ARF published as IETF standard

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


spam email ietf rfc arf


Latest posts:

In memoriam: Prof. Ross Anderson

We were very sorry to learn of the passing of Professor Ross Anderson a few days ago.

In memoriam: Dr Alan Solomon

We were very sorry to learn of the passing of industry pioneer Dr Alan Solomon earlier this week.

New paper: Nexus Android banking botnet – compromising C&C panels and dissecting mobile AppInjects

In a new paper, researchers Aditya K Sood and Rohit Bansal provide details of a security vulnerability in the Nexus Android botnet C&C panel that was exploited in order to gather threat intelligence, and present a model of mobile AppInjects.

New paper: Collector-stealer: a Russian origin credential and information extractor

In a new paper, F5 researchers Aditya K Sood and Rohit Chaturvedi present a 360 analysis of Collector-stealer, a Russian-origin credential and information extractor.

VB2021 localhost videos available on YouTube

VB has made all VB2021 localhost presentations available on the VB YouTube channel, so you can now watch - and share - any part of the conference freely and without registration.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.