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Updated by: 6650 PROPOSED STANDARD
Errata Exist
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                   Y. Shafranovich
Request for Comments: 5965                           ShafTek Enterprises
Category: Standards Track                                      J. Levine
ISSN: 2070-1721                                     Taughannock Networks
                                                            M. Kucherawy
                                                               Cloudmark
                                                             August 2010


            An Extensible Format for Email Feedback Reports

Abstract

   This document defines an extensible format and MIME type that may be
   used by mail operators to report feedback about received email to
   other parties.  This format is intended as a machine-readable
   replacement for various existing report formats currently used in
   Internet email.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5965.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 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
   (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.




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Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Purpose ....................................................3
      1.2. Requirements ...............................................4
      1.3. Definitions ................................................4
           1.3.1. General .............................................4
           1.3.2. Email Specific ......................................4
   2. Format of Email Feedback Reports ................................4
   3. The 'message/feedback-report' Content Type ......................5
      3.1. Required Fields ............................................6
      3.2. Optional Fields Appearing Once .............................6
      3.3. Optional Fields Appearing Multiple Times ...................7
      3.4. Notes about URIs ...........................................8
      3.5. Formal Definition ..........................................8
   4. Handling Malformed Reports .....................................10
   5. Transport Considerations .......................................10
   6. Extensibility ..................................................10
   7. IANA Considerations ............................................11
      7.1. MIME Type Registration of 'message/feedback-report' .......11
      7.2. Feedback Report Header Fields .............................12
      7.3. Feedback Report Type Values ...............................15
   8. Security Considerations ........................................17
      8.1. Inherited from RFC 3462 ...................................17
      8.2. Interpretation ............................................17
      8.3. Attacks against Authentication Methods ....................17
      8.4. Intentionally Malformed Reports ...........................18
      8.5. Omitting Data from ARF Reports ............................18
      8.6. Automatically Generated ARF Reports .......................18
      8.7. Attached Malware ..........................................18
      8.8. The User-Agent Field ......................................18
      8.9. Malformed Messages ........................................19
   9. References .....................................................19
      9.1. Normative References ......................................19
      9.2. Informative References ....................................20
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements .....................................22
   Appendix B.  Sample Feedback Reports ..............................22
      B.1.  Simple Report for Email Abuse without Optional Headers ...22
      B.2.  Full Report for Email Abuse with All Headers .............23












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1.  Introduction

   As the spam problem continues to expand and potential solutions
   evolve, mail operators are increasingly exchanging abuse reports
   among themselves and other parties.  However, different operators
   have defined their own formats, and thus the receivers of these
   reports are forced to write custom software to interpret each of
   them.  In addition, many operators use various other report formats
   to provide non-abuse-related feedback about processed email.  This
   memo uses the "multipart/report" content type defined in [REPORT],
   and in that context defines a standard extensible format by creating
   the "message/feedback-report" [MIME] type for these reports.

   While there has been previous work in this area (e.g., [STRADS-BCP]
   and [ASRG-ABUSE]), none of it has yet been successful.  It is hoped
   that this document will have a better fate.

   This format is intended primarily as an Abuse Reporting Format (ARF)
   for reporting email abuse but also includes support for direct
   feedback via end user mail clients, reports of some types of virus
   activity, and some similar issues.  This memo also contains provision
   for extensions should other specific types of reports be desirable in
   the future.

   This document only defines the format and [MIME] content type to be
   used for these reports.  Determination of where these reports should
   be sent, validation of their contents, and how trust among report
   generators and report recipients is established are outside the scope
   of this document.  It is assumed that best practices will evolve over
   time, and will be codified in future documents.

1.1.  Purpose

   The reports defined in this document are intended to inform mail
   operators about:

   o  email abuse originating from their networks;

   o  potential issues with the perceived quality of outbound mail, such
      as email service providers sending mail that attracts the
      attention of automated abuse detection systems.

   Please note that while the parent "multipart/report" content type
   defined in [REPORT] is used for all kinds of administrative messages,
   this format is intended specifically for communications among
   providers regarding email abuse and related issues, and SHOULD NOT be
   used for other reports.




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1.2.  Requirements

   The following requirements are necessary for feedback reports (the
   actual specification is defined later in this document):

   o  They must be both human and machine readable;

   o  A copy of the original email message (both body and header) or the
      message header must be enclosed in order to allow the receiver to
      handle the report properly;

   o  The machine-readable section must provide ability for the report
      generators to share meta-data with receivers;

   o  The format must be extensible.

1.3.  Definitions

   This section defines various terms used throughout this document.

1.3.1.  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].

1.3.2.  Email Specific

   [EMAIL-ARCH] introduces several terms and concepts that are used in
   this memo, and thus readers are advised to become familiar with it as
   well.

2.  Format of Email Feedback Reports

   To satisfy the requirements, an email feedback report is defined as a
   [MIME] message with a top-level MIME content type of "multipart/
   report" (as defined in [REPORT]).  The following apply:

   a.  The "report-type" parameter of the "multipart/report" type is set
       to "feedback-report";

   b.  The first MIME part of the message contains a human-readable
       description of the report and MUST be included.








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   c.  The second MIME part of the message is a machine-readable section
       with the content type of "message/feedback-report" (defined later
       in this memo) and MUST be included.  This section is intended to
       convey meta-data about the report in question that may not be
       readily available from the included email message itself.

   d.  The third MIME part of the message is either of type "message/
       rfc822" (as defined in [MIME-TYPES]) and contains the original
       message in its entirety OR is of type "text/rfc822-headers" (as
       defined in [REPORT]) and contains a copy of the entire header
       block from the original message.  This part MUST be included
       (contrary to [REPORT]).  While some operators may choose to
       modify or redact this portion for privacy or legal reasons, it is
       RECOMMENDED that the entire original email message be included
       without any modification as such modifications can impede
       forensic work by the recipient of this report.  See Section 8 for
       further discussion.

   e.  Except as discussed below, each feedback report MUST be related
       to only a single email message.  Summary and aggregate formats
       are outside of the scope of this specification.

   f.  The Subject header field of the feedback report SHOULD be the
       same as the included email message about which the report is
       being generated.  If it differs, the difference MUST be limited
       to only a typical forwarding prefix used by Mail User Agents
       (MUAs) such as "FW:".  (Many smaller operators using MUAs for
       abuse handling rely on the subject lines for processing.)

   g.  The primary evidence of the abuse being reported is found in the
       third part of the report, which contains the original message.
       The second part contains additional derived data that may help
       the receiver, but in terms of selecting actionable report data,
       report recipients SHOULD use the content of the third part first,
       then data from the second part.  The first part is meant to
       contain explanatory text for human use but is not itself a part
       of the report, and SHOULD NOT be used if it is in conflict with
       the other parts.

3.  The 'message/feedback-report' Content Type

   A new [MIME] content type called "message/feedback-report" is
   defined.  This content type provides a machine-readable section
   intended to let the report generator convey meta-data to the report
   receiver.  The intent of this section is to convey information that
   may not be obvious or may not be easily extracted from the original
   email message body or header.




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   The body of this content type consists of multiple "fields" formatted
   according to the ABNF of [MAIL] header fields.  This section defines
   the initial set of fields provided by this specification.  Additional
   fields may be registered according to the procedure described later
   in this memo.  Although these fields have a syntax similar to those
   of mail message header fields, they are semantically distinct; hence,
   they SHOULD NOT be repeated as header fields of the message
   containing the report.  Note that these fields represent information
   that the receiver is asserting about the report in question, but are
   not necessarily verifiable.  Report receivers MUST NOT assume that
   these assertions are always accurate.

   Note that the above limitation in no way restricts the use of message
   header fields that are registered in the IANA header field registry
   with the same field names.

3.1.  Required Fields

   The following report header fields MUST appear exactly once:

   o  "Feedback-Type" contains the type of feedback report (as defined
      in the corresponding IANA registry and later in this memo).  This
      is intended to let report parsers distinguish among different
      types of reports.

   o  "User-Agent" indicates the name and version of the software
      program that generated the report.  The format of this field MUST
      follow section 14.43 of [HTTP].  This field is for documentation
      only; there is no registry of user agent names or versions, and
      report receivers SHOULD NOT expect user agent names to belong to a
      known set.

   o  "Version" indicates the version of specification that the report
      generator is using to generate the report.  The version number in
      this specification is set to "1".

3.2.  Optional Fields Appearing Once

   The following header fields are optional and MUST NOT appear more
   than once:

   o  "Original-Envelope-Id" contains the envelope ID string used in the
      original [SMTP] transaction (see section 2.2.1 of [DSN]).

   o  "Original-Mail-From" contains a copy of the email address used in
      the MAIL FROM portion of the original SMTP transaction.  The
      format of this field is defined in section 4.1.2 of [SMTP] as
      "Reverse-path".



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   o  "Arrival-Date" indicates the date and time at which the original
      message was received by the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) of the
      generating ADMD (Administrative Management Domain).  This field
      MUST be formatted as per section 3.3 of [MAIL].

   o  "Reporting-MTA" indicates the name of the MTA generating this
      feedback report.  This field is defined in section 2.2.2 of [DSN],
      except that it is an optional field in this report.

   o  "Source-IP" contains an IPv4 or IPv6 address of the MTA from which
      the original message was received.  Addresses MUST be formatted as
      per section 4.1.3 of [SMTP].

   o  "Incidents" contains an unsigned 32-bit integer indicating the
      number of incidents this report represents.  The absence of this
      field implies the report covers a single incident.

   The historic field "Received-Date" SHOULD also be accepted and
   interpreted identically to "Arrival-Date".  However, if both are
   present, the report is malformed and SHOULD be treated as described
   in Section 4.

3.3.  Optional Fields Appearing Multiple Times

   The following set of header fields are optional and may appear any
   number of times as appropriate:

   o  "Authentication-Results" indicates the result of one or more
      authentication checks run by the report generator.  The format of
      this field is defined in [AUTH-RESULTS].  Report receivers should
      note that this field only indicates an assertion made by the
      report generator.

   o  "Original-Rcpt-To" includes a copy of the email address used in
      the RCPT TO portion of the original [SMTP] transaction.  The
      format of this field is a "Reverse-path" defined in section 4.1.2
      of that memo.  This field SHOULD be repeated for every SMTP
      recipient seen by the report generator.

   o  "Reported-Domain" includes a domain name that the report generator
      believes to be relevant to the report, e.g., the domain whose
      apparent actions provoked the generation of the report.  It is
      unspecified how the report generator determines this information,
      and thus the report receiver cannot be certain how it was chosen.
      It is often used as a means of suggesting to the report receiver
      how this report might be handled.  In cases where the derivation





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      is not obvious, the report generator is encouraged to clarify in
      the text section of the report.  Domain format is defined in
      section 2.3.1 of [DNS].

   o  "Reported-URI" indicates a URI that the report generator believes
      to be relevant to the report, e.g., a suspect URI that was found
      in the message that caused the report to be generated.  The same
      caveats about the origin of the value of "Reported-Domain" apply
      to this field.  The URI format is defined in [URI].

3.4.  Notes about URIs

   Implementors should be aware that the Reported-URI field can carry
   many different types of data depending on the URI scheme used.  For
   more information, please consult the "URI Schemes" registry
   maintained by IANA.

   Furthermore, it is outside the scope of this standard whether the
   data carried in this field implies any additional information.
   Implementors may negotiate their own agreements surrounding the
   interpretation of this data.

3.5.  Formal Definition

   The formal definition of the contents of a "message/feedback-report"
   media type using [ABNF] is as follows:

   feedback-report = *( feedback-type / user-agent / version )
                     opt-fields-once
                     *( opt-fields-many )
                     *( ext-field )

   feedback-type = "Feedback-Type:" [CFWS] token [CFWS] CRLF
       ; the "token" must be a registered feedback type as
       ; described elsewhere in this document

   user-agent = "User-Agent:" [CFWS] product *( CFWS product )
                [CFWS] CRLF

   version = "Version:" [CFWS] %x31-39 *DIGIT [CFWS] CRLF
       ; as described above

   opt-fields-once = [ arrival-date ]
                     [ incidents ]
                     [ original-envelope-id ]
                     [ original-mail-from ]
                     [ reporting-mta ]
                     [ source-ip ]



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   arrival-date = "Arrival-Date:" [CFWS] date-time CRLF

   incidents = "Incidents:" [CFWS] 1*DIGIT [CFWS] CRLF
             ; must be a 32-bit unsigned integer

   original-envelope-id = "Original-Envelope-Id:" [CFWS]
                          envelope-id [CFWS] CRLF

   original-mail-from = "Original-Mail-From:" [CFWS]
                        reverse-path [CFWS] CRLF

   reporting-mta = "Reporting-MTA:" [CFWS] mta-name-type [CFWS] ";"
                   [CFWS] mta-name [CFWS] CRLF

   source-ip = "Source-IP:" [CFWS]
               ( IPv4-address-literal /
                 IPv6-address-literal ) [CFWS] CRLF

   opt-fields-many = [ authres-header ]
                     [ original-rcpt-to ]
                     [ reported-domain ]
                     [ reported-uri ]

   original-rcpt-to = "Original-Rcpt-To:" [CFWS]
                      forward-path [CFWS] CRLF

   reported-domain = "Reported-Domain:" [CFWS]
                     domain [CFWS] CRLF

   reported-uri = "Reported-URI:" [CFWS] URI [CFWS] CRLF

   ext-field = field-name ":" unstructured

   A set of fields satisfying this ABNF may appear in the transmitted
   message in any order.

   "CRLF" and "DIGIT" are imported from [ABNF].

   "token" is imported from [MIME].

   "product" is imported from [HTTP].

   "field-name", "unstructured", "CFWS", "date-time", and "domain" are
   imported from [MAIL].

   "envelope-id", "mta-name-type", and "mta-name" are imported from
   [DSN].




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   "reverse-path", "forward-path", "local-part", "IPv4-address-literal",
   and "IPv6-address-literal" are imported from [SMTP].

   "URI" is imported from [URI].

   "authres-header" is imported from [AUTH-RESULTS].

   "ext-field" refers to extension fields, which are discussed in
   Section 6.

4.  Handling Malformed Reports

   When an agent that accepts and handles ARF messages receives a
   message that purports (by MIME type) to be an ARF message but
   syntactically deviates from this specification, that agent SHOULD
   ignore or reject the message.  Where rejection is performed, the
   rejection notice (either via an [SMTP] reply or generation of a
   [DSN]) SHOULD identify the specific cause for the rejection.

   See Section 8.9 for further discussion.

5.  Transport Considerations

   [DSN] requires that its reports be sent with the empty [SMTP]
   envelope sender to avoid bounce loops.  A similar requirement was
   considered for this specification, but it seems unlikely that an ARF
   report would be generated in response to receipt of an ARF report,
   and furthermore such a requirement would prevent an ARF generator
   from ever determining that an ARF report was not actually received.

   On the other hand, if an ARF report is generated without the empty
   envelope sender and is sent to an address that actually does not
   work, then the generating address can also be overwhelmed by DSNs as
   a denial-of-service attack (see Section 8.6).

   This specification therefore makes no requirement related to the
   envelope sender of a generated report.  Operators will have to
   consider what envelope sender to use within the context of their own
   installations.

6.  Extensibility

   Like many other formats and protocols, this format may need to be
   extended over time to fit the ever-changing landscape of the
   Internet.  Therefore, extensibility is provided via two IANA
   registries: one for feedback types and a second for report header
   fields.  The feedback type registry is to be used in conjunction with
   the "Feedback-Type" field above.  The header name registry is



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   intended for registration of new meta-data fields to be used in the
   machine-readable portion (part 2) of this format.  Please note that
   version numbers do not change with new field registrations unless a
   new specification of this format is published.  Also, note that all
   new field registrations may only be registered as optional fields.
   Any new required fields REQUIRE a new version of this specification
   to be published.

   In order to encourage extensibility and interoperability of this
   format, implementors MUST ignore any fields or report types they do
   not explicitly support.

   Additional report types (extension report types) or report header
   fields might be defined in the future by later revisions to this
   specification, or by registrations as described above.  Such types
   and fields MUST be registered as described above and published in an
   Open Specification such as an RFC.

   Experimental report types and report header fields MUST only be used
   between ADMDs that have explicitly consented to use them.  These
   names and the parameters associated with them are not documented in
   RFCs.  Therefore, they are subject to change at any time and are not
   suitable for general use.

7.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has registered a new [MIME] type and created two new registries,
   as described below.

7.1.  MIME Type Registration of 'message/feedback-report'

   This section provides the media type registration application from
   [MIME-REG] for processing by IANA:

   To:  ietf-types@iana.org

   Subject:  Registration of media type message/feedback-report

   Type name:  message

   Subtype name:  feedback-report

   Required parameters:  none

   Optional parameters:  none

   Encoding considerations:  "7bit" encoding is sufficient and MUST be
      used to maintain readability when viewed by non-MIME mail readers.



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   Security considerations:  See Section 8 of [RFC5965].

   Interoperability considerations:  Implementors MUST ignore any fields
      they do not support.

   Published specification:  [RFC5965]

   Applications that use this media type:  Abuse helpdesk software for
      ISPs, mail service bureaus, mail certifiers, and similar
      organizations

   Additional information:  none

   Person and email address to contact for further information:

         Yakov Shafranovich <ietf@shaftek.org>

         Murray S. Kucherawy <msk@cloudmark.com>

   Intended usage:  COMMON

   Author:

         Yakov Shafranovich

         John R. Levine

         Murray S. Kucherawy

   Change controller:  IESG

7.2.  Feedback Report Header Fields

   IANA has created the "Feedback Report Header Fields" registry.  This
   registry contains header fields for use in feedback reports, as
   defined by this memo.

   New registrations or updates MUST be published in accordance with the
   "Specification Required" guidelines as described in [IANA].  Any new
   field thus registered is considered optional by this specification
   unless a new version of this memo is published.

   New registrations and updates MUST contain the following information:

   1.  Name of the field being registered or updated

   2.  Short description of the field




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   3.  Whether the field can appear more than once

   4.  To which feedback type(s) this field applies (or "any")

   5.  The document in which the specification of the field is published

   6.  New or updated status, which MUST be one of:

       current:  The field is in current use

       deprecated:  The field is in current use but its use is
          discouraged

       historic:  The field is no longer in current use

   An update may make a notation on an existing registration indicating
   that a registered field is historic or deprecated if appropriate.

   The initial registry contains these values:

       Field Name: Arrival-Date
       Description: date/time the original message was received
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Authentication-Results
       Description: results of authentication check(s)
       Multiple Appearances: Yes
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Feedback-Type
       Description: registered feedback report type
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": N/A
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current









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       Field Name: Incidents
       Description: expression of how many similar incidents are
                    represented by this report
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Original-Mail-From
       Description: email address used in the MAIL FROM portion of the
                    original SMTP transaction
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Original-Rcpt-To
       Description: email address used in the RCPT TO portion of the
                    original SMTP transaction
       Multiple Appearances: Yes
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Received-Date
       Description: date/time the original message was received
                    (replaced by "Arrival-Date")
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: historic


       Field Name: Reported-Domain
       Description: a domain name the report generator considers to
                    be key to the message about which a report is
                    being generated
       Multiple Appearances: Yes
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current







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       Field Name: Reported-URI
       Description: a URI the report generator considers to be key
                    to the message about which a report is being
                    generated
       Multiple Appearances: Yes
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Reporting-MTA
       Description: MTA generating this report
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Source-IP
       Description: IPv4 or IPv6 address from which the original message
                    was received
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: User-Agent
       Description: name and version of the program generating the
                    report
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Field Name: Version
       Description: version of specification used
       Multiple Appearances: No
       Related "Feedback-Type": any
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current

7.3.  Feedback Report Type Values

   IANA has created the "Feedback Report Type Values" registry.  This
   registry contains feedback types for use in feedback reports, defined
   by this memo.



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   New registrations or updates MUST be published in accordance with the
   "Specification Required" guidelines as described in [IANA].  Any new
   field thus registered is considered optional by this specification
   unless a new version of this memo is published.

   New registrations MUST contain the following information:

   1.  Name of the feedback type being registered

   2.  Short description of the feedback type

   3.  The document in which the specification of the field is published

   4.  New or updated status, which MUST be one of:

       current:  The field is in current use

       deprecated:  The field is in current use but its use is
          discouraged

       historic:  The field is no longer in current use

   The initial registry contains these values:

       Feedback Type Name: abuse
       Description: unsolicited email or some other kind of email abuse
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Feedback Type Name: fraud
       Description: indicates some kind of fraud or phishing activity
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Feedback Type Name: other
       Description: any other feedback that does not fit into other
                    registered types
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current


       Feedback Type Name: virus
       Description: report of a virus found in the originating message
       Published in: [RFC5965]
       Status: current




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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


8.  Security Considerations

   The following security considerations apply when generating or
   processing a feedback report:

8.1.  Inherited from RFC 3462

   All of the Security Considerations from [REPORT] are inherited here.

8.2.  Interpretation

   This specification describes a report format.  The authentication and
   validity of the content of the report SHOULD be established through
   other means.  The content of an unvetted report could be wrong,
   incomplete or deliberately false, including the alleged abuse
   incident in the third part, derived data in the second part or the
   human-readable first part.

   There will be some desire to perform some actions in an automated
   fashion in order to enact timely responses to common feedback
   reports.  Caution must be taken, however, as there is no substantial
   security around the content of these reports.  An attacker could
   craft a report meant to generate undesirable actions on the part of a
   report recipient.

   It is suggested that the origin of an ARF report be vetted, such as
   by using common message authentication schemes like [SMIME], [DKIM],
   [SPF], or [SENDERID], prior to the undertaking of any kind of
   automated action in response to receipt of the report.  In
   particular, S/MIME offers the strongest authentication and the cost
   of key exchange is assumed in the process of establishing a bilateral
   reporting relationship that uses this specification; however, it is
   not as transparent as the others and thus will interfere with the
   parsing capabilities of code that is designed specifically to handle
   multipart/report messages.

   The details of the required validation to achieve this are a matter
   of local policy and are thus outside the scope of this specification.

8.3.  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 an
   authentication method that might be used to protect the authenticity
   of an abuse report is also a security consideration here.




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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


8.4.  Intentionally Malformed Reports

   It is possible for an attacker to generate an ARF message field that
   is extraordinarily large or otherwise malformed in an attempt to
   discover or exploit weaknesses in recipient parsing code.
   Implementors SHOULD thoroughly verify all such messages and be robust
   against intentionally as well as unintentionally malformed messages.

8.5.  Omitting Data from ARF Reports

   The sending of these reports can reveal possibly private information
   about the person sending the report.  For example, such a report sent
   in response to a mailing list posting will reveal to the report
   recipient a valid email address on the list that might otherwise have
   remained hidden.

   For this reason, report generators might wish to redact portions of
   the report to conceal private information.  Doing so could be
   necessary where privacy trumps operational necessity, but, as
   mentioned in Section 2, it might impede a timely or meaningful
   response from the report recipient.

8.6.  Automatically Generated ARF Reports

   Systems have been implemented that generate ARF reports automatically
   in response to an event.  For example, software monitoring a honeypot
   email address might generate an ARF report immediately upon delivery
   of any message to it.  An attacker that becomes aware of such a
   configuration can exploit it to attack an ARF recipient with
   automatically generated ARF reports.

8.7.  Attached Malware

   As this format is sometimes used to automatically report malware, ARF
   processors (human or otherwise) SHOULD ensure that attachments are
   processed in a manner appropriate for unverified and potentially
   hostile data.

8.8.  The User-Agent Field

   Further to Section 8.2, the User-Agent field is an assertion of the
   generating software and is neither specified in this memo nor derived
   from the message represented in the third part of the report.  It is
   intended for documentation and debugging, and since it is trivially
   forged by a malicious agent, it SHOULD NOT be interpreted by
   recipients.





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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


8.9.  Malformed Messages

   Further to the discussion in Section 4, there might be cases where an
   ARF processing agent elects to accept messages not consistent with
   this specification, such as during transition periods where some
   fields are moving toward "historic" or "deprecated" status, or the
   introduction of new non-standard extension or experimental fields.
   Such choices need to be implemented with extreme caution; where two
   different fields have related meaning (e.g., "Received-Date", which
   is historic, and "Arrival-Date", which is current), an attacker could
   craft a report that makes a confusing claim in an attempt to exploit
   such liberal parsing logic.

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

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

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

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

   [DSN]           Moore, K. and G. Vaudreuil, "An Extensible Message
                   Format for Delivery Status Notifications", RFC 3464,
                   January 2003.

   [HTTP]          Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H.,
                   Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee,
                   "Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616,
                   June 1999.

   [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.






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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


   [MIME-REG]      Freed, N. and J. Klensin, "Media Type Specifications
                   and Registration Procedures", BCP 13, RFC 4288,
                   December 2005.

   [MIME-TYPES]    Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet
                   Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types",
                   RFC 2046, November 1996.

   [REPORT]        Vaudreuil, G., "The Multipart/Report Content Type for
                   the Reporting of Mail System Administrative
                   Messages", RFC 3462, January 2003.

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

   [URI]           Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter,
                   "Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax",
                   STD 66, RFC 3986, January 2005.

9.2.  Informative References

   [ASRG-ABUSE]    Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) of the Internet
                   Research Task Force (IRTF), "Abuse Reporting
                   Standards Subgroup of the ASRG", May 2005.

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

   [EMAIL-ARCH]    Crocker, D., "Internet Mail Architecture", RFC 5598,
                   July 2009.

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

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

   [SMIME]         Ramsdell, B. and S. Turner, "Secure/Multipurpose
                   Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) Version 3.2 Message
                   Specification", RFC 5751, January 2010.

   [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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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


   [STRADS-BCP]    Crissman, G., "Proposed Spam Reporting BCP Document",
                   May 2005.

















































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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank many of the members of the email
   community who provided helpful comments and suggestions for this
   document including many of the participants in ASRG, IETF, and MAAWG
   activities, and all of the members of the abuse-feedback-report
   public mailing list.

Appendix B.  Sample Feedback Reports

   This section presents some examples of the use of this message format
   to report feedback about an arriving message.

B.1.  Simple Report for Email Abuse without Optional Headers

   Simple report:

   From: <abusedesk@example.com>
   Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2005 17:40:36 EDT
   Subject: FW: Earn money
   To: <abuse@example.net>
   MIME-Version: 1.0
   Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=feedback-report;
        boundary="part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary"

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
   Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

   This is an email abuse report for an email message received from IP
   192.0.2.1 on Thu, 8 Mar 2005 14:00:00 EDT.  For more information
   about this format please see http://www.mipassoc.org/arf/.

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: message/feedback-report

   Feedback-Type: abuse
   User-Agent: SomeGenerator/1.0
   Version: 1

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: message/rfc822
   Content-Disposition: inline

   Received: from mailserver.example.net
        (mailserver.example.net [192.0.2.1])
        by example.com with ESMTP id M63d4137594e46;
        Thu, 08 Mar 2005 14:00:00 -0400



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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


   From: <somespammer@example.net>
   To: <Undisclosed Recipients>
   Subject: Earn money
   MIME-Version: 1.0
   Content-type: text/plain
   Message-ID: 8787KJKJ3K4J3K4J3K4J3.mail@example.net
   Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 12:31:03 -0500

   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary--

   Example 1: Required fields only

   Illustration of a feedback report generated according to this
   specification.  Only the required fields are used.

B.2.  Full Report for Email Abuse with All Headers

   A full email abuse report:

   From: <abusedesk@example.com>
   Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2005 17:40:36 EDT
   Subject: FW: Earn money
   To: <abuse@example.net>
   MIME-Version: 1.0
   Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=feedback-report;
        boundary="part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary"

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
   Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

   This is an email abuse report for an email message received from IP
   192.0.2.1 on Thu, 8 Mar 2005 14:00:00 EDT.  For more information
   about this format please see http://www.mipassoc.org/arf/.

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: message/feedback-report

   Feedback-Type: abuse
   User-Agent: SomeGenerator/1.0
   Version: 1
   Original-Mail-From: <somespammer@example.net>
   Original-Rcpt-To: <user@example.com>
   Arrival-Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2005 14:00:00 EDT



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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


   Reporting-MTA: dns; mail.example.com
   Source-IP: 192.0.2.1
   Authentication-Results: mail.example.com;
                  spf=fail smtp.mail=somespammer@example.com
   Reported-Domain: example.net
   Reported-Uri: http://example.net/earn_money.html
   Reported-Uri: mailto:user@example.com
   Removal-Recipient: user@example.com

   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary
   Content-Type: message/rfc822
   Content-Disposition: inline

   From: <somespammer@example.net>
   Received: from mailserver.example.net (mailserver.example.net
        [192.0.2.1]) by example.com with ESMTP id M63d4137594e46;
        Thu, 08 Mar 2005 14:00:00 -0400

   To: <Undisclosed Recipients>
   Subject: Earn money
   MIME-Version: 1.0
   Content-type: text/plain
   Message-ID: 8787KJKJ3K4J3K4J3K4J3.mail@example.net
   Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2004 12:31:03 -0500

   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   Spam Spam Spam
   --part1_13d.2e68ed54_boundary--

   Example 1: Generic abuse report with maximum returned information

   A contrived example in which the report generator has returned all
   possible information about an abuse incident.
















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RFC 5965               Format for Feedback Reports           August 2010


Authors' Addresses

   Yakov Shafranovich
   ShafTek Enterprises
   4014 Labyrinth Rd.
   Baltimore, MD  21215
   US

   EMail: ietf@shaftek.org
   URI:   http://www.shaftek.org


   John R. Levine
   Taughannock Networks
   PO Box 727
   Trumansburg, NY  14886
   US

   Phone: +1 831 480 2300
   EMail: standards@taugh.com


   Murray S. Kucherawy
   Cloudmark
   128 King St., 2nd Floor
   San Francisco, CA  94107
   US

   Phone: +1 415 946 3800
   EMail: msk@cloudmark.com





















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