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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 RFC 5451

Individual submission                                       M. Kucherawy
Internet-Draft                                            Sendmail, Inc.
Intended status: Standards Track                        December 3, 2008
Expires: June 6, 2009


   Message Header Field for Indicating Message Authentication Status
                 draft-kucherawy-sender-auth-header-18

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on June 6, 2009.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).














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Abstract

   This memo defines a new 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), may use this message header field to relay that information
   in a convenient way to users or to make sorting and filtering
   decisions.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.1.  Purpose  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.2.  Trust Boundary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.3.  Processing Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.4.  Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.5.  Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.1.  General  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.2.  Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       1.5.3.  E-Mail Architecture  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     1.6.  Trust Environment  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   2.  Definition and Format of the Header Field  . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.1.  General Description  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.2.  Formal Definition  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     2.3.  Authentication Identifier Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     2.4.  Result Values  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       2.4.1.  DKIM and DomainKeys Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       2.4.2.  DKIM ADSP Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       2.4.3.  SPF and Sender-ID Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       2.4.4.  iprev Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       2.4.5.  SMTP AUTH Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       2.4.6.  Extension Result Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     2.5.  Authentication Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.5.1.  Definition Of Initial Methods  . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.5.2.  Extension Methods  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   3.  The 'iprev' Authentication Method  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   4.  Adding The Header Field To A Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     4.1.  Header Field Position and Interpretation . . . . . . . . . 21
     4.2.  Local Policy Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   5.  Removing The Header Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     6.1.  The Authentication-Results Header Field  . . . . . . . . . 24
     6.2.  Email Authentication Method Name Registry  . . . . . . . . 24
     6.3.  Email Authentication Result Name Registry  . . . . . . . . 25
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     7.1.  Forged Header Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     7.2.  Misleading Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29



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     7.3.  Header Field Position  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
     7.4.  Reverse IP Query Denial-Of-Service Attacks . . . . . . . . 30
     7.5.  Mitigation of Backscatter  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
     7.6.  Internal MTA Lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
     7.7.  Attacks Against Authentication Methods . . . . . . . . . . 30
     7.8.  Intentionally Malformed Header Fields  . . . . . . . . . . 31
     7.9.  Compromised Internal Hosts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     7.10. Encapsulated Instances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
   8.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
     8.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
     8.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
   Appendix B.  Legacy MUAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
   Appendix C.  Authentication-Results Examples . . . . . . . . . . . 36
     C.1.  Trivial case; header field not present . . . . . . . . . . 36
     C.2.  Nearly-trivial case; service provided, but no
           authentication done  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
     C.3.  Service provided, authentication done  . . . . . . . . . . 37
     C.4.  Service provided, several authentications done, single
           MTA  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
     C.5.  Service provided, several authentications done,
           different MTAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
     C.6.  Service provided, multi-tiered authentication done . . . . 41
   Appendix D.  Public Discussion, History and Support  . . . . . . . 43
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 46

























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1.  Introduction

   This memo defines a new header field for electronic mail messages
   which presents the results of a message authentication effort in a
   machine-readable format.  The intent 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 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
   which will then use or render such data in a human-usable form.

   This memo defines both the format of this new header field and
   discusses the implications of its presence or absence.

   [UPDATE PRIOR TO FINAL VERSION] At the time of publication of this
   draft, [AUTH], [DKIM], [DOMAINKEYS], [I-D.DRAFT-IETF-DKIM-SSP],
   [SENDERID] and [SPF] are the published e-mail authentication methods
   in common use.  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 for this
   purpose, that header field is specific to the conveyance of SPF and
   similar results only and thus is insufficient to satisfy the
   requirements enumerated below.

1.1.  Purpose

   The header field defined in this memo 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



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   construed as meaning that its data is valid, but rather that it is
   asserting validity based on one or more authentication schemes
   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 mail 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 which do not deliberately provide some kind of messaging
   service for the receiving domain's users, and "internal" includes
   those hosts which 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 which also provide services for the
   former.

1.3.  Processing Scope

   This proposal 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 memo establishes no new requirements on existing protocols or
   servers.

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





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1.5.  Definitions

   This section defines various terms used throughout this document.

1.5.1.  General

   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 domain arrived via a
      route the domain's owner 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 domain that
   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, whereas [DKIM] is
   agnostic as to the routing of a message but by virtue of
   cryptographic verification is asserting that a message which
   validates is indeed entirely authentic (and thus must have been, at
   least implicitly, authorized).

   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.  E-Mail Architecture

   o  A "border MTA" is an MTA which 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 which
      actually enacts delivery of a message to a user's inbox or other



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      final delivery.

   o  An "intermediate MTA" is an MTA which handles messages after a
      border MTAs 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,
   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" may 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 from this specification.

   See [I-D.DRAFT-CROCKER-EMAIL-ARCH] for further discussion on e-mail
   system architecture.

1.6.  Trust Environment

   This new header field permits one or more message validation
   mechanisms to communicate its 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



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   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 this domain 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 within this proposal.










































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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 new header field being defined 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 new header field SHOULD be added at the top of the message as it
   transits MTAs which do authentication checks so some idea of how far
   away the checks were done can be inferred.  It therefore should be
   treated as a Trace Field as defined in [MAIL] and thus all of the
   related 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 MAY 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]:

     header = "Authentication-Results:" [CFWS] authserv-id
              [ CFWS 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 = dot-atom-text
                 ; see below for a description of this element;
                 ; "dot-atom-text" is defined in section 3.2.4 of [MAIL]


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



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           ; 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


     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


     method = token [ [CFWS] "/" [CFWS] 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


     result = token
            ; 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










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     property = token
             ; if "ptype" is "smtp", this indicates which [SMTP]
             ; command provided the value which 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 the offset into the body at which
             ; content of interest was detected; if "ptype" is "policy"
             ; then this indicates the name of the policy which caused
             ; this header field to be added (see below)


     pvalue = [CFWS] ( token / addr-spec ) [CFWS]
            ; the value extracted from the message property defined
            ; by the "ptype.property" construction; if the value
            ; identifies an address, then it is an "addr-spec"

   The "token" and "value" are as defined in section 5.1 of [MIME].

   The "addr-spec" is as defined in section 3.4 of [MAIL].

   The "token" used in a "result" above is further constrained by the
   necessity of being enumerated in Section 2.4 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.

   "CFWS" is as defined in section 3.2.3 of [MAIL].

   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
   should be defined in the specification for that method (or its
   amendments).

   The "ptype" and "property" are case-insensitive.

   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.




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2.3.  Authentication Identifier Field

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

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

   For simplicity and scalability, the authentication identifier SHOULD
   be a common token used universally within the ADMD, such as the
   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.

   It should be noted, however, that using a local, relative identifier
   like a single hostname, rather than a hierarchical and globally
   unique ADMD identifier like a 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
   must 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



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      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.  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 memo,
   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 in this memo MUST include a similar result
   table either in its defining memo or in a supplementary one.

2.4.1.  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(s) is (were) acceptable
      to the verifier, and the signature(s) passed verification tests.

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

   policy:  The message was signed but the signature(s) is (were) not
      acceptable to the verifier.

   neutral:  The message was signed but the signature(s) 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.

   temperror:  The message could not be verified due to some error which
      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 which
      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,



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   a verifier might require that the signature(s) on the message be
   added by the domain identified in the From: header field of the
   message, thus making third-party signatures unacceptable.

   [DKIM] advises that if a message fails verification, it should 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" pre-empts that choice, ensuring the message
   will be treated as if it had not been signed.

2.4.2.  DKIM ADSP Results

   The result values are used by [I-D.DRAFT-IETF-DKIM-SSP] as follows:

   none:  No DKIM author domain signing practises (ADSP) record was
      published.

   pass:  This message had an author domain signature which validated.
      (An ADSP check is not strictly required to be performed for this
      result, since a valid author domain signature satisfies all
      possible ADSP policies.)

   unknown:  No valid author signature was found on the message and the
      published ADSP was "unknown".

   fail:  No valid author signature was found on the message and the
      published ASDP record indicated an "all" policy.

   discard:  No valid author signature was found on the message and the
      published ADSP record indicated a "discardable" policy.

   nxdomain:  Evaluating the ADSP for the author's domain indicated that
      the author's domain does not exist.

   temperror:  A DKIM policy could not be retrieved due to some error
      which is likely transient in nature, such as a temporary DNS
      error.  A later attempt may produce a final result.

   permerror:  A DKIM policy could not be retrieved due to some error
      which is likely not transient in nature, such as a permanent DNS
      error.  A later attempt is unlikely to produce a final result.

2.4.3.  SPF and Sender-ID Results

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






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

   neutral:  The sender's domain has asserted that it cannot or does not
      want to assert whether or not the sending IP address is authorized
      to send mail on behalf of the sender's domain.

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

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

   hardfail:  This client is explicitly not authorized to inject or
      relay mail on behalf of the sender's domain.

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

   temperror:  The message could not be verified due to some error which
      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 which
      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 domain
   to one found in an explicit list of unacceptable domains (e.g.
   spammers).

   Since [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.

2.4.4.  iprev Results

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



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

   hardfail:  The reverse DNS evaluation failed.  In particular, the
      "reverse" and "forward" lookups each produced results but they
      were not in agreement.

   softfail:  The reverse DNS evaluation failed.  In particular, one or
      both of the "reverse" and forward lookups returned no data (i.e. a
      DNS reply code of NODATA).

   temperror:  The reverse DNS evaluation could not be completed due to
      some error which is likely transient in nature, such as a
      temporary DNS error.  A later attempt may produce a final result.

   permerror:  The reverse DNS evaluation could not be completed due to
      some error which is unrecoverable (e.g. a DNS reply code of NODATA
      or NXDOMAIN).  A later attempt is unlikely to produce a final
      result.

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

2.4.5.  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 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 which is likely not transient in nature,
      such as a permanent LDAP lookup error.  A later attempt is not



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      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.

2.4.6.  Extension Result Codes

   Additional result codes (extension results) might be defined in the
   future by later revisions or extensions to this specification.
   Extension results beginning with "x-" will never be defined as
   standard fields; such names are reserved for experimental use.
   Result codes not beginning with "x-" MUST be registered with the
   Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and published in an RFC.
   See Section 6 for further details.

   Implementations reporting new result codes MUST use the "x-" prefix
   until such time as the new method is registered by IANA.

   Extension results MUST only be used within trust domains that have
   explicitly consented to use them.  These results 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 extension result.

2.5.  Authentication Methods

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

2.5.1.  Definition Of Initial Methods

   As they are currently existing specifications for message
   authentication, it is appropriate to define an authentication method
   identifier for each of [AUTH], [DKIM], [DOMAINKEYS], [SENDERID] and
   [SPF].  Therefore, the authentication method identifiers "auth",
   "dkim", "domainkeys", "senderid" and "spf" respectively are hereby
   defined for MTAs applying those specifications for e-mail message
   authentication.

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

   Finally, as its publication is imminent, this document also defines
   "dkim-adsp" per [I-D.DRAFT-IETF-DKIM-SSP].



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   See Section 6 for details.

2.5.2.  Extension Methods

   Additional authentication method identifiers (extension methods) may
   be defined in the future by later revisions or extensions to this
   specification.  Extension methods beginning with "x-" will never be
   defined as standard fields; such names are reserved for experimental
   use.  Method identifiers not beginning with "x-" MUST be registered
   with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and published in
   an RFC.  See Section 6 for further details.

   Extension methods may 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 should not be needlessly long.

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

   Implementations of new methods MUST use the "x-" prefix until such
   time as the new method is registered by IANA.

   Authentication method implementors are encouraged to provide adequate
   information, via [MAIL] comments if necessary, to allow an MUA
   developer to understand or relay ancilliary 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 trust
   domains 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
   method identifier.







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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" record query) thus
   retrieved is done.  The response to this second check should result
   in at least one mapping back to the client's IP address.

   More algorithmically: 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 an "A"
   query) is L, then this test is successful if I is an element of L.

   Section 5.5 of [SPF] contains more detail about this process as well
   as some discussion of possible denial-of-service attacks.  [DNS-IP6]
   discusses the format of this query for the IPv6 case.

   A successful test using this algorithm constitutes a result of "pass"
   since the domain in which the client's PTR claims it belongs has
   confirmed that claim.  A failure to match constitutes a "hardfail".
   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 practise of arranging to match the forward
   and reverse DNS is infrequently observed.  Therefore, the actual
   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.










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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 must
   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 defined in Section 2.5.2,
   and each "result" MUST refer to a result code declared in the IANA
   registry, or an extension result code as defined in Section 2.4.6.
   See Section 6 for further information about the registered methods
   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 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 required in some environments.
   Some possible solutions are enumerated in Section 7.1.  This memo
   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 [MAIL] section 3.6.7 is particularly important.
   Moreover, this header field SHOULD be inserted above any other trace
   header fields such MTAs may prepend.  This allows easy detection of
   header fields that can be trusted.

   End users making direct use of this header field may inadvertently
   trust information that has not been properly vetted.  If, for
   example, a basic [SPF] result were to be relayed which claims an



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   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 which 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 (again, such as a local-part in [SPF]).

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 should 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 the MUA, and instances of the header field appearing to be
   from within the trust domain but actually added by foreign MTAs will
   be removed before delivery.

   Furthermore, MUAs and downstream filters SHOULD NOT interpret this
   header field unless the authentication identifier it bears appears to
   be one used within its own trust domain 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 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



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   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 or "discard" for
   DKIM-ADSP) 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.

   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 2.4).

   Such rejections at the SMTP protocol level are not possible if local
   policy is enforced at the MUA and not the MTA.  Unfortunately, this
   may be a common scenario.




























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5.  Removing The Header Field

   For security reasons, any MTA conforming to this specification MUST
   delete any discovered instance of this header field which claims to
   have been added within its trust boundary and did not come from
   another trusted MTA.  For example, an MTA (border or otherwise) for
   example.com receiving a message MUST delete any instance of this
   header field bearing an authentication identifier indicating the
   header field was added within example.com prior to adding its own
   header fields.  This may 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 should be let in, 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 might 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 may invalidate
   one or more signatures on the message if they covered the header
   field to be removed at the time of signing.  This behaviour can be
   desirable since there's little value in validating the signature on a
   message with forged headers.  However, signing agents MAY therefore
   elect to omit these header fields from signing to avoid this
   situation.

   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 if the [SMTP] connection relaying the
   message is not from a trusted internal MTA.





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6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA is requested to register a new header field and to create two
   new tables as described below.

6.1.  The Authentication-Results Header Field

   Per [IANA-HEADERS], the "Authentication-Results" header field is
   added to the IANA Permanent Message Header Field Registry.  The
   following is the registration template:

     Header field name: Authentication-Results
     Applicable protocol: mail ([MAIL])
     Status: Standard
     Author/Change controller: IETF
     Specification document(s): [TBD]
     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 must be registered with IANA, with the exception of
   experimental names as described in Section 2.5.2.

   New entries are assigned only for values that have been documented in
   a published RFC that has IETF Review, per [IANA-CONSIDERATIONS].
   Each method must register a name, the specification that defines it,
   one or more "ptype" values 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.

   The initial set of entries in this registry is as follows:

















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+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|   Method   | Defined  | ptype  | property       | value              |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|    auth    | RFC4954  | smtp   | auth           | AUTH parameter of  |
|            |          |        |                | the SMTP MAIL      |
|            |          |        |                | command            |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|    dkim    | RFC4871  | header | d              | value of           |
|            |          |        |                | signature "d" tag  |
|            |          |        +----------------+--------------------+
|            |          |        | i              | value of           |
|            |          |        |                | signature "i" tag  |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
| dkim-adsp  |  [TBD]   | header | from           | value of From      |
|            |          |        |                | header field       |
|            |          |        |                | w/comments removed |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
| domainkeys | RFC4870  | header | d              | value of           |
|            |          |        |                | signature "d" tag  |
|            |          |        +----------------+--------------------+
|            |          |        | from           | value of From
|            |          |        |                | header field       |
|            |          |        |                | w/comments removed |
|            |          |        +----------------+--------------------+
|            |          |        | sender         | value of Sender    |
|            |          |        |                | header field       |
|            |          |        |                | w/comments removed |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|    iprev   | this     | policy | iprev          | client IP address  |
|            | document |        |                |                    |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|  senderid  | RFC4406  | header | name of header | value of header    |
|            |          |        | field used by  | field used by PRA  |
|            |          |        | PRA            | with comments and  |
|            |          |        |                | local-part removed |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+
|     spf    | RFC4408  | smtp   | mailfrom       | envelope sender    |
|            |          |        |                | with local-part    |
|            |          |        |                | removed            |
|            |          +--------+----------------+--------------------+
|            |          | smtp   | helo           | HELO/EHLO value    |
+------------+----------+--------+----------------+--------------------+

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 2.4.6.



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   New entries are assigned only for result codes that have been
   documented in a published RFC that has IETF Review, per
   [IANA-CONSIDERATIONS].  Each code must register a name, the document
   which establishes the registration, the authentication method(s)
   which uses it, and either a definition of the semantics of its use or
   a reference to the place where those semantics are defined.

   The initial set of entries in this registry is as follows:

+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
|   Code    | Defined  | Auth Method(s) | Meaning                      |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| none      | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           |          | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | auth           | section 2.4.5                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| pass      | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           |          | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | iprev          | section 2.4.4                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | auth           | section 2.4.5                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| fail      | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | auth           | section 2.4.5                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| policy    | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| neutral   | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | spf            | section 2.4.3                |



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|           |          | sender-id      |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| temperror | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           |          | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | iprev          | section 2.4.4                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | auth           | section 2.4.5                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| permerror | this     | dkim           | section 2.4.1                |
|           | document | domainkeys     |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           |          | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | iprev          | section 2.4.4                |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | auth           | section 2.4.5                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| nxdomain  | this     | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           | document |                |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| signed    | this     | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           | document |                |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| unknown   | this     | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           | document |                |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| discard   | this     | dkim-adsp      | section 2.4.2                |
|           | document |                |                              |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| hardfail  | this     | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           | document | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | iprev          | section 2.4.4                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+
| softfail  | this     | spf            | section 2.4.3                |
|           | document | sender-id      |                              |
|           |          +----------------+------------------------------+
|           |          | iprev          | section 2.4.4                |
+-----------+----------+----------------+------------------------------+



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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 name of a receiving domain 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.

   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 using by a posted public key.  Although one of the main
       purposes of this memo 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.
       Moreover, DKIM's adjunct [I-D.DRAFT-IETF-DKIM-SSP] proposal
       should not be applied as it may result in an incorrect assertion.

   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.





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   3.  Yet another might be a method to interrogate the internal MTAs
       which 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 which
       allow an MUA or filtering agent to acquire the "authserv-id" in
       use within an administrative domain, 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 4.4 of [MAIL], and the compliant internal MTAs are using
       their own host names or the ADMD's 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 planned for future work.

   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 memo.

   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 which 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



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   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
   arriving client connections.  A verifier wishing to do this check and
   report this information SHOULD 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 memo SHOULD be
   aware of the algorithm used by the verifier reporting the result and
   thus be aware of 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 which did not send the messages being
   rejected.

7.6.  Internal MTA Lists

   Section 5 describes a procedure for scrubbing headers which 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 a domain 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



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   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 which is extraordinarily large or otherwise malformed in
   an attempt to discover or exploit weaknesses in header field parsing
   code.  Implementors 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 which has been compromised could generate mail
   with a forged From header field and a forged Authentication-Results
   header field which 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
   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 may contain attachments of type "message/rfc822",
   which contain other [MAIL] messages.  Such an encapsulated message
   may 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.









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8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

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

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

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

   [MAIL]     Resnick, P., "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

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

   [DKIM]     Allman, E., Callas, J., Delany, M., Libbey, M., Fenton,
              J., and M. Thomas, "DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
              Signatures", RFC 4871, May 2007.

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

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

   [I-D.DRAFT-CROCKER-EMAIL-ARCH]
              Crocker, D., "Internet Mail Architecture",
              I-D draft-crocker-email-arch, May 2007.



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   [I-D.DRAFT-IETF-DKIM-SSP]
              Allman, E., Delany, M., and J. Fenton, "DKIM Author
              Signing Practices", I-D draft-ietf-dkim-ssp, January 2008.

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

   [IMAP]     Crispin, M., "Internet Message Access Protocol - Version
              4rev1", RFC 3501, March 2003.

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

   [SECURITY]
              Rescorla, E., Korver, B., and IAB, "Guidelines for Writing
              RFC Text on Security Considerations", 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.























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Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   The author wishes to acknowledge the following for their review and
   constructive criticism of this proposal: Eric Allman, Mark Delany,
   Victor Duchovni, Frank Ellermann, Jim Fenton, Philip Guenther, Tony
   Hansen, Paul Hoffman, Eliot Lear, John Levine, Miles Libbey, Charles
   Lindsey, Alexey Melnikov, Douglas Otis, Juan Altmayer Pizzorno,
   Michael Thomas.

   Special thanks to Dave Crocker and S. Moonesamy for their logistical
   support, and feedback on and contributions to the numerous proposed
   edits throughout the lifetime of this work.







































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Appendix B.  Legacy MUAs

   Implementors of this proposal 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
   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.
































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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; 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
   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.

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



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   The "Authentication-Results" header field is present, indicating that
   the border MTA conforms to this specification.  The authserv-id is
   once again the 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.

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 domain's 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



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   (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.

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=hardfail header.from=example.com;
                  dkim=pass (good signature) header.i=sender@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
        Authentication-Results: example.com;
                  auth=pass (cram-md5) smtp.auth=sender@example.com;
                  spf=hardfail 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
        DKIM-Signature:  v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=gatsby; d=example.com;
                  t=1188964191; c=simple/simple;
                  h=From:Date:To:Message-Id:Subject;
                  bh=sEuZGD/pSr7ANysbY3jtdaQ3Xv9xPQtS0m70;
                  b=EToRSuvUfQVP3Bkz ... rTB0t0gYnBVCM=
        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 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



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   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).
   Again, additional data about one of the tests is provided as a
   comment, which the MUA may choose to render.

   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 domain:

     Authentication-Results: example.com;
           dkim=pass (good signature) header.i=@mail-router.example.net;
           dkim=fail (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
   domains

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

   The message was sent to a mailing list service provider called



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   example.net which is used by example.com.  There,
   meetings@example.net is expanded to a long list of recipients, one of
   which 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 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 which validated the second signature.  Thus,
   indirectly, it can be determined that the authentications claimed by
   both signatures are indeed valid.




























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Appendix D.  Public Discussion, History and Support

   [REMOVE BEFORE PUBLICATION]

   Public discussion of this proposed specification is handled via the
   mail-vet-discuss@mipassoc.org mailing list.  The list is open.
   Access to subscription forms and to list archives can be found at
   http://mipassoc.org/mailman/listinfo/mail-vet-discuss.  Active
   participation has included such sectors as messaging software
   vendors, messaging service providers, messaging consultants,
   messaging reputation data providers, financial institutions, etc.

   A representative of the SPF Council is a member of the discussion
   list named above and has been an active participant in the vetting of
   this draft from the SPF perspective.  Other participants have
   contributed from the perspectives of DKIM, DomainKeys and Sender-ID,
   and even as-yet-undefined reputation systems.

   The concept of this header field was introduced in 2004 during the
   development of DomainKeys and SPF, each of which proposed distinct
   header fields for relaying the results of verifier attempts to use
   each of those schemes.  With more proposals for message sender
   authentication on the horizon, it was obvious that the header block
   of messages could become very cluttered without some unification
   work.

   Interest in the advancement of this work toward proposed standard
   status has also been expressed at the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working
   Group (MAAWG) where it has been discussed at several of their
   meetings.  The work is further referenced by the Abuse Reporting
   Format (ARF) draft (draft-shafranovich-feedback-report) which thus
   relies on this work to assist in the relay to an ARF recipient the
   authentication work done on a message, with the intent of explaining
   such an abuse report.  There is some interest in advancing that draft
   toward IETF publication in the not-too-distant future.  Several MAAWG
   participants (mainly including large ISPs) already use ARF, and thus
   this draft (indirectly), in their message processing feedback loops.

   The DKIM working group considered adopting this draft as a working
   group document more than once, but it was determined to be outside of
   its charter and thus not appropriate to recharter to cover its
   advancement.  Moreover, the original DKIM base spec ([DKIM]) at one
   point recommended the use of this header field proposal, but that
   reference was removed as it would have delayed publication of that
   RFC.

   Several companies have already adopted use of this proposal,
   including large-scale e-mail hosting providers and software vendors.



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   For a list of these, see the PROTO document supporting this draft.

   This work will like give rise to similar mechanisms which employ more
   "closed-circuit" methods for dealing with message authentication
   work, such as extensions to SMTP and IMAP.














































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Author's Address

   Murray S. Kucherawy
   Sendmail, Inc.
   6475 Christie Ave., Suite 350
   Emeryville, CA  94608
   US

   Phone: +1 510 594 5400
   Email: msk+ietf@sendmail.com









































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