number).  When
       choosing to implement these functions in MTAs vs MUAs, the issues
       of individual flexibility, infrastructure inertia and scale of
       effort must be considered.  It is typically easier to change a
       single MUA than an MTA because the modification affects fewer
       users and can be pursued with less care.  However, changing many
       MUAs is more effort than changing a smaller number of MTAs.

   6.  For decisions affecting message delivery and display, assessment
       based on authentication and reputation is best performed close to
       the time of message transit, as a message makes its journey
       toward a user's inbox, not afterwards.  DKIM keys and IP address
       reputations, etc., can change over time or even become invalid,
       and users can take a long time to read a message once delivered.
       The value of this work thus degrades, perhaps quickly, once the
       delivery process has completed.  This seriously diminishes the
       value of this work when done other than at MTAs.

   Many operational choices are possible within an ADMD, including the
   venue for performing authentication and/or reputation assessment.
   The current specification does not dictate any of those choices.
   Rather, it facilitates those cases in which information produced by
   one stage of analysis needs to be transported with the message to the
   next stage.

Appendix E.  Known Implementations

   [Note to IESG: This can be dropped prior to publication unless it's
   desirable to carry the information visibly in this way.]

   o  Google Mail (Gmail)

   o  Yahoo!  Mail

   o  Hotmail

   o  Courier MTA (http://www.courier-mta.org)

   o  sid-milter (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sid-milter)





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   o  OpenDKIM (http://www.opendkim.org)

   o  OpenDMARC (http://www.trusteddomain.org/opendmarc.html)

   o  An open source Python module
      (https://pypi.python.org/pypi/authres/0.402)

Appendix F.  Changes since RFC5451

   [Note to IESG: This can be dropped prior to publication unless it's
   desirable to carry the changes visibly in this way.]

   o  Errata #2617 was addressed in RFC6577 and was incorporated here

   o  Request Internet Standard status

   o  Change IANA rules to Designated Expert from IETF Review

   o  Update existing IANA registries from the old RFC to this one

   o  Add references to ADSP, ATPS, VBR

   o  Remove all the "X-" stuff, per BCP178

   o  Adjust language to indicate that this header field was already
      defined, and we're just refreshing and revising

   o  In a few places, RFC2119 language had been used in lowercase
      terms; fixed here

   o  Errata #2818 addressed

   o  Errata #3195 addressed

   o  Some minor wordsmithing and removal of odd prose

   o  ABNF: change "dot-atom" to "Keyword" since "dot-atom" allows "=",
      which leads to ambiguous productions

   o  Call out the SMTP verb exceptions ("mailfrom" and "rcptto"); the
      previous RFC didn't do this, leading to interoperability problems

   o  Rather then deleting suspect header fields, they could also be
      renamed to something harmless; there is at least one
      implementation of this

   o  Update IANA method registry to include version numbers




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   o  Review "should" vs. SHOULD

Author's Address

   Murray S. Kucherawy
   270 Upland Drive
   San Francisco, CA  94127
   US

   EMail: superuser@gmail.com









































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