Posted by Virus Bulletin on Sep 2, 2010
Abuse report format helps auto-handling of email complaints
ARF (Abuse Reporting Format) has been approved by the IETF as an Internet standard.
ARF is a format used to send complaints about email - for instance the report generated when a user clicks a 'this is spam' button in their email agent. A draft version of the format has been used for several years by companies who deal with a lot of email, with the first draft having been written in 2005.
ARF is a version of the Multipart/Report format and contains the original email, some information about the email and some human-readable descriptive text.
While it is unthinkable for an organization not to filter their inbound email on spam, much more can be done to help control the global spam problem. One of these things is for organizations to take complaints about email sent from their systems seriously. It may be that these message weren't spam, and may even have been solicited (though in such cases it is still good practice to stop mailing these recipients), but it may also indicate a spamming customer, or a hacked machine. ARF helps organizations process such reports automatically, which enables them to take appropriate action.
The full text of ARF, which is now also known as RCF 5965 can be found here, with comments from John Levine, one of the authors of the final version, on his blog here.
Posted on 02 September 2010 by Virus Bulletin