Network Working Group                                    D. Crocker, Ed.
Internet-Draft                               Brandenburg InternetWorking
Obsoletes: 4871, 5672                                     T. Hansen, Ed.
(if approved)                                          AT&T Laboratories
Intended status: Standards Track                       M. Kucherawy, Ed.
Expires: October 26, 29, 2011                                      Cloudmark
                                                          April 24, 27, 2011

              DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures


   DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) permits a person, role, or
   organization that owns the signing domain to claim some
   responsibility for a message by associating the domain with the
   message.  This can be an author's organization, an operational relay
   or one of their agents.  DKIM separates the question of the identity
   of the signer of the message from the purported author of the
   message.  Assertion of responsibility is validated through a
   cryptographic signature and querying the signer's domain directly to
   retrieve the appropriate public key.  Message transit from author to
   recipient is through relays that typically make no substantive change
   to the message content and thus preserve the DKIM signature.

   This memo obsoletes RFC4871 and RFC5672 {DKIM 14}.

Status of this Memo

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

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

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on October 26, 29, 2011.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2011 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
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Notes to Editor and Reviewers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   2.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1.  Signing Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.2.  Scalability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.3.  Simple Key Management  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.4.  Data Integrity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   3.  Terminology and Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.1.  Signers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.2.  Verifiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.3.  Identity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.4.  Identifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.5.  Signing Domain Identifier (SDID) . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.6.  Agent or User Identifier (AUID)  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.7.  Identity Assessor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.8.  Whitespace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.9.  Imported ABNF Tokens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.10. Common ABNF Tokens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.11. DKIM-Quoted-Printable  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   4.  Protocol Elements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     4.1.  Selectors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     4.2.  Tag=Value Lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.3.  Signing and Verification Algorithms  . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     4.4.  Canonicalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     4.5.  The DKIM-Signature Header Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     4.6.  Key Management and Representation  . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
     4.7.  Computing the Message Hashes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
     4.8.  Input Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 35
     4.9.  Signing by Parent Domains  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
     4.10. Relationship between SDID and AUID . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
   5.  Semantics of Multiple Signatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
     5.1.  Example Scenarios  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
     5.2.  Interpretation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
   6.  Signer Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
     6.1.  Determine Whether the Email Should Be Signed and by
           Whom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 39
     6.2.  Select a Private Key and Corresponding Selector
           Information  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
     6.3.  Normalize the Message to Prevent Transport Conversions . . 41 40
     6.4.  Determine the Header Fields to Sign  . . . . . . . . . . . 41
     6.5.  Recommended Signature Content  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
     6.6.  Compute the Message Hash and Signature . . . . . . . . . . 45
     6.7.  Insert the DKIM-Signature Header Field . . . . . . . . . . 45
   7.  Verifier Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
     7.1.  Extract Signatures from the Message  . . . . . . . . . . . 46
     7.2.  Communicate Verification Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 51
     7.3.  Interpret Results/Apply Local Policy . . . . . . . . . . . 52
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
     8.1.  DKIM-Signature Tag Specifications  . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
     8.2.  DKIM-Signature Query Method Registry . . . . . . . . . . . 54
     8.3.  DKIM-Signature Canonicalization Registry . . . . . . . . . 54
     8.4.  _domainkey DNS TXT Record Tag Specifications . . . . . . . 55
     8.5.  DKIM Key Type Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
     8.6.  DKIM Hash Algorithms Registry  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
     8.7.  DKIM Service Types Registry  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
     8.8.  DKIM Selector Flags Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
     8.9.  DKIM-Signature Header Field  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
   9.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
     9.1.  Misuse of Body Length Limits ("l=" Tag)  . . . . . . . . . 57
     9.2.  Misappropriated Private Key  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
     9.3.  Key Server Denial-of-Service Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . 59
     9.4.  Attacks Against the DNS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
     9.5.  Replay Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
     9.6.  Limits on Revoking Keys  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     9.7.  Intentionally Malformed Key Records  . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     9.8.  Intentionally Malformed DKIM-Signature Header Fields . . . 61
     9.9.  Information Leakage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     9.10. Remote Timing Attacks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     9.11. Reordered Header Fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     9.12. RSA Attacks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
     9.13. Inappropriate Signing by Parent Domains  . . . . . . . . . 62
     9.14. Attacks Involving Addition of Header Fields  . . . . . . . 62
     9.15. Malformed Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
   Appendix A.  Example of Use (INFORMATIVE)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
     A.1.  The User Composes an Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
     A.2.  The Email is Signed  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
     A.3.  The Email Signature is Verified  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
   Appendix B.  Usage Examples (INFORMATIVE)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
     B.1.  Alternate Submission Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
     B.2.  Alternate Delivery Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
   Appendix C.  Creating a Public Key (INFORMATIVE) . . . . . . . . . 73
     C.1.  Compatibility with DomainKeys Key Records  . . . . . . . . 74
   Appendix D.  MUA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
   Appendix E.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

1.  Notes to Editor and Reviewers

   This version of the memo contains notations such as "{DKIM 2}".
   These correspond to DKIM working group issue tracker items. they  They
   should be deleted prior to publication.

2.  Introduction

   DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) permits a person, role, or
   organization to claim some responsibility for a message by
   associating a domain name [RFC1034] with the message [RFC5322], which
   they are authorized to use.  This can be an author's organization, an
   operational relay or one of their agents.  Assertion of
   responsibility is validated through a cryptographic signature and
   querying the signer's domain directly to retrieve the appropriate
   public key.  Message transit from author to recipient is through
   relays that typically make no substantive change to the message
   content and thus preserve the DKIM signature.  A message can contain
   multiple signatures, from the same or different organizations
   involved with the message.

   The approach taken by DKIM differs from previous approaches to
   message signing (e.g., Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
   (S/MIME) [RFC1847], OpenPGP [RFC4880]) in that:

   o  the message signature is written as a message header field so that
      neither human recipients nor existing MUA (Mail User Agent)
      software is confused by signature-related content appearing in the
      message body;

   o  there is no dependency on public and private key pairs being
      issued by well-known, trusted certificate authorities;

   o  there is no dependency on the deployment of any new Internet
      protocols or services for public key distribution or revocation;

   o  signature verification failure does not force rejection of the

   o  no attempt is made to include encryption as part of the mechanism;

   o  message archiving is not a design goal.


   o  is compatible with the existing email infrastructure and
      transparent to the fullest extent possible;

   o  requires minimal new infrastructure;

   o  can be implemented independently of clients in order to reduce
      deployment time;

   o  can be deployed incrementally;

   o  allows delegation of signing to third parties.

2.1.  Signing Identity

   DKIM separates the question of the identity of the signer of the
   message from the purported author of the message.  In particular, a
   signature includes the identity of the signer.  Verifiers can use the
   signing information to decide how they want to process the message.
   The signing identity is included as part of the signature header

      INFORMATIVE RATIONALE: The signing identity specified by a DKIM
      signature is not required to match an address in any particular
      header field because of the broad methods of interpretation by
      recipient mail systems, including MUAs.

2.2.  Scalability

   DKIM is designed to support the extreme scalability requirements that
   characterize the email identification problem.  There are currently
   over 70 million domains and a much larger number of individual
   addresses.  DKIM seeks to preserve the positive aspects of the
   current email infrastructure, such as the ability for anyone to
   communicate with anyone else without introduction.

2.3.  Simple Key Management

   DKIM differs from traditional hierarchical public-key systems in that
   no Certificate Authority infrastructure is required; the verifier
   requests the public key from a repository in the domain of the
   claimed signer directly rather than from a third party.

   The DNS is proposed as the initial mechanism for the public keys.
   Thus, DKIM currently depends on DNS administration and the security
   of the DNS system.  DKIM is designed to be extensible to other key
   fetching services as they become available.

2.4.  Data Integrity

   A DKIM signature associates the d= name with the computed hash of
   some or all of the message (see Section 3.7) in order to prevent the
   re-use of the signature with different messages.  Verifying the
   signature asserts that the hashed content has not changed since it
   was signed, and asserts nothing else about "protecting" the end-to-
   end integrity of the message.

3.  Terminology and Definitions

   This section defines terms used in the rest of the document.

   DKIM is designed to operate within the Internet Mail service, as
   defined in [RFC5598].  Basic email terminology is taken from that

   Syntax descriptions use Augmented BNF (ABNF) [RFC5234].

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

3.1.  Signers

   Elements in the mail system that sign messages on behalf of a domain
   are referred to as signers.  These may be MUAs (Mail User Agents),
   MSAs (Mail Submission Agents), MTAs (Mail Transfer Agents), or other
   agents such as mailing list exploders.  In general, any signer will
   be involved in the injection of a message into the message system in
   some way.  The key issue is that a message must be signed before it
   leaves the administrative domain of the signer.

3.2.  Verifiers

   Elements in the mail system that verify signatures are referred to as
   verifiers.  These may be MTAs, Mail Delivery Agents (MDAs), or MUAs.
   In most cases it is expected that verifiers will be close to an end
   user (reader) of the message or some consuming agent such as a
   mailing list exploder.

3.3.  Identity

   A person, role, or organization.  In the context of DKIM, examples
   include the author, the author's organization, an ISP along the
   handling path, an independent trust assessment service, and a mailing
   list operator.

3.4.  Identifier

   A label that refers to an identity.

3.5.  Signing Domain Identifier (SDID)

   A single domain name that is the mandatory payload output of DKIM and
   that refers to the identity claiming some responsibility for introduction
   of a message into the mail stream.  For DKIM processing, the name has
   only basic domain name semantics; any possible owner-specific
   semantics are outside the scope of DKIM.
   message by signing it.  It is specified in Section 4.5.

3.6.  Agent or User Identifier (AUID)

   A single identifier that refers to the agent or user on behalf of
   whom the Signing Domain Identifier (SDID) has taken responsibility.
   The AUID comprises a domain name and an optional <Local-part>.  The
   domain name is the same as that used for the SDID or is a sub-domain
   of it.  For DKIM processing, the domain name portion of the AUID has
   only basic domain name semantics; any possible owner-specific
   semantics are outside the scope of DKIM.  It is specified in
   Section 4.5 .

3.7.  Identity Assessor

   A module that consumes DKIM's mandatory payload, which is the
   responsible Signing Domain Identifier (SDID).  The module is
   dedicated to the assessment of the delivered identifier.  Other DKIM
   (and non-DKIM) values can also be delivered to this module as well as
   to a more general message evaluation filtering engine.  However, this
   additional activity is outside the scope of the DKIM signature

3.8.  Whitespace

   There are three forms of whitespace:

   o  WSP represents simple whitespace, i.e., a space or a tab character
      (formal definition in [RFC5234]).

   o  LWSP is linear whitespace, defined as WSP plus CRLF (formal
      definition in [RFC5234]).

   o  FWS is folding whitespace.  It allows multiple lines separated by
      CRLF followed by at least one whitespace, to be joined.

   The formal ABNF for these are (WSP and LWSP are given for information
   WSP =   SP / HTAB
   LWSP =  *(WSP / CRLF WSP)
   FWS =   [*WSP CRLF] 1*WSP

   The definition of FWS is identical to that in [RFC5322] except for
   the exclusion of obs-FWS.

3.9.  Imported ABNF Tokens

   The following tokens are imported from other RFCs as noted.  Those
   RFCs should be considered definitive.

   The following tokens are imported from [RFC5321]:

   o  "Local-part" (implementation warning: this permits quoted strings)

   o  "sub-domain"

   The following tokens are imported from [RFC5322]:

   o  "field-name" (name of a header field)

   o  "dot-atom-text" (in the Local-part of an email address)

   The following tokens are imported from [RFC2045]:

   o  "qp-section" (a single line of quoted-printable-encoded text)

   o  "hex-octet" (a quoted-printable encoded octet)

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: Be aware that the ABNF in [RFC2045] does not
      obey the rules of [RFC5234] and must be interpreted accordingly,
      particularly as regards case folding.

   Other tokens not defined herein are imported from [RFC5234].  These
   are intuitive primitives such as SP, HTAB, WSP, ALPHA, DIGIT, CRLF,

3.10.  Common ABNF Tokens
   The following ABNF tokens are used elsewhere in this document:
   hyphenated-word =  ALPHA [ *(ALPHA / DIGIT / "-") (ALPHA / DIGIT) ]
   ALPHADIGITPS    =  (ALPHA / DIGIT / "+" / "/")
   base64string    =  ALPHADIGITPS *([FWS] ALPHADIGITPS)
                      [ [FWS] "=" [ [FWS] "=" ] ]
   hdr-name        =  field-name
   qp-hdr-value    =  dkim-quoted-printable    ; with "|" encoded

3.11.  DKIM-Quoted-Printable

   The DKIM-Quoted-Printable encoding syntax resembles that described in
   Quoted-Printable [RFC2045], Section 6.7: any character MAY be encoded
   as an "=" followed by two hexadecimal digits from the alphabet
   "0123456789ABCDEF" (no lowercase characters permitted) representing
   the hexadecimal-encoded integer value of that character.  All control
   characters (those with values < %x20), 8-bit characters (values >
   %x7F), and the characters DEL (%x7F), SPACE (%x20), and semicolon
   (";", %x3B) MUST be encoded.  Note that all whitespace, including
   SPACE, CR, and LF characters, MUST be encoded.  After encoding, FWS
   MAY be added at arbitrary locations in order to avoid excessively
   long lines; such whitespace is NOT part of the value, and MUST be
   removed before decoding.


   dkim-quoted-printable =  *(FWS / hex-octet / dkim-safe-char)
                               ; hex-octet is from RFC2045
   dkim-safe-char        =  %x21-3A / %x3C / %x3E-7E
                               ; '!' - ':', '<', '>' - '~'
                               ; Characters not listed as "mail-safe" in
                               ; [RFC2049] are also not recommended.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: DKIM-Quoted-Printable differs from Quoted-
      Printable as defined in [RFC2045] in several important ways:

      1.  Whitespace in the input text, including CR and LF, must be
          encoded.  [RFC2045] does not require such encoding, and does
          not permit encoding of CR or LF characters that are part of a
          CRLF line break.

      2.  Whitespace in the encoded text is ignored.  This is to allow
          tags encoded using DKIM-Quoted-Printable to be wrapped as
          needed.  In particular, [RFC2045] requires that line breaks in
          the input be represented as physical line breaks; that is not
          the case here.

      3.  The "soft line break" syntax ("=" as the last non-whitespace
          character on the line) does not apply.

      4.  DKIM-Quoted-Printable does not require that encoded lines be
          no more than 76 characters long (although there may be other
          requirements depending on the context in which the encoded
          text is being used).

4.  Protocol Elements

   Protocol Elements are conceptual parts of the protocol that are not
   specific to either signers or verifiers.  The protocol descriptions
   for signers and verifiers are described in later sections (Signer
   Actions (Section 6) and Verifier Actions (Section 7)).  NOTE: This
   section must be read in the context of those sections.

4.1.  Selectors

   To support multiple concurrent public keys per signing domain, the
   key namespace is subdivided using "selectors".  For example,
   selectors might indicate the names of office locations (e.g.,
   "sanfrancisco", "coolumbeach", and "reykjavik"), the signing date
   (e.g., "january2005", "february2005", etc.), or even an individual

   Selectors are needed to support some important use cases.  For

   o  Domains that want to delegate signing capability for a specific
      address for a given duration to a partner, such as an advertising
      provider or other outsourced function.

   o  Domains that want to allow frequent travelers to send messages
      locally without the need to connect with a particular MSA.

   o  "Affinity" domains (e.g., college alumni associations) that
      provide forwarding of incoming mail, but that do not operate a
      mail submission agent for outgoing mail.

   Periods are allowed in selectors and are component separators.  When
   keys are retrieved from the DNS, periods in selectors define DNS
   label boundaries in a manner similar to the conventional use in
   domain names.  Selector components might be used to combine dates
   with locations, for example, "march2005.reykjavik".  In a DNS
   implementation, this can be used to allow delegation of a portion of
   the selector namespace.

   selector =   sub-domain *( "." sub-domain )

   The number of public keys and corresponding selectors for each domain
   is determined by the domain owner.  Many domain owners will be
   satisfied with just one selector, whereas administratively
   distributed organizations may choose to manage disparate selectors
   and key pairs in different regions or on different email servers.

   Beyond administrative convenience, selectors make it possible to
   seamlessly replace public keys on a routine basis.  If a domain
   wishes to change from using a public key associated with selector
   "january2005" to a public key associated with selector
   "february2005", it merely makes sure that both public keys are
   advertised in the public-key repository concurrently for the
   transition period during which email may be in transit prior to
   verification.  At the start of the transition period, the outbound
   email servers are configured to sign with the "february2005" private
   key.  At the end of the transition period, the "january2005" public
   key is removed from the public-key repository.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: A key may also be revoked as described below.
      The distinction between revoking and removing a key selector
      record is subtle.  When phasing out keys as described above, a
      signing domain would probably simply remove the key record after
      the transition period.  However, a signing domain could elect to
      revoke the key (but maintain the key record) for a further period.
      There is no defined semantic difference between a revoked key and
      a removed key.

   While some domains may wish to make selector values well known,
   others will want to take care not to allocate selector names in a way
   that allows harvesting of data by outside parties.  For example, if
   per-user keys are issued, the domain owner will need to make the
   decision as to whether to associate this selector directly with the
   name of a registered end-user, or make it some unassociated random
   value, such as a fingerprint of the public key.

      INFORMATIVE OPERATIONS NOTE: Reusing a selector with a new key
      (for example, changing the key associated with a user's name)
      makes it impossible to tell the difference between a message that
      didn't verify because the key is no longer valid versus a message
      that is actually forged.  For this reason, signers are ill-advised
      to reuse selectors for new keys.  A better strategy is to assign
      new keys to new selectors.

4.2.  Tag=Value Lists

   DKIM uses a simple "tag=value" syntax in several contexts, including
   in messages and domain signature records.

   Values are a series of strings containing either plain text, "base64"
   text (as defined in [RFC2045], Section 6.8), "qp-section" (ibid,
   Section 6.7), or "dkim-quoted-printable" (as defined in
   Section 3.11).  The name of the tag will determine the encoding of
   each value.  Unencoded semicolon (";") characters MUST NOT occur in
   the tag value, since that separates tag-specs.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: Although the "plain text" defined
      below (as "tag-value") only includes 7-bit characters, an
      implementation that wished to anticipate future standards would be
      advised not to preclude the use of UTF8-encoded text in tag=value

      Formally, the ABNF syntax rules are as follows:
   tag-list  =  tag-spec 0*( ";" tag-spec ) [ ";" ]
   tag-spec  =  [FWS] tag-name [FWS] "=" [FWS] tag-value [FWS]
   tag-name  =  ALPHA 0*ALNUMPUNC
   tag-value =  [ tval 0*( 1*(WSP / FWS) tval ) ]
                     ; WSP and FWS prohibited at beginning and end
   tval      =  1*VALCHAR
   VALCHAR   =  %x21-3A / %x3C-7E
                     ; EXCLAMATION to TILDE except SEMICOLON

   Note that WSP is allowed anywhere around tags.  In particular, any
   WSP after the "=" and any WSP before the terminating ";" is not part
   of the value; however, WSP inside the value is significant.

   Tags MUST be interpreted in a case-sensitive manner.  Values MUST be
   processed as case sensitive unless the specific tag description of
   semantics specifies case insensitivity.

   Tags with duplicate names MUST NOT occur within a single tag-list; if
   a tag name does occur more than once, the entire tag-list is invalid.

   Whitespace within a value MUST be retained unless explicitly excluded
   by the specific tag description.

   Tag=value pairs that represent the default value MAY be included to
   aid legibility.

   Unrecognized tags MUST be ignored.

   Tags that have an empty value are not the same as omitted tags.  An
   omitted tag is treated as having the default value; a tag with an
   empty value explicitly designates the empty string as the value.

4.3.  Signing and Verification Algorithms

   DKIM supports multiple digital signature algorithms.  Two algorithms
   are defined by this specification at this time: rsa-sha1 and rsa-
   sha256.  Signers MUST implement and SHOULD sign using rsa-sha256.
   Verifiers MUST implement rsa-sha256.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: Although rsa-sha256 is strongly encouraged, some
      senders of low-security messages (such as routine newsletters) may might prefer to use rsa-sha1 because of reduced CPU requirements to
      compute a SHA1 hash.  MTAs with when balancing security
      strength against performance, complexity, or other needs.
      However, compliant verifierst that do verifiers might not implement rsa-sha1 rsa-sha1; they
      will treat such messages as unsigned. {DKIM 13}
      In general, rsa-sha256 should always be used whenever possible.

4.3.1.  The rsa-sha1 Signing Algorithm

   The rsa-sha1 Signing Algorithm computes a message hash as described
   in Section 4.7 below using SHA-1 [FIPS-180-2-2002] as the hash-alg.
   That hash is then signed by the signer using the RSA algorithm
   (defined in PKCS#1 version 1.5 [RFC3447]) as the crypt-alg and the
   signer's private key.  The hash MUST NOT be truncated or converted
   into any form other than the native binary form before being signed.
   The signing algorithm SHOULD use a public exponent of 65537.

4.3.2.  The rsa-sha256 Signing Algorithm

   The rsa-sha256 Signing Algorithm computes a message hash as described
   in Section 4.7 below using SHA-256 [FIPS-180-2-2002] as the hash-alg.
   That hash is then signed by the signer using the RSA algorithm
   (defined in PKCS#1 version 1.5 [RFC3447]) as the crypt-alg and the
   signer's private key.  The hash MUST NOT be truncated or converted
   into any form other than the native binary form before being signed.

4.3.3.  Key Sizes

   Selecting appropriate key sizes is a trade-off between cost,
   performance, and risk.  Since short RSA keys more easily succumb to
   off-line attacks, signers MUST use RSA keys of at least 1024 bits for
   long-lived keys.  Verifiers MUST be able to validate signatures with
   keys ranging from 512 bits to 2048 bits, and they MAY be able to
   validate signatures with larger keys.  Verifier policies may use the
   length of the signing key as one metric for determining whether a
   signature is acceptable.

   Factors that should influence the key size choice include the

   o  The practical constraint that large (e.g., 4096 bit) keys may not
      fit within a 512-byte DNS UDP response packet

   o  The security constraint that keys smaller than 1024 bits are
      subject to off-line attacks

   o  Larger keys impose higher CPU costs to verify and sign email

   o  Keys can be replaced on a regular basis, thus their lifetime can
      be relatively short

   o  The security goals of this specification are modest compared to
      typical goals of other systems that employ digital signatures

   See [RFC3766] for further discussion on selecting key sizes.

4.3.4.  Other Algorithms

   Other algorithms MAY be defined in the future.  Verifiers MUST ignore
   any signatures using algorithms that they do not implement.

4.4.  Canonicalization

   Some mail systems modify email in transit, potentially invalidating a
   signature.  For most signers, mild modification of email is
   immaterial to validation of the DKIM domain name's use.  For such
   signers, a canonicalization algorithm that survives modest in-transit
   modification is preferred.

   Other signers demand that any modification of the email, however
   minor, result in a signature verification failure.  These signers
   prefer a canonicalization algorithm that does not tolerate in-transit
   modification of the signed email.

   Some signers may be willing to accept modifications to header fields
   that are within the bounds of email standards such as [RFC5322], but
   are unwilling to accept any modification to the body of messages.

   To satisfy all requirements, two canonicalization algorithms are
   defined for each of the header and the body: a "simple" algorithm
   that tolerates almost no modification and a "relaxed" algorithm that
   tolerates common modifications such as whitespace replacement and
   header field line rewrapping.  A signer MAY specify either algorithm
   for header or body when signing an email.  If no canonicalization
   algorithm is specified by the signer, the "simple" algorithm defaults
   for both header and body.  Verifiers MUST implement both
   canonicalization algorithms.  Note that the header and body may use
   different canonicalization algorithms.  Further canonicalization
   algorithms MAY be defined in the future; verifiers MUST ignore any
   signatures that use unrecognized canonicalization algorithms.

   Canonicalization simply prepares the email for presentation to the
   signing or verification algorithm.  It MUST NOT change the
   transmitted data in any way.  Canonicalization of header fields and
   body are described below.

   NOTE: This section assumes that the message is already in "network
   normal" format (text is ASCII encoded, lines are separated with CRLF
   characters, etc.).  See also Section 6.3 for information about
   normalizing the message.

4.4.1.  The "simple" Header Canonicalization Algorithm

   The "simple" header canonicalization algorithm does not change header
   fields in any way.  Header fields MUST be presented to the signing or
   verification algorithm exactly as they are in the message being
   signed or verified.  In particular, header field names MUST NOT be
   case folded and whitespace MUST NOT be changed.

4.4.2.  The "relaxed" Header Canonicalization Algorithm

   The "relaxed" header canonicalization algorithm MUST apply the
   following steps in order:

   o  Convert all header field names (not the header field values) to
      lowercase.  For example, convert "SUBJect: AbC" to "subject: AbC".

   o  Unfold all header field continuation lines as described in
      [RFC5322]; in particular, lines with terminators embedded in
      continued header field values (that is, CRLF sequences followed by
      WSP) MUST be interpreted without the CRLF.  Implementations MUST
      NOT remove the CRLF at the end of the header field value.

   o  Convert all sequences of one or more WSP characters to a single SP
      character.  WSP characters here include those before and after a
      line folding boundary.

   o  Delete all WSP characters at the end of each unfolded header field

   o  Delete any WSP characters remaining before and after the colon
      separating the header field name from the header field value.  The
      colon separator MUST be retained.

4.4.3.  The "simple" Body Canonicalization Algorithm

   The "simple" body canonicalization algorithm ignores all empty lines
   at the end of the message body.  An empty line is a line of zero
   length after removal of the line terminator.  If there is no body or
   no trailing CRLF on the message body, a CRLF is added.  It makes no
   other changes to the message body.  In more formal terms, the
   "simple" body canonicalization algorithm converts "0*CRLF" at the end
   of the body to a single "CRLF".

   Note that a completely empty or missing body is canonicalized as a
   single "CRLF"; that is, the canonicalized length will be 2 octets.

   The sha1 value (in base64) for an empty body (canonicalized to a
   "CRLF") is:
   The sha256 value is:

4.4.4.  The "relaxed" Body Canonicalization Algorithm

   The "relaxed" body canonicalization algorithm MUST apply the
   following steps (a) and (b) in order:

   a.  Reduce whitespace:

       *  Ignore all whitespace at the end of lines.  Implementations
          MUST NOT remove the CRLF at the end of the line.

       *  Reduce all sequences of WSP within a line to a single SP

   b.  Ignore all empty lines at the end of the message body.  "Empty
       line" is defined in Section 3.4.3.  If the body is non-empty, but
       does not end with a CRLF, a CRLF is added.  (For email, this is
       only possible when using extensions to SMTP or non-SMTP transport

   The sha1 value (in base64) for an empty body (canonicalized to a null
   input) is:
   The sha256 value is:

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: It should be noted that the relaxed body
      canonicalization algorithm may enable certain types of extremely
      crude "ASCII Art" attacks where a message may be conveyed by
      adjusting the spacing between words.  If this is a concern, the
      "simple" body canonicalization algorithm should be used instead.

4.4.5.  Body Length Limits

   A body length count MAY be specified to limit the signature
   calculation to an initial prefix of the body text, measured in
   octets.  If the body length count is not specified, the entire
   message body is signed.

      INFORMATIVE RATIONALE: This capability is provided because it is
      very common for mailing lists to add trailers to messages (e.g.,
      instructions how to get off the list).  Until those messages are
      also signed, the body length count is a useful tool for the
      verifier since it may as a matter of policy accept messages having
      valid signatures with extraneous data.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: Using body length limits enables
      an attack in which an attacker modifies a message to include
      content that solely benefits the attacker.  It is possible for the
      appended content to completely replace the original content in the
      end recipient's eyes and to defeat duplicate message detection
      algorithms.  To avoid this attack, signers should be wary of using
      this tag, and verifiers might wish to ignore the tag, {DKIM 2}
      perhaps based on other criteria.

   The body length count allows the signer of a message to permit data
   to be appended to the end of the body of a signed message.  The body
   length count MUST be calculated following the canonicalization
   algorithm; for example, any whitespace ignored by a canonicalization
   algorithm is not included as part of the body length count.  Signers
   of MIME messages that include a body length count SHOULD be sure that
   the length extends to the closing MIME boundary string.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: A signer wishing to ensure that
      the only acceptable modifications are to add to the MIME postlude
      would use a body length count encompassing the entire final MIME
      boundary string, including the final "--CRLF".  A signer wishing
      to allow additional MIME parts but not modification of existing
      parts would use a body length count extending through the final
      MIME boundary string, omitting the final "--CRLF".  Note that this
      only works for some MIME types, e.g., multipart/mixed but not

   A body length count of zero means that the body is completely

   Signers wishing to ensure that no modification of any sort can occur
   should specify the "simple" canonicalization algorithm for both
   header and body and omit the body length count.

4.4.6.  Canonicalization Examples (INFORMATIVE)

   In the following examples, actual whitespace is used only for
   clarity.  The actual input and output text is designated using
   bracketed descriptors: "<SP>" for a space character, "<HTAB>" for a
   tab character, and "<CRLF>" for a carriage-return/line-feed sequence.
   For example, "X <SP> Y" and "X<SP>Y" represent the same three

   Example 1: A message reading:
   A: <SP> X <CRLF>
   B <SP> : <SP> Y <HTAB><CRLF>
                   <HTAB> Z <SP><SP><CRLF>
   <SP> C <SP><CRLF>
   D <SP><HTAB><SP> E <CRLF>

   when canonicalized using relaxed canonicalization for both header and
   body results in a header reading:
   a:X <CRLF>
   b:Y <SP> Z <CRLF>

   and a body reading:
   <SP> C <CRLF>
   D <SP> E <CRLF>

   Example 2: The same message canonicalized using simple
   canonicalization for both header and body results in a header
   A: <SP> X <CRLF>
   B <SP> : <SP> Y <HTAB><CRLF>
          <HTAB> Z <SP><SP><CRLF>

   and a body reading:
   <SP> C <SP><CRLF>
   D <SP><HTAB><SP> E <CRLF>

   Example 3: When processed using relaxed header canonicalization and
   simple body canonicalization, the canonicalized version has a header
   a:X <CRLF>
   b:Y <SP> Z <CRLF>
   and a body reading:
   <SP> C <SP><CRLF>
   D <SP><HTAB><SP> E <CRLF>

4.5.  The DKIM-Signature Header Field

   The signature of the email is stored in the DKIM-Signature header
   field.  This header field contains all of the signature and key-
   fetching data.  The DKIM-Signature value is a tag-list as described
   in Section 4.2.

   The DKIM-Signature header field SHOULD be treated as though it were a
   trace header field as defined in Section 3.6 of [RFC5322], and hence
   SHOULD NOT be reordered and SHOULD be prepended to the message.

   The DKIM-Signature header field being created or verified is always
   included in the signature calculation, after the rest of the header
   fields being signed; however, when calculating or verifying the
   signature, the value of the "b=" tag (signature value) of that DKIM-
   Signature header field MUST be treated as though it were an empty
   string.  Unknown tags in the DKIM-Signature header field MUST be
   included in the signature calculation but MUST be otherwise ignored
   by verifiers.  Other DKIM-Signature header fields that are included
   in the signature should be treated as normal header fields; in
   particular, the "b=" tag is not treated specially.

   The encodings for each field type are listed below.  Tags described
   as qp-section are encoded as described in Section 6.7 of MIME Part
   One [RFC2045], with the additional conversion of semicolon characters
   to "=3B"; intuitively, this is one line of quoted-printable encoded
   text.  The dkim-quoted-printable syntax is defined in Section 3.11.

   Tags on the DKIM-Signature header field along with their type and
   requirement status are shown below.  Unrecognized tags MUST be

   v= Version (MUST be included).  This tag defines the version of this
      specification that applies to the signature record.  It MUST have
      the value "1".  Note that verifiers must do a string comparison on
      this value; for example, "1" is not the same as "1.0".

   sig-v-tag       = %x76 [FWS] "=" [FWS] "1"
         INFORMATIVE NOTE: DKIM-Signature version numbers are expected
         to increase arithmetically as new versions of this
         specification are released.

   a= The algorithm used to generate the signature (plain-text;
      REQUIRED).  Verifiers MUST support "rsa-sha1" and "rsa-sha256";
      signers SHOULD sign using "rsa-sha256".


   sig-a-tag       = %x61 [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-a-tag-alg
   sig-a-tag-alg   = sig-a-tag-k "-" sig-a-tag-h
   sig-a-tag-k     = "rsa" / x-sig-a-tag-k
   sig-a-tag-h     = "sha1" / "sha256" / x-sig-a-tag-h
   x-sig-a-tag-k   = ALPHA *(ALPHA / DIGIT)
                        ; for later extension
   x-sig-a-tag-h   = ALPHA *(ALPHA / DIGIT)
                        ; for later extension

   b= The signature data (base64; REQUIRED).  Whitespace is ignored in
      this value and MUST be ignored when reassembling the original
      signature.  In particular, the signing process can safely insert
      FWS in this value in arbitrary places to conform to line-length
      limits.  See Signer Actions (Section 6) for how the signature is

   sig-b-tag       = %x62 [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-b-tag-data
   sig-b-tag-data  = base64string

   bh=  The hash of the canonicalized body part of the message as
      limited by the "l=" tag (base64; REQUIRED).  Whitespace is ignored
      in this value and MUST be ignored when reassembling the original
      signature.  In particular, the signing process can safely insert
      FWS in this value in arbitrary places to conform to line-length
      limits.  See Section 4.7 for how the body hash is computed.

   sig-bh-tag      = %x62 %x68 [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-bh-tag-data
   sig-bh-tag-data = base64string

   c= Message canonicalization (plain-text; OPTIONAL, default is
      "simple/simple").  This tag informs the verifier of the type of
      canonicalization used to prepare the message for signing.  It
      consists of two names separated by a "slash" (%d47) character,
      corresponding to the header and body canonicalization algorithms
      respectively.  These algorithms are described in Section 4.4.  If
      only one algorithm is named, that algorithm is used for the header
      and "simple" is used for the body.  For example, "c=relaxed" is
      treated the same as "c=relaxed/simple".

   sig-c-tag       = %x63 [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-c-tag-alg
                     ["/" sig-c-tag-alg]
   sig-c-tag-alg   = "simple" / "relaxed" / x-sig-c-tag-alg
   x-sig-c-tag-alg = hyphenated-word    ; for later extension

   d= The SDID claiming responsibility for an introduction of a message
      into the mail stream (plain-text; REQUIRED).  Hence, the SDID
      value is used to form the query for the public key.  The SDID MUST
      correspond to a valid DNS name under which the DKIM key record is
      published.  The conventions and semantics used by a signer to
      create and use a specific SDID are outside the scope of the DKIM
      Signing specification, as is any use of those conventions and
      semantics.  When presented with a signature that does not meet
      these requirements, verifiers MUST consider the signature invalid.

      Internationalized domain names MUST be encoded as A-Labels, as
      described in Section 2.3 of [RFC5890] to "A-Labels". [RFC5890]. {DKIM 4}.


   sig-d-tag       = %x64 [FWS] "=" [FWS] domain-name
   domain-name     = sub-domain 1*("." sub-domain)
                     ; from RFC5321 Domain, excluding address-literal

   h= Signed header fields (plain-text, but see description; REQUIRED).
      A colon-separated list of header field names that identify the
      header fields presented to the signing algorithm.  The field MUST
      contain the complete list of header fields in the order presented
      to the signing algorithm.  The field MAY contain names of header
      fields that do not exist when signed; nonexistent header fields do
      not contribute to the signature computation (that is, they are
      treated as the null input, including the header field name, the
      separating colon, the header field value, and any CRLF
      terminator).  The field MUST NOT include the DKIM-Signature header
      field that is being created or verified, but may include others.
      Folding whitespace (FWS) MAY be included on either side of the
      colon separator.  Header field names MUST be compared against
      actual header field names in a case-insensitive manner.  This list
      MUST NOT be empty.  See Section 6.4 for a discussion of choosing
      header fields to sign.

   sig-h-tag       = %x68 [FWS] "=" [FWS] hdr-name
                      0*( [FWS] ":" [FWS] hdr-name )

         INFORMATIVE EXPLANATION: By "signing" header fields that do not
         actually exist, a signer can prevent insertion of those header
         fields before verification.  However, since a signer cannot
         possibly know what header fields might be created in the
         future, and that some MUAs might present header fields that are
         embedded inside a message (e.g., as a message/rfc822 content
         type), the security of this solution is not total.

         INFORMATIVE EXPLANATION: The exclusion of the header field name
         and colon as well as the header field value for non-existent
         header fields prevents an attacker from inserting an actual
         header field with a null value.

   i= The Agent or User Identifier (AUID) on behalf of which the SDID is
      taking responsibility (dkim-quoted-printable; OPTIONAL, default is
      an empty Local-part followed by an "@" followed by the domain from
      the "d=" tag).

      The syntax is a standard email address where the Local-part MAY be
      omitted.  The domain part of the address MUST be the same as, or a
      subdomain of, the value of the "d=" tag.

      Internationalized domain names MUST be converted encoded as A-Labels, as
      described in Section 2.3 of [RFC5890] to "A-Labels" [RFC5890]. {DKIM 4}.


   sig-i-tag       = %x69 [FWS] "=" [FWS] [ Local-part ]
                              "@" domain-name

      The AUID is specified as having the same syntax as an email
      address, but is not required to have the same semantics.  Notably,
      the domain name is not required to be registered in the DNS -- so
      it might not resolve in a query -- and the Local-part MAY be drawn
      from a namespace unrelated to any mailbox.  The details of the
      structure and semantics for the namespace are determined by the
      Signer.  Any knowledge or use of those details by verifiers or
      assessors is outside the scope of the DKIM Signing specification.
      The Signer MAY choose to use the same namespace for its AUIDs as
      its users' email addresses or MAY choose other means of
      representing its users.  However, the signer SHOULD use the same
      AUID for each message intended to be evaluated as being within the
      same sphere of responsibility, if it wishes to offer receivers the
      option of using the AUID as a stable identifier that is finer
      grained than the SDID.

         INFORMATIVE NOTE: The Local-part of the "i=" tag is optional
         because in some cases a signer may not be able to establish a
         verified individual identity.  In such cases, the signer might
         wish to assert that although it is willing to go as far as
         signing for the domain, it is unable or unwilling to commit to
         an individual user name within their domain.  It can do so by
         including the domain part but not the Local-part of the

         INFORMATIVE DISCUSSION: This specification does not require the
         value of the "i=" tag to match the identity in any message
         header fields.  This is considered to be a verifier policy
         issue.  Constraints between the value of the "i=" tag and other
         identities in other header fields seek to apply basic
         authentication into the semantics of trust associated with a
         role such as content author.  Trust is a broad and complex
         topic and trust mechanisms are subject to highly creative
         attacks.  The real-world efficacy of any but the most basic
         bindings between the "i=" value and other identities is not
         well established, nor is its vulnerability to subversion by an
         attacker.  Hence reliance on the use of these options should be
         strictly limited.  In particular, it is not at all clear to
         what extent a typical end-user recipient can rely on any
         assurances that might be made by successful use of the "i="

   l= Body length count (plain-text unsigned decimal integer; OPTIONAL,
      default is entire body).  This tag informs the verifier of the
      number of octets in the body of the email after canonicalization
      included in the cryptographic hash, starting from 0 immediately
      following the CRLF preceding the body.  This value MUST NOT be
      larger than the actual number of octets in the canonicalized
      message body.

         INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION WARNING: Use of the "l=" tag might
         allow display of fraudulent content without appropriate warning
         to end users.  The "l=" tag is intended for increasing
         signature robustness when sending to mailing lists that both
         modify their content and do not sign their messages.  However,
         using the "l=" tag enables attacks in which an intermediary
         with malicious intent modifies a message to include content
         that solely benefits the attacker.  It is possible for the
         appended content to completely replace the original content in
         the end recipient's eyes and to defeat duplicate message
         detection algorithms.  Examples are described in Security
         Considerations Section 9.  To avoid this attack, signers should
         be extremely wary of using this tag, and verifiers might wish
         to ignore the tag. {DKIM 2}

         INFORMATIVE NOTE: The value of the "l=" tag is constrained to
         76 decimal digits.  This constraint is not intended to predict
         the size of future messages or to require implementations to
         use an integer representation large enough to represent the
         maximum possible value, but is intended to remind the
         implementer to check the length of this and all other tags
         during verification and to test for integer overflow when
         decoding the value.  Implementers may need to limit the actual
         value expressed to a value smaller than 10^76, e.g., to allow a
         message to fit within the available storage space.

   sig-l-tag    = %x6c [FWS] "=" [FWS]

   q= A colon-separated list of query methods used to retrieve the
      public key (plain-text; OPTIONAL, default is "dns/txt").  Each
      query method is of the form "type[/options]", where the syntax and
      semantics of the options depend on the type and specified options.
      If there are multiple query mechanisms listed, the choice of query
      mechanism MUST NOT change the interpretation of the signature.
      Implementations MUST use the recognized query mechanisms in the
      order presented.  Unrecognized query mechanisms MUST be ignored.

      Currently, the only valid value is "dns/txt", which defines the
      DNS TXT record lookup algorithm described elsewhere in this
      document.  The only option defined for the "dns" query type is
      "txt", which MUST be included.  Verifiers and signers MUST support

   sig-q-tag        = %x71 [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-q-tag-method
                         *([FWS] ":" [FWS] sig-q-tag-method)
   sig-q-tag-method = "dns/txt" / x-sig-q-tag-type
                      ["/" x-sig-q-tag-args]
   x-sig-q-tag-type = hyphenated-word  ; for future extension
   x-sig-q-tag-args = qp-hdr-value

   s= The selector subdividing the namespace for the "d=" (domain) tag
      (plain-text; REQUIRED).

      Internationalized selector names MUST be encoded as A-Labels, as
      described in Section 2.3 of [RFC5890]. {DKIM 4}.

   sig-s-tag    = %x73 [FWS] "=" [FWS] selector

   t= Signature Timestamp (plain-text unsigned decimal integer;
      RECOMMENDED, default is an unknown creation time).  The time that
      this signature was created.  The format is the number of seconds
      since 00:00:00 on January 1, 1970 in the UTC time zone.  The value
      is expressed as an unsigned integer in decimal ASCII.  This value
      is not constrained to fit into a 31- or 32-bit integer.
      Implementations SHOULD be prepared to handle values up to at least
      10^12 (until approximately AD 200,000; this fits into 40 bits).
      To avoid denial-of-service attacks, implementations MAY consider
      any value longer than 12 digits to be infinite.  Leap seconds are
      not counted.  Implementations MAY ignore signatures that have a
      timestamp in the future.

   sig-t-tag    = %x74 [FWS] "=" [FWS] 1*12DIGIT

   x= Signature Expiration (plain-text unsigned decimal integer;
      RECOMMENDED, default is no expiration).  The format is the same as
      in the "t=" tag, represented as an absolute date, not as a time
      delta from the signing timestamp.  The value is expressed as an
      unsigned integer in decimal ASCII, with the same constraints on
      the value in the "t=" tag.  Signatures MAY be considered invalid
      if the verification time at the verifier is past the expiration
      date.  The verification time should be the time that the message
      was first received at the administrative domain of the verifier if
      that time is reliably available; otherwise the current time should
      be used.  The value of the "x=" tag MUST be greater than the value
      of the "t=" tag if both are present.

         INFORMATIVE NOTE: The "x=" tag is not intended as an anti-
         replay defense.

         INFORMATIVE NOTE: Due to clock drift, the receiver's notion of
         when to consider the signature expired may not match exactly
         when the sender is expecting.  Receivers MAY add a 'fudge
         factor' to allow for such possible drift.

   sig-x-tag    = %x78 [FWS] "=" [FWS]

   z= Copied header fields (dkim-quoted-printable, but see description;
      OPTIONAL, default is null).  A vertical-bar-separated list of
      selected header fields present when the message was signed,
      including both the field name and value.  It is not required to
      include all header fields present at the time of signing.  This
      field need not contain the same header fields listed in the "h="
      tag.  The header field text itself must encode the vertical bar
      ("|", %x7C) character (i.e., vertical bars in the "z=" text are
      meta-characters, and any actual vertical bar characters in a
      copied header field must be encoded).  Note that all whitespace
      must be encoded, including whitespace between the colon and the
      header field value.  After encoding, FWS MAY be added at arbitrary
      locations in order to avoid excessively long lines; such
      whitespace is NOT part of the value of the header field, and MUST
      be removed before decoding.

      The header fields referenced by the "h=" tag refer to the fields
      in the [RFC5322] header of the message, not to any copied fields
      in the "z=" tag.  Copied header field values are for diagnostic

   sig-z-tag      = %x7A [FWS] "=" [FWS] sig-z-tag-copy
                    *( "|" [FWS] sig-z-tag-copy )
   sig-z-tag-copy = hdr-name [FWS] ":" qp-hdr-value

         INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE of a signature header field spread across
         multiple continuation lines:
   DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256;; s=brisbane;
      c=simple; q=dns/txt;;
      t=1117574938; x=1118006938;

4.6.  Key Management and Representation

   Signature applications require some level of assurance that the
   verification public key is associated with the claimed signer.  Many
   applications achieve this by using public key certificates issued by
   a trusted third party.  However, DKIM can achieve a sufficient level
   of security, with significantly enhanced scalability, by simply
   having the verifier query the purported signer's DNS entry (or some
   security-equivalent) in order to retrieve the public key.

   DKIM keys can potentially be stored in multiple types of key servers
   and in multiple formats.  The storage and format of keys are
   irrelevant to the remainder of the DKIM algorithm.

   Parameters to the key lookup algorithm are the type of the lookup
   (the "q=" tag), the domain of the signer (the "d=" tag of the DKIM-
   Signature header field), and the selector (the "s=" tag).
   public_key = dkim_find_key(q_val, d_val, s_val)

   This document defines a single binding, using DNS TXT records to
   distribute the keys.  Other bindings may be defined in the future.

4.6.1.  Textual Representation

   It is expected that many key servers will choose to present the keys
   in an otherwise unstructured text format (for example, an XML form
   would not be considered to be unstructured text for this purpose).
   The following definition MUST be used for any DKIM key represented in
   an otherwise unstructured textual form.

   The overall syntax is a tag-list as described in Section 4.2.  The
   current valid tags are described below.  Other tags MAY be present
   and MUST be ignored by any implementation that does not understand

   v= Version of the DKIM key record (plain-text; RECOMMENDED, default
      is "DKIM1").  If specified, this tag MUST be set to "DKIM1"
      (without the quotes).  This tag MUST be the first tag in the
      record.  Records beginning with a "v=" tag with any other value
      MUST be discarded.  Note that verifiers must do a string
      comparison on this value; for example, "DKIM1" is not the same as

   key-v-tag    = %x76 [FWS] "=" [FWS] %x44 %x4B %x49 %x4D %x31
   h= Acceptable hash algorithms (plain-text; OPTIONAL, defaults to
      allowing all algorithms).  A colon-separated list of hash
      algorithms that might be used.  Unrecognized algorithms MUST be
      ignored.  Refer to Section 4.3 for a discussion of the hash
      algorithms implemented by Signers and Verifiers.  The set of
      algorithms listed in this tag in each record is an operational
      choice made by the Signer.

   key-h-tag       = %x68 [FWS] "=" [FWS] key-h-tag-alg
                     0*( [FWS] ":" [FWS] key-h-tag-alg )
   key-h-tag-alg   = "sha1" / "sha256" / x-key-h-tag-alg
   x-key-h-tag-alg = hyphenated-word   ; for future extension

   k= Key type (plain-text; OPTIONAL, default is "rsa").  Signers and
      verifiers MUST support the "rsa" key type.  The "rsa" key type
      indicates that an ASN.1 DER-encoded [ITU-X660-1997] RSAPublicKey
      [RFC3447] (see Sections Section 4.1 and A.1.1) is being used in
      the "p=" tag.  (Note: the "p=" tag further encodes the value using
      the base64 algorithm.)  Unrecognized key types MUST be ignored.

   key-k-tag        = %x76 [FWS] "=" [FWS] key-k-tag-type
   key-k-tag-type   = "rsa" / x-key-k-tag-type
   x-key-k-tag-type = hyphenated-word   ; for future extension

   n= Notes that might be of interest to a human (qp-section; OPTIONAL,
      default is empty).  No interpretation is made by any program.
      This tag should be used sparingly in any key server mechanism that
      has space limitations (notably DNS).  This is intended for use by
      administrators, not end users.

   key-n-tag    = %x6e [FWS] "=" [FWS] qp-section
   p= Public-key data (base64; REQUIRED).  An empty value means that
      this public key has been revoked.  The syntax and semantics of
      this tag value before being encoded in base64 are defined by the
      "k=" tag.

         INFORMATIVE RATIONALE: If a private key has been compromised or
         otherwise disabled (e.g., an outsourcing contract has been
         terminated), a signer might want to explicitly state that it
         knows about the selector, but all messages using that selector
         should fail verification.  Verifiers should ignore any DKIM-
         Signature header fields with a selector referencing a revoked

   key-p-tag    = %x70 [FWS] "=" [ [FWS] base64string]

         INFORMATIVE NOTE: A base64string is permitted to include white
         space (FWS) at arbitrary places; however, any CRLFs must be
         followed by at least one WSP character.  Implementors and
         administrators are cautioned to ensure that selector TXT
         records conform to this specification.

   s= Service Type (plain-text; OPTIONAL; default is "*").  A colon-
      separated list of service types to which this record applies.
      Verifiers for a given service type MUST ignore this record if the
      appropriate type is not listed.  Unrecognized service types MUST
      be ignored.  Currently defined service types are as follows:

      *  matches all service types

      email   electronic mail (not necessarily limited to SMTP)

      This tag is intended to constrain the use of keys for other
      purposes, should use of DKIM be defined by other services in the

   key-s-tag        = %x73 [FWS] "=" [FWS] key-s-tag-type
                      0*( [FWS] ":" [FWS] key-s-tag-type )
   key-s-tag-type   = "email" / "*" / x-key-s-tag-type
   x-key-s-tag-type = hyphenated-word   ; for future extension

   t= Flags, represented as a colon-separated list of names (plain-
      text; OPTIONAL, default is no flags set).  Unrecognized flags MUST
      be ignored.  The defined flags are as follows:

   y  This domain is testing DKIM.  Verifiers MUST NOT treat messages
      from signers in testing mode differently from unsigned email, even
      should the signature fail to verify.  Verifiers MAY wish to track
      testing mode results to assist the signer.

   s  Any DKIM-Signature header fields using the "i=" tag MUST have the
      same domain value on the right-hand side of the "@" in the "i="
      tag and the value of the "d=" tag.  That is, the "i=" domain MUST
      NOT be a subdomain of "d=".  Use of this flag is RECOMMENDED
      unless subdomaining is required.

   key-t-tag        = %x74 [FWS] "=" [FWS] key-t-tag-flag
                      0*( [FWS] ":" [FWS] key-t-tag-flag )
   key-t-tag-flag   = "y" / "s" / x-key-t-tag-flag
   x-key-t-tag-flag = hyphenated-word   ; for future extension

      Unrecognized flags MUST be ignored.

4.6.2.  DNS Binding

   A binding using DNS TXT records as a key service is hereby defined.
   All implementations MUST support this binding.  Namespace

   All DKIM keys are stored in a subdomain named "_domainkey".  Given a
   DKIM-Signature field with a "d=" tag of "" and an "s=" tag
   of "", the DNS query will be for
   "".  Resource Record Types for Key Storage

   The DNS Resource Record type used is specified by an option to the
   query-type ("q=") tag.  The only option defined in this base
   specification is "txt", indicating the use of a TXT Resource Record
   (RR).  A later extension of this standard may define another RR type.

   Strings in a TXT RR MUST be concatenated together before use with no
   intervening whitespace.  TXT RRs MUST be unique for a particular
   selector name; that is, if there are multiple records in an RRset,
   the results are undefined.

   TXT RRs are encoded as described in Section 4.6.1

4.7.  Computing the Message Hashes

   Both signing and verifying message signatures start with a step of
   computing two cryptographic hashes over the message.  Signers will
   choose the parameters of the signature as described in Signer Actions
   Section 6; verifiers will use the parameters specified in the DKIM-
   Signature header field being verified.  In the following discussion,
   the names of the tags in the DKIM-Signature header field that either
   exists (when verifying) or will be created (when signing) are used.
   Note that canonicalization (Section 4.4) is only used to prepare the
   email for signing or verifying; it does not affect the transmitted
   email in any way.

   The signer/verifier MUST compute two hashes, one over the body of the
   message and one over the selected header fields of the message.

   Signers MUST compute them in the order shown.  Verifiers MAY compute
   them in any order convenient to the verifier, provided that the
   result is semantically identical to the semantics that would be the
   case had they been computed in this order.

   In hash step 1, the signer/verifier MUST hash the message body,
   canonicalized using the body canonicalization algorithm specified in
   the "c=" tag and then truncated to the length specified in the "l="
   tag.  That hash value is then converted to base64 form and inserted
   into (signers) or compared to (verifiers) the "bh=" tag of the DKIM-
   Signature header field.

   In hash step 2, the signer/verifier MUST pass the following to the
   hash algorithm in the indicated order.

   1.  The header fields specified by the "h=" tag, in the order
       specified in that tag, and canonicalized using the header
       canonicalization algorithm specified in the "c=" tag.  Each
       header field MUST be terminated with a single CRLF.

   2.  The DKIM-Signature header field that exists (verifying) or will
       be inserted (signing) in the message, with the value of the "b="
       tag (including all surrounding whitespace) deleted (i.e., treated
       as the empty string), canonicalized using the header
       canonicalization algorithm specified in the "c=" tag, and without
       a trailing CRLF.

   All tags and their values in the DKIM-Signature header field are
   included in the cryptographic hash with the sole exception of the
   value portion of the "b=" (signature) tag, which MUST be treated as
   the null string.  All tags MUST be included even if they might not be
   understood by the verifier.  The header field MUST be presented to
   the hash algorithm after the body of the message rather than with the
   rest of the header fields and MUST be canonicalized as specified in
   the "c=" (canonicalization) tag.  The DKIM-Signature header field
   MUST NOT be included in its own h= tag, although other DKIM-Signature
   header fields MAY be signed (see Section 5).

   When calculating the hash on messages that will be transmitted using
   base64 or quoted-printable encoding, signers MUST compute the hash
   after the encoding.  Likewise, the verifier MUST incorporate the
   values into the hash before decoding the base64 or quoted-printable
   text.  However, the hash MUST be computed before transport level
   encodings such as SMTP "dot-stuffing" (the modification of lines
   beginning with a "." to avoid confusion with the SMTP end-of-message
   marker, as specified in [RFC5321]).

   With the exception of the canonicalization procedure described in
   Section 4.4, the DKIM signing process treats the body of messages as
   simply a string of octets.  DKIM messages MAY be either in plain-text
   or in MIME format; no special treatment is afforded to MIME content.
   Message attachments in MIME format MUST be included in the content
   that is signed.

      More formally, pseudo-code for the signature algorithm is:
   body-hash =  hash-alg (canon-body, l-param)
   data-hash    =  hash-alg (h-headers, D-SIG, content-hash)
   signature    =  sig-alg (d-domain, selector, data-hash)


      body-hash:   is the output from hashing the body, using hash-alg.

      hash-alg:   is the hashing algorithm specified in the "a"

      canon-body:   is a canonicalized representation of the body,
         produced by using the body algorithm specified in the "c"
         parameter, as defined in Section 4.4 and excluding the
         DKIM-Signature field.

      l-param:   is the length-of-body value of the "l" parameter.

      data-hash:   is the output from using the hash-alg algorithm, to
         hash the header including the DKIM-Signature header, and the
         body hash.

      h-headers:   is the list of headers to be signed, as specified in
         the "h" parameter.

      D-SIG:   is the canonicalized DKIM-Signature field without the
         signature value portion of the parameter, itself; that is, an
         empty parameter value.

      signature:   is the signature value produced by the signing

      sig-alg:   is the signature algorithm specified by the "a"

      d-domain:   is the domain name specified in the "d" parameter.

      selector:   is the selector value specified in the "s" parameter.

   NOTE:   Many digital signature APIs provide both hashing and
      application of the RSA private key using a single "sign()"
      primitive.  When using such an API, the last two steps in the
      algorithm would probably be combined into a single call that would
      perform both the "a-hash-alg" and the "sig-alg".

4.8.  Input Requirements

   DKIM's design is predicated on valid input.  Therefore, signers and
   verifiers SHOULD take reasonable steps to ensure that the messages
   they are processing are valid according to [RFC5322], [RFC2045], and
   any other relevant message format standards.  See Section 9.15 for
   additional discussion and references.

4.9.  Signing by Parent Domains

   In some circumstances, it is desirable for a domain to apply a
   signature on behalf of any of its subdomains without the need to
   maintain separate selectors (key records) in each subdomain.  By
   default, private keys corresponding to key records can be used to
   sign messages for any subdomain of the domain in which they reside;
   for example, a key record for the domain can be used to
   verify messages where the AUID ("i=" tag of the signature) is, or even  In order to limit
   the capability of such keys when this is not intended, the "s" flag
   MAY be set in the "t=" tag of the key record, to constrain the
   validity of the domain of the AUID.  If the referenced key record
   contains the "s" flag as part of the "t=" tag, the domain of the AUID
   ("i=" flag) MUST be the same as that of the SDID (d=) domain.  If
   this flag is absent, the domain of the AUID MUST be the same as, or a
   subdomain of, the SDID.

4.10.  Relationship between SDID and AUID

   DKIM's primary task is to communicate from the Signer to a recipient-
   side Identity Assessor a single Signing Domain Identifier (SDID) that
   refers to a responsible identity.  DKIM MAY optionally provide a
   single responsible Agent or User Identifier (AUID).

   Hence, DKIM's mandatory output to a receive-side Identity Assessor is
   a single domain name.  Within the scope of its use as DKIM output,
   the name has only basic domain name semantics; any possible owner-
   specific semantics are outside the scope of DKIM.  That is, within
   its role as a DKIM identifier, additional semantics cannot be assumed
   by an Identity Assessor.

   Upon successfully verifying the signature, a receive-side DKIM
   verifier MUST communicate the Signing Domain Identifier (d=) to a
   consuming Identity Assessor module and MAY communicate the Agent or
   User Identifier (i=) if present.

   To the extent that a receiver attempts to intuit any structured
   semantics for either of the identifiers, this is a heuristic function
   that is outside the scope of DKIM's specification and semantics.
   Hence, it is relegated to a higher-level service, such as a delivery
   handling filter that integrates a variety of inputs and performs
   heuristic analysis of them.

      INFORMATIVE DISCUSSION: This document does not require the value
      of the SDID or AUID to match an identifier in any other message
      header field.  This requirement is, instead, an assessor policy
      issue.  The purpose of such a linkage would be to authenticate the
      value in that other header field.  This, in turn, is the basis for
      applying a trust assessment based on the identifier value.  Trust
      is a broad and complex topic and trust mechanisms are subject to
      highly creative attacks.  The real-world efficacy of any but the
      most basic bindings between the SDID or AUID and other identities
      is not well established, nor is its vulnerability to subversion by
      an attacker.  Hence, reliance on the use of such bindings should
      be strictly limited.  In particular, it is not at all clear to
      what extent a typical end-user recipient can rely on any
      assurances that might be made by successful use of the SDID or

5.  Semantics of Multiple Signatures

5.1.  Example Scenarios

   There are many reasons why a message might have multiple signatures.
   For example, a given signer might sign multiple times, perhaps with
   different hashing or signing algorithms during a transition phase.

      INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE: Suppose SHA-256 is in the future found to be
      insufficiently strong, and DKIM usage transitions to SHA-1024.  A
      signer might immediately sign using the newer algorithm, but
      continue to sign using the older algorithm for interoperability
      with verifiers that had not yet upgraded.  The signer would do
      this by adding two DKIM-Signature header fields, one using each
      algorithm.  Older verifiers that did not recognize SHA-1024 as an
      acceptable algorithm would skip that signature and use the older
      algorithm; newer verifiers could use either signature at their
      option, and all other things being equal might not even attempt to
      verify the other signature.

   Similarly, a signer might sign a message including all headers and no
   "l=" tag (to satisfy strict verifiers) and a second time with a
   limited set of headers and an "l=" tag (in anticipation of possible
   message modifications in route to other verifiers).  Verifiers could
   then choose which signature they preferred.

      INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE: A verifier might receive a message with two
      signatures, one covering more of the message than the other.  If
      the signature covering more of the message verified, then the
      verifier could make one set of policy decisions; if that signature
      failed but the signature covering less of the message verified,
      the verifier might make a different set of policy decisions.

   Of course, a message might also have multiple signatures because it
   passed through multiple signers.  A common case is expected to be
   that of a signed message that passes through a mailing list that also
   signs all messages.  Assuming both of those signatures verify, a
   recipient might choose to accept the message if either of those
   signatures were known to come from trusted sources.

      INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE: Recipients might choose to whitelist mailing
      lists to which they have subscribed and that have acceptable anti-
      abuse policies so as to accept messages sent to that list even
      from unknown authors.  They might also subscribe to less trusted
      mailing lists (e.g., those without anti-abuse protection) and be
      willing to accept all messages from specific authors, but insist
      on doing additional abuse scanning for other messages.

   Another related example of multiple signers might be forwarding
   services, such as those commonly associated with academic alumni

      INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE: A recipient might have an address at, a site that has anti-abuse protection that is
      somewhat less effective than the recipient would prefer.  Such a
      recipient might have specific authors whose messages would be
      trusted absolutely, but messages from unknown authors that had
      passed the forwarder's scrutiny would have only medium trust.

5.2.  Interpretation

   A signer that is adding a signature to a message merely creates a new
   DKIM-Signature header, using the usual semantics of the h= option.  A
   signer MAY sign previously existing DKIM-Signature header fields
   using the method described in Section 6.4 to sign trace header

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: Signers should be cognizant that signing DKIM-
      Signature header fields may result in signature failures with
      intermediaries that do not recognize that DKIM-Signature header
      fields are trace header fields and unwittingly reorder them, thus
      breaking such signatures.  For this reason, signing existing DKIM-
      Signature header fields is unadvised, albeit legal.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: If a header field with multiple instances is
      signed, those header fields are always signed from the bottom up.
      Thus, it is not possible to sign only specific DKIM-Signature
      header fields.  For example, if the message being signed already
      contains three DKIM-Signature header fields A, B, and C, it is
      possible to sign all of them, B and C only, or C only, but not A
      only, B only, A and B only, or A and C only.

   A signer MAY add more than one DKIM-Signature header field using
   different parameters.  For example, during a transition period a
   signer might want to produce signatures using two different hash

   Signers SHOULD NOT remove any DKIM-Signature header fields from
   messages they are signing, even if they know that the signatures
   cannot be verified.

   When evaluating a message with multiple signatures, a verifier SHOULD
   evaluate signatures independently and on their own merits.  For
   example, a verifier that by policy chooses not to accept signatures
   with deprecated cryptographic algorithms would consider such
   signatures invalid.  Verifiers MAY process signatures in any order of
   their choice; for example, some verifiers might choose to process
   signatures corresponding to the From field in the message header
   before other signatures.  See Section 7.1 for more information about
   signature choices.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: Verifier attempts to correlate
      valid signatures with invalid signatures in an attempt to guess
      why a signature failed are ill-advised.  In particular, there is
      no general way that a verifier can determine that an invalid
      signature was ever valid.

   Verifiers SHOULD ignore failed signatures as though they were not
   present in the message.  Verifiers SHOULD continue to check
   signatures until a signature successfully verifies to the
   satisfaction of the verifier.  To limit potential denial-of-service
   attacks, verifiers MAY limit the total number of signatures they will
   attempt to verify.

6.  Signer Actions

   The following steps are performed in order by signers.

6.1.  Determine Whether the Email Should Be Signed and by Whom

   A signer can obviously only sign email for domains for which it has a
   private key and the necessary knowledge of the corresponding public
   key and selector information.  However, there are a number of other
   reasons beyond the lack of a private key why a signer could choose
   not to sign an email.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: Signing modules may be incorporated into any
      portion of the mail system as deemed appropriate, including an
      MUA, a SUBMISSION server, or an MTA.  Wherever implemented,
      signers should beware of signing (and thereby asserting
      responsibility for) messages that may be problematic.  In
      particular, within a trusted enclave the signing address might be
      derived from the header according to local policy; SUBMISSION
      servers might only sign messages from users that are properly
      authenticated and authorized.

      Received header fields if the outgoing gateway MTA obfuscates
      Received header fields, for example, to hide the details of
      internal topology.

   If an email cannot be signed for some reason, it is a local policy
   decision as to what to do with that email.

6.2.  Select a Private Key and Corresponding Selector Information

   This specification does not define the basis by which a signer should
   choose which private key and selector information to use.  Currently,
   all selectors are equal as far as this specification is concerned, so
   the decision should largely be a matter of administrative
   convenience.  Distribution and management of private keys is also
   outside the scope of this document.

      INFORMATIVE OPERATIONS ADVICE: A signer should not sign with a
      private key when the selector containing the corresponding public
      key is expected to be revoked or removed before the verifier has
      an opportunity to validate the signature.  The signer should
      anticipate that verifiers may choose to defer validation, perhaps
      until the message is actually read by the final recipient.  In
      particular, when rotating to a new key pair, signing should
      immediately commence with the new private key and the old public
      key should be retained for a reasonable validation interval before
      being removed from the key server.

6.3.  Normalize the Message to Prevent Transport Conversions

   Some messages, particularly those using 8-bit characters, are subject
   to modification during transit, notably conversion to 7-bit form.
   Such conversions will break DKIM signatures.  In order to minimize
   the chances of such breakage, signers SHOULD convert the message to a
   suitable MIME content transfer encoding such as quoted-printable or
   base64 as described in [RFC2045] before signing.  Such conversion is
   outside the scope of DKIM; the actual message SHOULD be converted to
   7-bit MIME by an MUA or MSA prior to presentation to the DKIM

   Similarly, a message that is not compliant with RFC5322, RFC2045 and
   RFC2047 can be subject to attempts by intermediaries to correct or
   interpret such content.  See Section 8 of [RFC4409] for examples of
   changes that are commonly made.  Such "corrections" may break DKIM
   signatures or have other undesirable effects.  Therefore, a verifier
   SHOULD NOT validate a message that is not compliant with those

   If the message is submitted to the signer with any local encoding
   that will be modified before transmission, that modification to
   canonical [RFC5322] form MUST be done before signing.  In particular,
   bare CR or LF characters (used by some systems as a local line
   separator convention) MUST be converted to the SMTP-standard CRLF
   sequence before the message is signed.  Any conversion of this sort
   SHOULD be applied to the message actually sent to the recipient(s),
   not just to the version presented to the signing algorithm.

   More generally, the signer MUST sign the message as it is expected to
   be received by the verifier rather than in some local or internal

6.4.  Determine the Header Fields to Sign

   The From header field MUST be signed (that is, included in the "h="
   tag of the resulting DKIM-Signature header field).  Signers SHOULD
   NOT sign an existing header field likely to be legitimately modified
   or removed in transit.  In particular, [RFC5321] explicitly permits
   modification or removal of the Return-Path header field in transit.
   Signers MAY include any other header fields present at the time of
   signing at the discretion of the signer.

      INFORMATIVE OPERATIONS NOTE: The choice of which header fields to
      sign is non-obvious.  One strategy is to sign all existing, non-
      repeatable header fields.  An alternative strategy is to sign only
      header fields that are likely to be displayed to or otherwise be
      likely to affect the processing of the message at the receiver.  A
      third strategy is to sign only "well known" headers.  Note that
      verifiers may treat unsigned header fields with extreme
      skepticism, including refusing to display them to the end user or
      even ignoring the signature if it does not cover certain header
      fields.  For this reason, signing fields present in the message
      such as Date, Subject, Reply-To, Sender, and all MIME header
      fields are highly advised.

   The DKIM-Signature header field is always implicitly signed and MUST
   NOT be included in the "h=" tag except to indicate that other
   preexisting signatures are also signed.

   Signers MAY claim to have signed header fields that do not exist
   (that is, signers MAY include the header field name in the "h=" tag
   even if that header field does not exist in the message).  When
   computing the signature, the non-existing header field MUST be
   treated as the null string (including the header field name, header
   field value, all punctuation, and the trailing CRLF).

      INFORMATIVE RATIONALE: This allows signers to explicitly assert
      the absence of a header field; if that header field is added later
      the signature will fail.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: A header field name need only be listed once
      more than the actual number of that header field in a message at
      the time of signing in order to prevent any further additions.
      For example, if there is a single Comments header field at the
      time of signing, listing Comments twice in the "h=" tag is
      sufficient to prevent any number of Comments header fields from
      being appended; it is not necessary (but is legal) to list
      Comments three or more times in the "h=" tag.

   Signers choosing to sign an existing header field that occurs more
   than once in the message (such as Received) MUST sign the physically
   last instance of that header field in the header block.  Signers
   wishing to sign multiple instances of such a header field MUST
   include the header field name multiple times in the h= tag of the
   DKIM-Signature header field, and MUST sign such header fields in
   order from the bottom of the header field block to the top.  The
   signer MAY include more instances of a header field name in h= than
   there are actual corresponding header fields to indicate that
   additional header fields of that name SHOULD NOT be added.


      If the signer wishes to sign two existing Received header fields,
      and the existing header contains:
   Received: <A>
   Received: <B>
   Received: <c>

      then the resulting DKIM-Signature header field should read:

   DKIM-Signature: ... h=Received : Received :...
      and Received header fields <C> and <B> will be signed in that

   Signers should be careful of signing header fields that might have
   additional instances added later in the delivery process, since such
   header fields might be inserted after the signed instance or
   otherwise reordered.  Trace header fields (such as Received) and
   Resent-* blocks are the only fields prohibited by [RFC5322] from
   being reordered.  In particular, since DKIM-Signature header fields
   may be reordered by some intermediate MTAs, signing existing DKIM-
   Signature header fields is error-prone.

      INFORMATIVE ADMONITION: Despite the fact that [RFC5322] permits
      header fields to be reordered (with the exception of Received
      header fields), reordering of signed header fields with multiple
      instances by intermediate MTAs will cause DKIM signatures to be
      broken; such anti-social behavior should be avoided.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTER'S NOTE: Although not required by this
      specification, all end-user visible header fields should be signed
      to avoid possible "indirect spamming".  For example, if the
      Subject header field is not signed, a spammer can resend a
      previously signed mail, replacing the legitimate subject with a
      one-line spam.

6.5.  Recommended Signature Content

   In order to maximize compatibility with a variety

   {DKIM 20}

   The purpose of verifiers, it the DKIM cryptographic algorithm is
   recommended that signers follow to affix an
   identifier to the practices outlined message in this
   section when signing a message.  However, these are generic
   recommendations applying to the general case; specific senders may
   wish way that is both robust against normal
   transit-related changes and resistant to modify these guidelines as required by their unique
   situations.  Verifiers MUST be capable kinds of verifying signatures even
   if one or more replay attacks.  An
   essential aspect of the recommended satisfying these requirements is choosing what
   header fields is not signed (with
   the exception of From, which must always be signed) or if one or more
   of to include in the dis-recommended header hash and what fields to exclude.

   The basic rule for choosing fields to include is signed.  Note to select those
   fields that verifiers
   do have constitute the option "core" of ignoring signatures that do not cover a
   sufficient portion the message content.  Hence, any
   replay attack will have to include these in order to have the
   signature succeed; but with these included, the core of the header or body, just as they may ignore
   signatures from an identity they do not trust.

   The following header fields SHOULD be included in the signature, message
   is valid, even if
   they are present in sent on to new recipients.

   Common examples of fields with addresses and fields with textual
   content related to the message being signed: body are:

   o  From (REQUIRED in all signatures) (REQUIRED; see Section 6.4)

   o  Sender,  Reply-To

   o  Subject

   o  Date, Message-ID  Date

   o  To, Cc

   o  MIME-Version

   o  Content-Type, Content-Transfer-Encoding, Content-ID, Content-

   o  Resent-Date, Resent-From, Resent-Sender, Resent-To, Resent-Cc,
      Resent-Message-ID Resent-Cc
   o  In-Reply-To, References

   o  List-Id, List-Help, List-Unsubscribe, List-Subscribe, List-Post,
      List-Owner, List-Archive

   The following header fields SHOULD NOT be

   If the "l=" signature tag is in use (see Section 4.5), the Content-
   Type field is also a candidate for being included as it could be
   replaced in a way that causes completely different content to be
   rendered to the signature: receiving user.

   Another class of fields that may be of interest are those that convey
   security-related information about the message, such as
   Authentication-Results [RFC5451].

   The basic rule for choosing field to exclude is to select those
   fields for which there are multiple fields with the same name, and
   fields that are modified in transit.  Examples of these are:

   o  Return-Path

   o  Received

   o  Comments, Keywords

   o  Bcc, Resent-Bcc


   Note that the DKIM-Signature

   Optional field is also excluded from the header
   hash, because its handling is specified separately.

   Typically, it is better to exclude other, optional fields (those not mentioned above) normally SHOULD
   NOT be included in the signature, because of
   the potential for that additional header fields of the same name to will be
   legitimately added or
   reordered re-ordered prior to verification.  There are
   likely to be legitimate exceptions to this rule, because of the wide
   variety of application-
   specific application-specific header fields that may might be applied
   to a message, some of which are unlikely to be duplicated, modified,
   or reordered.

   Signers SHOULD choose canonicalization algorithms based on the types
   of messages they process and their aversion to risk.  For example,
   e-commerce sites sending primarily purchase receipts, which are not
   expected to be processed by mailing lists or other software likely to
   modify messages, will generally prefer "simple" canonicalization.
   Sites sending primarily person-to-person email will likely prefer to
   be more resilient to modification during transport by using "relaxed"

   Signers SHOULD NOT use "l=" unless they intend to accommodate
   intermediate mail processors that append text to a message.  For
   example, many mailing list processors append "unsubscribe"
   information to message bodies.  If signers use "l=", they SHOULD
   include the entire message body existing at the time of signing in
   computing the count.  In particular, signers SHOULD NOT specify a
   body length of 0 since this may be interpreted as a meaningless
   signature by some verifiers.

6.6.  Compute the Message Hash and Signature

   The signer MUST compute the message hash as described in Section 4.7
   and then sign it using the selected public-key algorithm.  This will
   result in a DKIM-Signature header field that will include the body
   hash and a signature of the header hash, where that header includes
   the DKIM-Signature header field itself.

   Entities such as mailing list managers that implement DKIM and that
   modify the message or a header field (for example, inserting
   unsubscribe information) before retransmitting the message SHOULD
   check any existing signature on input and MUST make such
   modifications before re-signing the message.

   The signer MAY elect to limit the number of bytes of the body that
   will be included in the hash and hence signed.  The length actually
   hashed should be inserted in the "l=" tag of the DKIM-Signature
   header field.

6.7.  Insert the DKIM-Signature Header Field

   Finally, the signer MUST insert the DKIM-Signature header field
   created in the previous step prior to transmitting the email.  The
   DKIM-Signature header field MUST be the same as used to compute the
   hash as described above, except that the value of the "b=" tag MUST
   be the appropriately signed hash computed in the previous step,
   signed using the algorithm specified in the "a=" tag of the DKIM-
   Signature header field and using the private key corresponding to the
   selector given in the "s=" tag of the DKIM-Signature header field, as
   chosen above in Section 6.2

   The DKIM-Signature header field MUST be inserted before any other
   DKIM-Signature fields in the header block.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: The easiest way to achieve this
      is to insert the DKIM-Signature header field at the beginning of
      the header block.  In particular, it may be placed before any
      existing Received header fields.  This is consistent with treating
      DKIM-Signature as a trace header field.

7.  Verifier Actions

   Since a signer MAY remove or revoke a public key at any time, it is
   recommended that verification occur in a timely manner.  In many
   configurations, the most timely place is during acceptance by the
   border MTA or shortly thereafter.  In particular, deferring
   verification until the message is accessed by the end user is

   A border or intermediate MTA MAY verify the message signature(s).  An
   MTA who has performed verification MAY communicate the result of that
   verification by adding a verification header field to incoming
   messages.  This considerably simplifies things for the user, who can
   now use an existing mail user agent.  Most MUAs have the ability to
   filter messages based on message header fields or content; these
   filters would be used to implement whatever policy the user wishes
   with respect to unsigned mail.

   A verifying MTA MAY implement a policy with respect to unverifiable
   mail, regardless of whether or not it applies the verification header
   field to signed messages.

   Verifiers MUST produce a result that is semantically equivalent to
   applying the following steps in the order listed.  In practice,
   several of these steps can be performed in parallel in order to
   improve performance.

7.1.  Extract Signatures from the Message

   The order in which verifiers try DKIM-Signature header fields is not
   defined; verifiers MAY try signatures in any order they like.  For
   example, one implementation might try the signatures in textual
   order, whereas another might try signatures by identities that match
   the contents of the From header field before trying other signatures.
   Verifiers MUST NOT attribute ultimate meaning to the order of
   multiple DKIM-Signature header fields.  In particular, there is
   reason to believe that some relays will reorder the header fields in
   potentially arbitrary ways.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: Verifiers might use the order as
      a clue to signing order in the absence of any other information.
      However, other clues as to the semantics of multiple signatures
      (such as correlating the signing host with Received header fields)
      may also be considered.

   A verifier SHOULD NOT treat a message that has one or more bad
   signatures and no good signatures differently from a message with no
   signature at all; such treatment is a matter of local policy and is
   beyond the scope of this document.

   When a signature successfully verifies, a verifier will either stop
   processing or attempt to verify any other signatures, at the
   discretion of the implementation.  A verifier MAY limit the number of
   signatures it tries to avoid denial-of-service attacks.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: An attacker could send messages with large
      numbers of faulty signatures, each of which would require a DNS
      lookup and corresponding CPU time to verify the message.  This
      could be an attack on the domain that receives the message, by
      slowing down the verifier by requiring it to do a large number of
      DNS lookups and/or signature verifications.  It could also be an
      attack against the domains listed in the signatures, essentially
      by enlisting innocent verifiers in launching an attack against the
      DNS servers of the actual victim.

   In the following description, text reading "return status
   (explanation)" (where "status" is one of "PERMFAIL" or "TEMPFAIL")
   means that the verifier MUST immediately cease processing that
   signature.  The verifier SHOULD proceed to the next signature, if any
   is present, and completely ignore the bad signature.  If the status
   is "PERMFAIL", the signature failed and should not be reconsidered.
   If the status is "TEMPFAIL", the signature could not be verified at
   this time but may be tried again later.  A verifier MAY either defer
   the message for later processing, perhaps by queueing it locally or
   issuing a 451/4.7.5 SMTP reply, or try another signature; if no good
   signature is found and any of the signatures resulted in a TEMPFAIL
   status, the verifier MAY save the message for later processing.  The
   "(explanation)" is not normative text; it is provided solely for

   Verifiers SHOULD ignore any DKIM-Signature header fields where the
   signature does not validate.  Verifiers that are prepared to validate
   multiple signature header fields SHOULD proceed to the next signature
   header field, should it exist.  However, verifiers MAY make note of
   the fact that an invalid signature was present for consideration at a
   later step.

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: The rationale of this requirement is to permit
      messages that have invalid signatures but also a valid signature
      to work.  For example, a mailing list exploder might opt to leave
      the original submitter signature in place even though the exploder
      knows that it is modifying the message in some way that will break
      that signature, and the exploder inserts its own signature.  In
      this case, the message should succeed even in the presence of the
      known-broken signature.

   For each signature to be validated, the following steps should be
   performed in such a manner as to produce a result that is
   semantically equivalent to performing them in the indicated order.

7.1.1.  Validate the Signature Header Field

   Implementers MUST meticulously validate the format and values in the
   DKIM-Signature header field; any inconsistency or unexpected values
   MUST cause the header field to be completely ignored and the verifier
   to return PERMFAIL (signature syntax error).  Being "liberal in what
   you accept" is definitely a bad strategy in this security context.
   Note however that this does not include the existence of unknown tags
   in a DKIM-Signature header field, which are explicitly permitted.
   Verifiers MUST ignore DKIM-Signature header fields with a "v=" tag
   that is inconsistent with this specification and return PERMFAIL
   (incompatible version).

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTATION NOTE: An implementation may, of course,
      choose to also verify signatures generated by older versions of
      this specification.

   If any tag listed as "required" in Section 4.5 is omitted from the
   DKIM-Signature header field, the verifier MUST ignore the DKIM-
   Signature header field and return PERMFAIL (signature missing
   required tag).

      INFORMATIONAL NOTE: The tags listed as required in Section 4.5 are
      "v=", "a=", "b=", "bh=", "d=", "h=", and "s=".  Should there be a
      conflict between this note and Section 4.5, Section 4.5 is

   If the DKIM-Signature header field does not contain the "i=" tag, the
   verifier MUST behave as though the value of that tag were "@d", where
   "d" is the value from the "d=" tag.

   Verifiers MUST confirm that the domain specified in the "d=" tag is
   the same as or a parent domain of the domain part of the "i=" tag.
   If not, the DKIM-Signature header field MUST be ignored and the
   verifier should return PERMFAIL (domain mismatch).

   If the "h=" tag does not include the From header field, the verifier
   MUST ignore the DKIM-Signature header field and return PERMFAIL (From
   field not signed).

   Verifiers MAY ignore the DKIM-Signature header field and return
   PERMFAIL (signature expired) if it contains an "x=" tag and the
   signature has expired.

   Verifiers MAY ignore the DKIM-Signature header field if the domain
   used by the signer in the "d=" tag is not associated with a valid
   signing entity.  For example, signatures with "d=" values such as
   "com" and "" may be ignored.  The list of unacceptable domains
   SHOULD be configurable.

   Verifiers MAY ignore the DKIM-Signature header field and return
   PERMFAIL (unacceptable signature header) for any other reason, for
   example, if the signature does not sign header fields that the
   verifier views to be essential.  As a case in point, if MIME header
   fields are not signed, certain attacks may be possible that the
   verifier would prefer to avoid.

7.1.2.  Get the Public Key

   The public key for a signature is needed to complete the verification
   process.  The process of retrieving the public key depends on the
   query type as defined by the "q=" tag in the DKIM-Signature header
   field.  Obviously, a public key need only be retrieved if the process
   of extracting the signature information is completely successful.
   Details of key management and representation are described in
   Section 4.6.  The verifier MUST validate the key record and MUST
   ignore any public key records that are malformed.

   NOTE:  The use of a wildcard TXT record that covers a queried DKIM
      domain name will produce a response to a DKIM query that is
      unlikely to be valid DKIM key record.  This problem is not
      specific to DKIM and applies to many other types of queries.
      Client software that processes DNS responses needs to take this
      problem into account.

   When validating a message, a verifier MUST perform the following
   steps in a manner that is semantically the same as performing them in
   the order indicated -- in some cases the implementation may
   parallelize or reorder these steps, as long as the semantics remain

   1.  Retrieve the public key as described in Section 4.6 using the
       algorithm in the "q=" tag, the domain from the "d=" tag, and the
       selector from the "s=" tag.

   2.  If the query for the public key fails to respond, the verifier
       MAY defer acceptance of this email and return TEMPFAIL (key
       unavailable).  If verification is occurring during the incoming
       SMTP session, this MAY be achieved with a 451/4.7.5 SMTP reply
       code.  Alternatively, the verifier MAY store the message in the
       local queue for later trial or ignore the signature.  Note that
       storing a message in the local queue is subject to denial-of-
       service attacks.

   3.  If the query for the public key fails because the corresponding
       key record does not exist, the verifier MUST immediately return
       PERMFAIL (no key for signature).

   4.  If the query for the public key returns multiple key records, the
       verifier may choose one of the key records or may cycle through
       the key records performing the remainder of these steps on each
       record at the discretion of the implementer.  The order of the
       key records is unspecified.  If the verifier chooses to cycle
       through the key records, then the "return ..." wording in the
       remainder of this section means "try the next key record, if any;
       if none, return to try another signature in the usual way".

   5.  If the result returned from the query does not adhere to the
       format defined in this specification, the verifier MUST ignore
       the key record and return PERMFAIL (key syntax error).  Verifiers
       are urged to validate the syntax of key records carefully to
       avoid attempted attacks.  In particular, the verifier MUST ignore
       keys with a version code ("v=" tag) that they do not implement.

   6.  If the "h=" tag exists in the public key record and the hash
       algorithm implied by the "a=" tag in the DKIM-Signature header
       field is not included in the contents of the "h=" tag, the
       verifier MUST ignore the key record and return PERMFAIL
       (inappropriate hash algorithm).

   7.  If the public key data (the "p=" tag) is empty, then this key has
       been revoked and the verifier MUST treat this as a failed
       signature check and return PERMFAIL (key revoked).  There is no
       defined semantic difference between a key that has been revoked
       and a key record that has been removed.

   8.  If the public key data is not suitable for use with the algorithm
       and key types defined by the "a=" and "k=" tags in the DKIM-
       Signature header field, the verifier MUST immediately return
       PERMFAIL (inappropriate key algorithm).

7.1.3.  Compute the Verification

   Given a signer and a public key, verifying a signature consists of
   actions semantically equivalent to the following steps.

   1.  Based on the algorithm defined in the "c=" tag, the body length
       specified in the "l=" tag, and the header field names in the "h="
       tag, prepare a canonicalized version of the message as is
       described in Section 4.7 (note that this version does not
       actually need to be instantiated).  When matching header field
       names in the "h=" tag against the actual message header field,
       comparisons MUST be case-insensitive.

   2.  Based on the algorithm indicated in the "a=" tag, compute the
       message hashes from the canonical copy as described in
       Section 4.7.

   3.  Verify that the hash of the canonicalized message body computed
       in the previous step matches the hash value conveyed in the "bh="
       tag.  If the hash does not match, the verifier SHOULD ignore the
       signature and return PERMFAIL (body hash did not verify).

   4.  Using the signature conveyed in the "b=" tag, verify the
       signature against the header hash using the mechanism appropriate
       for the public key algorithm described in the "a=" tag.  If the
       signature does not validate, the verifier SHOULD ignore the
       signature and return PERMFAIL (signature did not verify).

   5.  Otherwise, the signature has correctly verified.

      INFORMATIVE IMPLEMENTER'S NOTE: Implementations might wish to
      initiate the public-key query in parallel with calculating the
      hash as the public key is not needed until the final decryption is
      calculated.  Implementations may also verify the signature on the
      message header before validating that the message hash listed in
      the "bh=" tag in the DKIM-Signature header field matches that of
      the actual message body; however, if the body hash does not match,
      the entire signature must be considered to have failed.

   A body length specified in the "l=" tag of the signature limits the
   number of bytes of the body passed to the verification algorithm.
   All data beyond that limit is not validated by DKIM.  Hence,
   verifiers might treat a message that contains bytes beyond the
   indicated body length with suspicion, such as by declaring the
   signature invalid (e.g., by returning PERMFAIL (unsigned content)),
   or conveying the partial verification to the policy module. {DKIM 2}

7.2.  Communicate Verification Results

   Verifiers wishing to communicate the results of verification to other
   parts of the mail system may do so in whatever manner they see fit.
   For example, implementations might choose to add an email header
   field to the message before passing it on.  Any such header field
   SHOULD be inserted before any existing DKIM-Signature or preexisting
   authentication status header fields in the header field block.  The
   Authentication-Results: header field ([RFC5451]) MAY be used for this

      INFORMATIVE ADVICE to MUA filter writers: Patterns intended to
      search for results header fields to visibly mark authenticated
      mail for end users should verify that such header field was added
      by the appropriate verifying domain and that the verified identity
      matches the author identity that will be displayed by the MUA.  In
      particular, MUA filters should not be influenced by bogus results
      header fields added by attackers.  To circumvent this attack,
      verifiers may wish to delete existing results header fields after
      verification and before adding a new header field.

7.3.  Interpret Results/Apply Local Policy

   It is beyond the scope of this specification to describe what actions
   an Identity Assessor can make, but mail carrying a validated SDID
   presents an opportunity to an Identity Assessor that unauthenticated
   email does not.  Specifically, an authenticated email creates a
   predictable identifier by which other decisions can reliably be
   managed, such as trust and reputation.  Conversely, unauthenticated
   email lacks a reliable identifier that can be used to assign trust
   and reputation.  It is reasonable to treat unauthenticated email as
   lacking any trust and having no positive reputation.

   In general, verifiers SHOULD NOT reject messages solely on the basis
   of a lack of signature or an unverifiable signature; such rejection
   would cause severe interoperability problems.  However, if the
   verifier does opt to reject such messages (for example, when
   communicating with a peer who, by prior agreement, agrees to only
   send signed messages), and the verifier runs synchronously with the
   SMTP session and a signature is missing or does not verify, the MTA
   SHOULD use a 550/5.7.x reply code.

   If it is not possible to fetch the public key, perhaps because the
   key server is not available, a temporary failure message MAY be
   generated using a 451/4.7.5 reply code, such as:
   451 4.7.5 Unable to verify signature - key server unavailable

   Temporary failures such as inability to access the key server or
   other external service are the only conditions that SHOULD use a 4xx
   SMTP reply code.  In particular, cryptographic signature verification
   failures MUST NOT return 4xx SMTP replies.

   Once the signature has been verified, that information MUST be
   conveyed to the Identity Assessor (such as an explicit allow/
   whitelist and reputation system) and/or to the end user.  If the SDID
   is not the same as the address in the From: header field, the mail
   system SHOULD take pains to ensure that the actual SDID is clear to
   the reader.

   While the symptoms of a failed verification are obvious -- the
   signature doesn't verify -- establishing the exact cause can be more
   difficult.  If a selector cannot be found, is that because the
   selector has been removed, or was the value changed somehow in
   transit?  If the signature line is missing, is that because it was
   never there, or was it removed by an overzealous filter?  For
   diagnostic purposes, the exact reason why the verification fails
   SHOULD be made available to the policy module and possibly recorded
   in the system logs.  If the email cannot be verified, then it SHOULD
   be treated {DKIM 2} the same as all unverified email regardless of
   whether or not it looks like it was signed.

8.  IANA Considerations

   DKIM has registered namespaces with IANA.  In all cases, new values
   are assigned only for values that have been documented in a published
   RFC that has IETF Consensus [RFC5226].

   This memo updates these registries as described below.  Of note is
   the addition of a new "status" column.  All registrations into these
   namespaces MUST include the name being registered, the document in
   which it was registered or updated, and an indication of its current
   status which MUST be one of "active" (in current use) or "historic"
   (no longer in current use).

8.1.  DKIM-Signature Tag Specifications

   A DKIM-Signature provides for a list of tag specifications.  IANA has
   established the DKIM-Signature Tag Specification Registry for tag
   specifications that can be used in DKIM-Signature fields.

   The updated entries in the registry comprise:

                    | TYPE | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
                    |   v  | (this document) | active |
                    |   a  | (this document) | active |
                    |   b  | (this document) | active |
                    |  bh  | (this document) | active |
                    |   c  | (this document) | active |
                    |   d  | (this document) | active |
                    |   h  | (this document) | active |
                    |   i  | (this document) | active |
                    |   l  | (this document) | active |
                    |   q  | (this document) | active |
                    |   s  | (this document) | active |
                    |   t  | (this document) | active |
                    |   x  | (this document) | active |
                    |   z  | (this document) | active |

     Table 1: DKIM-Signature Tag Specification Registry Updated Values

8.2.  DKIM-Signature Query Method Registry

   The "q=" tag-spec (specified in Section 4.5) provides for a list of
   query methods.

   IANA has established the DKIM-Signature Query Method Registry for
   mechanisms that can be used to retrieve the key that will permit
   validation processing of a message signed using DKIM.

   The updated entry in the registry comprises:

               | TYPE | OPTION | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
               |  dns |   txt  | (this document) | active |

            DKIM-Signature Query Method Registry Updated Values

8.3.  DKIM-Signature Canonicalization Registry

   The "c=" tag-spec (specified in Section 4.5) provides for a specifier
   for canonicalization algorithms for the header and body of the

   IANA has established the DKIM-Signature Canonicalization Algorithm
   Registry for algorithms for converting a message into a canonical
   form before signing or verifying using DKIM.

   The updated entries in the header registry comprise:

                  |   TYPE  | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
                  |  simple | (this document) | active |
                  | relaxed | (this document) | active |

         DKIM-Signature Header Canonicalization Algorithm Registry
                              Updated Values

   The updated entries in the body registry comprise:

                  |   TYPE  | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
                  |  simple | (this document) | active |
                  | relaxed | (this document) | active |

          DKIM-Signature Body Canonicalization Algorithm Registry
                              Updated Values

8.4.  _domainkey DNS TXT Record Tag Specifications

   A _domainkey DNS TXT record provides for a list of tag
   specifications.  IANA has established the DKIM _domainkey DNS TXT Tag
   Specification Registry for tag specifications that can be used in DNS
   TXT Records.

   The updated entries in the registry comprise:

                   | TYPE | REFERENCE       | STATUS   |
                   |   v  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   g  | [RFC4871]       | historic |
                   |   h  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   k  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   n  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   p  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   s  | (this document) | active   |
                   |   t  | (this document) | active   |

         DKIM _domainkey DNS TXT Record Tag Specification Registry
                              Updated Values

8.5.  DKIM Key Type Registry

   The "k=" <key-k-tag> (specified in Section 4.6.1) and the "a=" <sig-
   a-tag-k> (specified in Section 4.5) tags provide for a list of
   mechanisms that can be used to decode a DKIM signature.

   IANA has established the DKIM Key Type Registry for such mechanisms.

   The updated entry in the registry comprises:

                       | TYPE | REFERENCE | STATUS |
                       |  rsa | [RFC3447] | active |

                       DKIM Key Type Updated Values

8.6.  DKIM Hash Algorithms Registry

   The "h=" <key-h-tag> (specified in Section 4.6.1) and the "a=" <sig-
   a-tag-h> (specified in Section 4.5) tags provide for a list of
   mechanisms that can be used to produce a digest of message data.

   IANA has established the DKIM Hash Algorithms Registry for such

   The updated entries in the registry comprise:

                  |  TYPE  | REFERENCE         | STATUS |
                  |  sha1  | [FIPS-180-2-2002] | active |
                  | sha256 | [FIPS-180-2-2002] | active |

                    DKIM Hash Algorithms Updated Values

8.7.  DKIM Service Types Registry

   The "s=" <key-s-tag> tag (specified in Section 4.6.1) provides for a
   list of service types to which this selector may apply.

   IANA has established the DKIM Service Types Registry for service

   The updated entries in the registry comprise:

                   |  TYPE | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
                   | email | (this document) | active |
                   |   *   | (this document) | active |

                DKIM Service Types Registry Updated Values

8.8.  DKIM Selector Flags Registry

   The "t=" <key-t-tag> tag (specified in Section 4.6.1) provides for a
   list of flags to modify interpretation of the selector.

   IANA has established the DKIM Selector Flags Registry for additional

   The updated entries in the registry comprise:

                    | TYPE | REFERENCE       | STATUS |
                    |   y  | (this document) | active |
                    |   s  | (this document) | active |

                DKIM Selector Flags Registry Updated Values

8.9.  DKIM-Signature Header Field

   IANA has added DKIM-Signature to the "Permanent Message Header
   Fields" registry (see [RFC3864]) for the "mail" protocol, using this
   document as the reference.

9.  Security Considerations

   It has been observed that any mechanism that is introduced that
   attempts to stem the flow of spam is subject to intensive attack.
   DKIM needs to be carefully scrutinized to identify potential attack
   vectors and the vulnerability to each.  See also [RFC4686].

9.1.  Misuse of Body Length Limits ("l=" Tag)

   Body length limits (in the form of the "l=" tag) are subject to
   several potential attacks.

9.1.1.  Addition of New MIME Parts to Multipart/*

   If the body length limit does not cover a closing MIME multipart
   section (including the trailing "--CRLF" portion), then it is
   possible for an attacker to intercept a properly signed multipart
   message and add a new body part.  Depending on the details of the
   MIME type and the implementation of the verifying MTA and the
   receiving MUA, this could allow an attacker to change the information
   displayed to an end user from an apparently trusted source.

   For example, if attackers can append information to a "text/html"
   body part, they may be able to exploit a bug in some MUAs that
   continue to read after a "</html>" marker, and thus display HTML text
   on top of already displayed text.  If a message has a "multipart/
   alternative" body part, they might be able to add a new body part
   that is preferred by the displaying MUA.

9.1.2.  Addition of new HTML content to existing content

   Several receiving MUA implementations do not cease display after a
   ""</html>"" tag.  In particular, this allows attacks involving
   overlaying images on top of existing text.

      INFORMATIVE EXAMPLE: Appending the following text to an existing,
      properly closed message will in many MUAs result in inappropriate
      data being rendered on top of existing, correct data:

   <div style="position:relative; bottom:350px; z-index:2;">
   <img src=""
        width=578 height=370> </div>

9.2.  Misappropriated Private Key

   If the private key for a user is resident on their computer and is
   not protected by an appropriately secure mechanism, it is possible
   for malware to send mail as that user and any other user sharing the
   same private key.  The malware would not, however, be able to
   generate signed spoofs of other signers' addresses, which would aid
   in identification of the infected user and would limit the
   possibilities for certain types of attacks involving socially
   engineered messages.  This threat applies mainly to MUA-based
   implementations; protection of private keys on servers can be easily
   achieved through the use of specialized cryptographic hardware.

   A larger problem occurs if malware on many users' computers obtains
   the private keys for those users and transmits them via a covert
   channel to a site where they can be shared.  The compromised users
   would likely not know of the misappropriation until they receive
   "bounce" messages from messages they are purported to have sent.
   Many users might not understand the significance of these bounce
   messages and would not take action.

   One countermeasure is to use a user-entered passphrase to encrypt the
   private key, although users tend to choose weak passphrases and often
   reuse them for different purposes, possibly allowing an attack
   against DKIM to be extended into other domains.  Nevertheless, the
   decoded private key might be briefly available to compromise by
   malware when it is entered, or might be discovered via keystroke
   logging.  The added complexity of entering a passphrase each time one
   sends a message would also tend to discourage the use of a secure

   A somewhat more effective countermeasure is to send messages through
   an outgoing MTA that can authenticate the submitter using existing
   techniques (e.g., SMTP Authentication), possibly validate the message
   itself (e.g., verify that the header is legitimate and that the
   content passes a spam content check), and sign the message using a
   key appropriate for the submitter address.  Such an MTA can also
   apply controls on the volume of outgoing mail each user is permitted
   to originate in order to further limit the ability of malware to
   generate bulk email.

9.3.  Key Server Denial-of-Service Attacks

   Since the key servers are distributed (potentially separate for each
   domain), the number of servers that would need to be attacked to
   defeat this mechanism on an Internet-wide basis is very large.
   Nevertheless, key servers for individual domains could be attacked,
   impeding the verification of messages from that domain.  This is not
   significantly different from the ability of an attacker to deny
   service to the mail exchangers for a given domain, although it
   affects outgoing, not incoming, mail.

   A variation on this attack is that if a very large amount of mail
   were to be sent using spoofed addresses from a given domain, the key
   servers for that domain could be overwhelmed with requests.  However,
   given the low overhead of verification compared with handling of the
   email message itself, such an attack would be difficult to mount.

9.4.  Attacks Against the DNS

   Since the DNS is a required binding for key services, specific
   attacks against the DNS must be considered.

   While the DNS is currently insecure [RFC3833], these security
   problems are the motivation behind DNS Security (DNSSEC) [RFC4033],
   and all users of the DNS will reap the benefit of that work.

   DKIM is only intended as a "sufficient" method of proving
   authenticity.  It is not intended to provide strong cryptographic
   proof about authorship or contents.  Other technologies such as
   OpenPGP [RFC4880] and S/MIME [RFC5751] address those requirements.

   A second security issue related to the DNS revolves around the
   increased DNS traffic as a consequence of fetching selector-based
   data as well as fetching signing domain policy.  Widespread
   deployment of DKIM will result in a significant increase in DNS
   queries to the claimed signing domain.  In the case of forgeries on a
   large scale, DNS servers could see a substantial increase in queries.

   A specific DNS security issue that should be considered by DKIM
   verifiers is the name chaining attack described in Section 2.3 of
   [RFC3833].  A DKIM verifier, while verifying a DKIM-Signature header
   field, could be prompted to retrieve a key record of an attacker's
   choosing.  This threat can be minimized by ensuring that name
   servers, including recursive name servers, used by the verifier
   enforce strict checking of "glue" and other additional information in
   DNS responses and are therefore not vulnerable to this attack.

9.5.  Replay Attacks

   In this attack, a spammer sends a message to be spammed to an
   accomplice, which results in the message being signed by the
   originating MTA.  The accomplice resends the message, including the
   original signature, to a large number of recipients, possibly by
   sending the message to many compromised machines that act as MTAs.
   The messages, not having been modified by the accomplice, have valid

   Partial solutions to this problem involve the use of reputation
   services to convey the fact that the specific email address is being
   used for spam and that messages from that signer are likely to be
   spam.  This requires a real-time detection mechanism in order to
   react quickly enough.  However, such measures might be prone to
   abuse, if for example an attacker resent a large number of messages
   received from a victim in order to make them appear to be a spammer.

   Large verifiers might be able to detect unusually large volumes of
   mails with the same signature in a short time period.  Smaller
   verifiers can get substantially the same volume of information via
   existing collaborative systems.

9.6.  Limits on Revoking Keys

   When a large domain detects undesirable behavior on the part of one
   of its users, it might wish to revoke the key used to sign that
   user's messages in order to disavow responsibility for messages that
   have not yet been verified or that are the subject of a replay
   attack.  However, the ability of the domain to do so can be limited
   if the same key, for scalability reasons, is used to sign messages
   for many other users.  Mechanisms for explicitly revoking keys on a
   per-address basis have been proposed but require further study as to
   their utility and the DNS load they represent.

9.7.  Intentionally Malformed Key Records

   It is possible for an attacker to publish key records in DNS that are
   intentionally malformed, with the intent of causing a denial-of-
   service attack on a non-robust verifier implementation.  The attacker
   could then cause a verifier to read the malformed key record by
   sending a message to one of its users referencing the malformed
   record in a (not necessarily valid) signature.  Verifiers MUST
   thoroughly verify all key records retrieved from the DNS and be
   robust against intentionally as well as unintentionally malformed key

9.8.  Intentionally Malformed DKIM-Signature Header Fields

   Verifiers MUST be prepared to receive messages with malformed DKIM-
   Signature header fields, and thoroughly verify the header field
   before depending on any of its contents.

9.9.  Information Leakage

   An attacker could determine when a particular signature was verified
   by using a per-message selector and then monitoring their DNS traffic
   for the key lookup.  This would act as the equivalent of a "web bug"
   for verification time rather than when the message was read.

9.10.  Remote Timing Attacks

   In some cases it may be possible to extract private keys using a
   remote timing attack [BONEH03].  Implementations should consider
   obfuscating the timing to prevent such attacks.

9.11.  Reordered Header Fields

   Existing standards allow intermediate MTAs to reorder header fields.
   If a signer signs two or more header fields of the same name, this
   can cause spurious verification errors on otherwise legitimate
   messages.  In particular, signers that sign any existing DKIM-
   Signature fields run the risk of having messages incorrectly fail to

9.12.  RSA Attacks

   An attacker could create a large RSA signing key with a small
   exponent, thus requiring that the verification key have a large
   exponent.  This will force verifiers to use considerable computing
   resources to verify the signature.  Verifiers might avoid this attack
   by refusing to verify signatures that reference selectors with public
   keys having unreasonable exponents.

   In general, an attacker might try to overwhelm a verifier by flooding
   it with messages requiring verification.  This is similar to other
   MTA denial-of-service attacks and should be dealt with in a similar

9.13.  Inappropriate Signing by Parent Domains

   The trust relationship described in Section 4.9 could conceivably be
   used by a parent domain to sign messages with identities in a
   subdomain not administratively related to the parent.  For example,
   the ".com" registry could create messages with signatures using an
   "i=" value in the domain.  There is no general solution
   to this problem, since the administrative cut could occur anywhere in
   the domain name.  For example, in the domain ""
   there are three administrative cuts (,, and us),
   any of which could create messages with an identity in the full

      INFORMATIVE NOTE: This is considered an acceptable risk for the
      same reason that it is acceptable for domain delegation.  For
      example, in the example above any of the domains could potentially
      simply delegate "" to a server of their choice
      and completely replace all DNS-served information.  Note that a
      verifier MAY ignore signatures that come from an unlikely domain
      such as ".com", as discussed in Section 7.1.1.

9.14.  Attacks Involving Addition of Header Fields

   Many email implementations do not enforce [RFC5322] with strictness.
   As discussed in Section 6.3 DKIM processing is predicated on a valid
   mail message as its input.  However, DKIM implementers should be
   aware of the potential effect of having loose enforcement by email
   components interacting with DKIM modules.

   For example, a message with multiple From: header fields violates
   Section 3.6 of [RFC5322].  With the intent of providing a better user
   experience, many agents tolerate these violations and deliver the
   message anyway.  An MUA then might elect to render to the user the
   value of the last, first {DKIM 16}, or "top", From: field.  This may also
   be done simply out of the expectation that there is only one, where a
   "find first" algorithm would have the same result.  Such code in an
   MUA can be exploited to fool the user if it is also known that the
   other From: field is the one checked by arriving message filters.
   Such is the case with DKIM; although the From: field must be signed,
   a malformed message bearing more than one From: field might only have
   the first ("bottom") one signed, in an attempt to show the message
   with some "DKIM passed" annotation while also rendering the From:
   field that was not authenticated.  (This can also be taken as a
   demonstration that DKIM is not designed to support author

   To resist this specific attack the signed header field list can
   include an additional reference for each field

   Note that was present at
   signing.  For example, a proper message with one From: field could be
   signed using "h=From:From:..."  Due to the way header fields are
   canonicalized technique for input to the hash function, the extra field
   references will prevent instances using "h=...:from:from:...", described in
   Section 9.15 below, is of no effect in the cited fields from being
   added after signing, as doing so would render case of an attacker that
   is also the signature invalid. signer. {DKIM 16}

   The From: field is used above to illustrate this issue, but it is
   only one of several fields that Section 3.6 of [RFC5322] constrains
   in this way.  In reality any agent that forgives malformations, such malformations
   {DKIM 16}, or is careless about identifying which parts of a message
   were authenticated, is open to exploitation.

9.15.  Malformed Inputs

   DKIM allows additional header fields to be added to a signed message
   without breaking the signature.  This tolerance can be abused, for
   example in a replay attack. attack or a man-in-the-middle attack {DKIM 16}.
   The attack is accomplished by creating additional instances of header
   fields to an already signed message, without breaking the signature.
   These then might be displayed to the end user or are used as
   filtering input.  Salient fields could include From: and Subject:,

   The resulting message violates section 3.6 of [RFC5322].  The way
   such input will be handled and displayed by an MUA is unpredictable,
   but in some cases it might will commonly {DKIM 16} display the newly added header fields
   rather than those that are part of the originally signed message
   alongside some "valid DKIM signature" annotation.  This might allow
   an attacker to replay a previously sent, signed message with a
   different Subject:, From: or To: field.

   However, [RFC5322] also tolerates obsolete message syntax, which does
   allow things like multiple From: fields on messages.  The
   implementation of DKIM thus potentially creates a more stringent
   layer of expectation regarding the meaning of an identity, while that
   additional meaning is either obscured from or incorrectly presented
   to an end user in this context.

   Implementers need to consider this possibility when designing their
   input handling functions.  Outright rejection of messages that
   violate Section 3.6 of [RFC5322] the relevant standards such as [RFC5322], [RFC2045], etc.
   will interfere with delivery of {DKIM 16} legacy formats.  Instead,
   given such input, a signing module could return an error rather than
   generate a signature; a verifying module might return a syntax error
   code or arrange not to return a positive result even if the signature
   technically validates.

   Senders concerned that their messages might be particularly
   vulnerable to this sort of attack and who do not wish to rely on
   receiver filtering of invalid messages can ensure that adding
   additional header fields will break the DKIM signature by including
   two copies of the header fields about which they are concerned in the
   signature (e.g. "h= ... from:from:to:to:subject:subject ...").  See
   Sections 3.5 and 5.4 for further discussion of this mechanism.

   Specific validity rules for all known header fields can be gleaned
   from the IANA "Permanent Header Field Registry" and the reference
   documents it identifies.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

              U.S. Department of Commerce, "Secure Hash Standard", FIPS
              PUB 180-2, August 2002.

              "Information Technology - ASN.1 encoding rules:
              Specification of Basic Encoding Rules (BER), Canonical
              Encoding Rules (CER) and Distinguished Encoding Rules
              (DER)", 1997.

              RFC 1034, November 1987.

   [RFC2045]  Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
              Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message
              Bodies", RFC 2045, November 1996.

   [RFC2049]  Freed, N. and N. Borenstein, "Multipurpose Internet Mail
              Extensions (MIME) Part Five: Conformance Criteria and
              Examples", RFC 2049, November 1996.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3447]  Jonsson, J. and B. Kaliski, "Public-Key Cryptography
              Standards (PKCS) #1: RSA Cryptography Specifications
              Version 2.1", RFC 3447, February 2003.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", RFC 5234, January 2008.

   [RFC5321]  Klensin, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 5321,
              October 2008.

   [RFC5322]  Resnick, P., "Internet Message Format", RFC 5322,
              October 2008.

   [RFC5598]  Crocker, D., "Internet Mail Architecture", RFC 5598,
              July 2009.

   [RFC5890]  Klensin, J., "Internationalizing Domain Names in
              Applications (IDNA): Definitions and Document Framework",
              RFC 5890, August 2010.

10.2.  Informative References

   [BONEH03]  "Remote Timing Attacks are Practical", Proceedings  12th
              USENIX Security Symposium, 2003.

   [RFC1847]  Galvin, J., Murphy, S., Crocker, S., and N. Freed,
              "Security Multiparts for MIME: Multipart/Signed and
              Multipart/Encrypted", RFC 1847, October 1995.

   [RFC3766]  Orman, H. and P. Hoffman, "Determining Strengths For
              Public Keys Used For Exchanging Symmetric Keys", BCP 86,
              RFC 3766, April 2004.

   [RFC3833]  Atkins, D. and R. Austein, "Threat Analysis of the Domain
              Name System (DNS)", RFC 3833, August 2004.

   [RFC3864]  Klyne, G., Nottingham, M., and J. Mogul, "Registration
              Procedures for Message Header Fields", BCP 90, RFC 3864,
              September 2004.

   [RFC4033]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements",
              RFC 4033, March 2005.

   [RFC4409]  Gellens, R. and J. Klensin, "Message Submission for Mail",
              RFC 4409, April 2006.

   [RFC4686]  Fenton, J., "Analysis of Threats Motivating DomainKeys
              Identified Mail (DKIM)", RFC 4686, September 2006.

   [RFC4870]  Delany, M., "Domain-Based Email Authentication Using
              Public Keys Advertised in the DNS (DomainKeys)", RFC 4870,
              May 2007.

   [RFC4871]  Allman, E., Callas, J., Delany, M., Libbey, M., Fenton,
              J., and M. Thomas, "DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
              Signatures", RFC 4871, May 2007.

   [RFC4880]  Callas, J., Donnerhacke, L., Finney, H., and R. Thayer,
              "OpenPGP Message Format", RFC 4880, November 2007.

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
              May 2008.

   [RFC5451]  Kucherawy, M., "Message Header Field for Indicating
              Message Authentication Status", RFC 5451, April 2009.

   [RFC5751]  Ramsdell, B., "Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail
              Extensions (S/MIME) Version 3.1 Message Specification",
              RFC 5751, January 2010.

Appendix A.  Example of Use (INFORMATIVE)

   This section shows the complete flow of an email from submission to
   final delivery, demonstrating how the various components fit
   together.  The key used in this example is shown in Appendix C.

A.1.  The User Composes an Email
   From: Joe SixPack <>
   To: Suzie Q <>
   Subject: Is dinner ready?
   Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:00:37 -0700 (PDT)
   Message-ID: <;>


   We lost the game. Are you hungry yet?


                   Figure 1: The User Composes an Email

A.2.  The Email is Signed

   This email is signed by the outbound email server and now
   looks like this:
   DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=brisbane;;
        c=simple/simple; q=dns/txt;;
        h=Received : From : To : Subject : Date : Message-ID;
   Received: from  []
        by with SUBMISSION;
        Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:01:54 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Joe SixPack <>
   To: Suzie Q <>
   Subject: Is dinner ready?
   Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:00:37 -0700 (PDT)
   Message-ID: <>


   We lost the game. Are you hungry yet?


                            The Email is Signed

   The signing email server requires access to the private key
   associated with the "brisbane" selector to generate this signature.

A.3.  The Email Signature is Verified

   The signature is normally verified by an inbound SMTP server or
   possibly the final delivery agent.  However, intervening MTAs can
   also perform this verification if they choose to do so.  The
   verification process uses the domain "" extracted from the
   "d=" tag and the selector "brisbane" from the "s=" tag in the DKIM-
   Signature header field to form the DNS DKIM query for:

   Signature verification starts with the physically last Received
   header field, the From header field, and so forth, in the order
   listed in the "h=" tag.  Verification follows with a single CRLF
   followed by the body (starting with "Hi.").  The email is canonically
   prepared for verifying with the "simple" method.  The result of the
   query and subsequent verification of the signature is stored (in this
   example) in the X-Authentication-Results header field line.  After
   successful verification, the email looks like this:
   X-Authentication-Results:; dkim=pass
   Received: from (
     by with SMTP;
     Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:01:59 -0700 (PDT)
   DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; s=brisbane;;
     c=simple/simple; q=dns/txt;;
     h=Received : From : To : Subject : Date : Message-ID;
   Received: from  []
     by with SUBMISSION;
     Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:01:54 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Joe SixPack <>
   To: Suzie Q <>
   Subject: Is dinner ready?
   Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 21:00:37 -0700 (PDT)
   Message-ID: <>


   We lost the game. Are you hungry yet?


                          Successful verification

Appendix B.  Usage Examples (INFORMATIVE)

   DKIM signing and validating can be used in different ways, for
   different operational scenarios.  This Appendix discusses some common

      NOTE: Descriptions in this Appendix are for informational purposes
      only.  They describe various ways that DKIM can be used, given
      particular constraints and needs.  In no case are these examples
      intended to be taken as providing explanation or guidance
      concerning DKIM specification details, when creating an

B.1.  Alternate Submission Scenarios

   In the most simple scenario, a user's MUA, MSA, and Internet
   (boundary) MTA are all within the same administrative environment,
   using the same domain name.  Therefore, all of the components
   involved in submission and initial transfer are related.  However, it
   is common for two or more of the components to be under independent
   administrative control.  This creates challenges for choosing and
   administering the domain name to use for signing, and for its
   relationship to common email identity header fields.

B.1.1.  Delegated Business Functions

   Some organizations assign specific business functions to discrete
   groups, inside or outside the organization.  The goal, then, is to
   authorize that group to sign some mail, but to constrain what
   signatures they can generate.  DKIM selectors (the "s=" signature
   tag) facilitate this kind of restricted authorization.  Examples of
   these outsourced business functions are legitimate email marketing
   providers and corporate benefits providers.

   Here, the delegated group needs to be able to send messages that are
   signed, using the email domain of the client company.  At the same
   time, the client often is reluctant to register a key for the
   provider that grants the ability to send messages for arbitrary
   addresses in the domain.

   There are multiple ways to administer these usage scenarios.  In one
   case, the client organization provides all of the public query
   service (for example, DNS) administration, and in another it uses DNS
   delegation to enable all ongoing administration of the DKIM key
   record by the delegated group.

   If the client organization retains responsibility for all of the DNS
   administration, the outsourcing company can generate a key pair,
   supplying the public key to the client company, which then registers
   it in the query service, using a unique selector.  The client company
   retains control over the use of the delegated key because it retains
   the ability to revoke the key at any time.

   If the client wants the delegated group to do the DNS administration,
   it can have the domain name that is specified with the selector point
   to the provider's DNS server.  The provider then creates and
   maintains all of the DKIM signature information for that selector.
   Hence, the client cannot provide constraints on the Local-part of
   addresses that get signed, but it can revoke the provider's signing
   rights by removing the DNS delegation record.

B.1.2.  PDAs and Similar Devices

   PDAs demonstrate the need for using multiple keys per domain.
   Suppose that John Doe wanted to be able to send messages using his
   corporate email address,, and his email device did
   not have the ability to make a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
   connection to the corporate network, either because the device is
   limited or because there are restrictions enforced by his Internet
   access provider.  If the device was equipped with a private key
   registered for by the administrator of the domain, and appropriate software to sign messages, John
   could sign the message on the device itself before transmission
   through the outgoing network of the access service provider.

B.1.3.  Roaming Users

   Roaming users often find themselves in circumstances where it is
   convenient or necessary to use an SMTP server other than their home
   server; examples are conferences and many hotels.  In such
   circumstances, a signature that is added by the submission service
   will use an identity that is different from the user's home system.

   Ideally, roaming users would connect back to their home server using
   either a VPN or a SUBMISSION server running with SMTP AUTHentication
   on port 587.  If the signing can be performed on the roaming user's
   laptop, then they can sign before submission, although the risk of
   further modification is high.  If neither of these are possible,
   these roaming users will not be able to send mail signed using their
   own domain key.

B.1.4.  Independent (Kiosk) Message Submission

   Stand-alone services, such as walk-up kiosks and web-based
   information services, have no enduring email service relationship
   with the user, but users occasionally request that mail be sent on
   their behalf.  For example, a website providing news often allows the
   reader to forward a copy of the article to a friend.  This is
   typically done using the reader's own email address, to indicate who
   the author is.  This is sometimes referred to as the "Evite problem",
   named after the website of the same name that allows a user to send
   invitations to friends.

   A common way this is handled is to continue to put the reader's email
   address in the From header field of the message, but put an address
   owned by the email posting site into the Sender header field.  The
   posting site can then sign the message, using the domain that is in
   the Sender field.  This provides useful information to the receiving
   email site, which is able to correlate the signing domain with the
   initial submission email role.

   Receiving sites often wish to provide their end users with
   information about mail that is mediated in this fashion.  Although
   the real efficacy of different approaches is a subject for human
   factors usability research, one technique that is used is for the
   verifying system to rewrite the From header field, to indicate the
   address that was verified.  For example: From: John Doe via <>.  (Note that such rewriting
   will break a signature, unless it is done after the verification pass
   is complete.)

B.2.  Alternate Delivery Scenarios

   Email is often received at a mailbox that has an address different
   from the one used during initial submission.  In these cases, an
   intermediary mechanism operates at the address originally used and it
   then passes the message on to the final destination.  This mediation
   process presents some challenges for DKIM signatures.

B.2.1.  Affinity Addresses

   "Affinity addresses" allow a user to have an email address that
   remains stable, even as the user moves among different email
   providers.  They are typically associated with college alumni
   associations, professional organizations, and recreational
   organizations with which they expect to have a long-term
   relationship.  These domains usually provide forwarding of incoming
   email, and they often have an associated Web application that
   authenticates the user and allows the forwarding address to be
   changed.  However, these services usually depend on users sending
   outgoing messages through their own service providers' MTAs.  Hence,
   mail that is signed with the domain of the affinity address is not
   signed by an entity that is administered by the organization owning
   that domain.

   With DKIM, affinity domains could use the Web application to allow
   users to register per-user keys to be used to sign messages on behalf
   of their affinity address.  The user would take away the secret half
   of the key pair for signing, and the affinity domain would publish
   the public half in DNS for access by verifiers.

   This is another application that takes advantage of user-level
   keying, and domains used for affinity addresses would typically have
   a very large number of user-level keys.  Alternatively, the affinity
   domain could handle outgoing mail, operating a mail submission agent
   that authenticates users before accepting and signing messages for
   them.  This is of course dependent on the user's service provider not
   blocking the relevant TCP ports used for mail submission.

B.2.2.  Simple Address Aliasing (.forward)

   In some cases a recipient is allowed to configure an email address to
   cause automatic redirection of email messages from the original
   address to another, such as through the use of a Unix .forward file.
   In this case, messages are typically redirected by the mail handling
   service of the recipient's domain, without modification, except for
   the addition of a Received header field to the message and a change
   in the envelope recipient address.  In this case, the recipient at
   the final address' mailbox is likely to be able to verify the
   original signature since the signed content has not changed, and DKIM
   is able to validate the message signature.

B.2.3.  Mailing Lists and Re-Posters

   There is a wide range of behaviors in services that take delivery of
   a message and then resubmit it.  A primary example is with mailing
   lists (collectively called "forwarders" below), ranging from those
   that make no modification to the message itself, other than to add a
   Received header field and change the envelope information, to those
   that add header fields, change the Subject header field, add content
   to the body (typically at the end), or reformat the body in some
   manner.  The simple ones produce messages that are quite similar to
   the automated alias services.  More elaborate systems essentially
   create a new message.

   A Forwarder that does not modify the body or signed header fields of
   a message is likely to maintain the validity of the existing
   signature.  It also could choose to add its own signature to the

   Forwarders which modify a message in a way that could make an
   existing signature invalid are particularly good candidates for
   adding their own signatures (e.g.,

   Since (re-)signing is taking responsibility for the content of the
   message, these signing forwarders are likely to be selective, and
   forward or re-sign a message only if it is received with a valid
   signature or if they have some other basis for knowing that the
   message is not spoofed.

   A common practice among systems that are primarily redistributors of
   mail is to add a Sender header field to the message, to identify the
   address being used to sign the message.  This practice will remove
   any preexisting Sender header field as required by [RFC5322].  The
   forwarder applies a new DKIM-Signature header field with the
   signature, public key, and related information of the forwarder.

Appendix C.  Creating a Public Key (INFORMATIVE)

   The default signature is an RSA signed SHA256 digest of the complete
   email.  For ease of explanation, the openssl command is used to
   describe the mechanism by which keys and signatures are managed.  One
   way to generate a 1024-bit, unencrypted private key suitable for DKIM
   is to use openssl like this:
   $ openssl genrsa -out rsa.private 1024
   For increased security, the "-passin" parameter can also be added to
   encrypt the private key.  Use of this parameter will require entering
   a password for several of the following steps.  Servers may prefer to
   use hardware cryptographic support.

   The "genrsa" step results in the file rsa.private containing the key
   information similar to this:
   -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
   To extract the public-key component from the private key, use openssl
   like this:
   $ openssl rsa -in rsa.private -out rsa.public -pubout -outform PEM

   This results in the file rsa.public containing the key information
   similar to this:
   -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----
   -----END PUBLIC KEY-----

   This public-key data (without the BEGIN and END tags) is placed in
   the DNS:
   $ORIGIN {DKIM 10}

C.1.  Compatibility with DomainKeys Key Records

   DKIM key records were designed to be backwards-compatible in many
   cases with key records used by DomainKeys [RFC4870] (sometimes
   referred to as "selector records" in the DomainKeys context).  One
   area of incompatibility warrants particular attention.  The "g=" tag/
   value may be used in DomainKeys and [RFC4871] key records to provide
   finer granularity of the validity of the key record to a specific
   local-part.  A null "g=" value in DomainKeys is valid for all
   addresses in the domain.  This differs from the usage in the original
   DKIM specification, where a null "g=" value is not valid for any
   address.  In particular, the example public key record in Section
   3.2.3 of [RFC4870] with DKIM.

   Although the "g=" tag has been deprecated in this version of the DKIM
   specification, signers are advised not to include the "g=" tag in key
   records because some [RFC4871]-compliant verifiers will be in use for
   a considerable period to come.

Appendix D.  MUA Considerations

   When a DKIM signature is verified, the processing system sometimes
   makes the result available to the recipient user's MUA.  How to
   present this information to the user in a way that helps them is a
   matter of continuing human factors usability research.  The tendency
   is to have the MUA highlight the SDID, in an attempt to show the user
   the identity that is claiming responsibility for the message.  An MUA
   might do this with visual cues such as graphics, or it might include
   the address in an alternate view, or it might even rewrite the
   original From address using the verified information.  Some MUAs
   might indicate which header fields were protected by the validated
   DKIM signature.  This could be done with a positive indication on the
   signed header fields, with a negative indication on the unsigned
   header fields, by visually hiding the unsigned header fields, or some
   combination of these.  If an MUA uses visual indications for signed
   header fields, the MUA probably needs to be careful not to display
   unsigned header fields in a way that might be construed by the end
   user as having been signed.  If the message has an l= tag whose value
   does not extend to the end of the message, the MUA might also hide or
   mark the portion of the message body that was not signed.

   The aforementioned information is not intended to be exhaustive.  The
   MUA may choose to highlight, accentuate, hide, or otherwise display
   any other information that may, in the opinion of the MUA author, be
   deemed important to the end user.

Appendix E.  Acknowledgements

   The previous IETF version of DKIM [RFC4871] was edited by: Eric
   Allman, Jon Callas, Mark Delany, Miles Libbey, Jim Fenton and Michael

   That specification was the result of an extended, collaborative
   effort, including participation by: Russ Allbery, Edwin Aoki, Claus
   Assmann, Steve Atkins, Rob Austein, Fred Baker, Mark Baugher, Steve
   Bellovin, Nathaniel Borenstein, Dave Crocker, Michael Cudahy, Dennis
   Dayman, Jutta Degener, Frank Ellermann, Patrik Faeltstroem, Mark
   Fanto, Stephen Farrell, Duncan Findlay, Elliot Gillum, Olafur
   Gu[eth]mundsson, Phillip Hallam-Baker, Tony Hansen, Sam Hartman,
   Arvel Hathcock, Amir Herzberg, Paul Hoffman, Russ Housley, Craig
   Hughes, Cullen Jennings, Don Johnsen, Harry Katz, Murray S.
   Kucherawy, Barry Leiba, John Levine, Charles Lindsey, Simon
   Longsdale, David Margrave, Justin Mason, David Mayne, Thierry Moreau,
   Steve Murphy, Russell Nelson, Dave Oran, Doug Otis, Shamim Pirzada,
   Juan Altmayer Pizzorno, Sanjay Pol, Blake Ramsdell, Christian Renaud,
   Scott Renfro, Neil Rerup, Eric Rescorla, Dave Rossetti, Hector
   Santos, Jim Schaad, the team, Malte S. Stretz, Robert
   Sanders, Rand Wacker, Sam Weiler, and Dan Wing.

   The earlier DomainKeys was a primary source from which DKIM was
   derived.  Further information about DomainKeys is at [RFC4870].

Authors' Addresses

   D. Crocker (editor)
   Brandenburg InternetWorking
   675 Spruce Dr.

   Phone: +1.408.246.8253

   Tony Hansen (editor)
   AT&T Laboratories
   200 Laurel Ave. South
   Middletown, NJ  07748


   M. Kucherawy (editor)
   128 King St., 2nd Floor
   San Francisco, CA  94107