Mailbox Names for Common Services, Roles and Functions
The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
|Document||Type||This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as an RFC.|
|Last updated||2013-03-02 (Latest revision 1997-01-15)|
|RFC Editor Note||(None)|
|IESG||IESG state||RFC 2142 (Proposed Standard)|
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Network Working Group D. Crocker INTERNET-DRAFT Internet Mail Consortium <draft-crocker-stdaddr-02.txt> January, 1997 Expire in six months MAILBOX NAMES FOR COMMON SERVICES, ROLES AND FUNCTIONS STATUS OF THIS MEMO This document is an Internet-Draft. Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as ``work in progress.'' To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the ``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet- Drafts Shadow Directories on ftp.is.co.za (Africa), nic.nordu.net (Europe), munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim), ds.internic.net (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast). ABSTRACT This specification enumerates and describes Internet mail addresses (mailbox name @ host reference) to be used when contacting personnel at an organization. Mailbox names are provided for both operations and business functions. Additional mailbox names and aliases are not prohibited, but organizations which support email exchanges with the Internet are encouraged to support AT LEAST each mailbox name for which the associated function exists within the organization. 1. RATIONALE AND SCOPE Various Internet documents have specified mailbox names to be used when reaching the operators of the new service; for example, [RFC822 6.3, C.6] requires the presence of a <POSTMASTER@domain> mailbox name on all hosts that have an SMTP server. Other protocols have defacto standards for well known mailbox names, such as <USENET@domain> for NNTP (see [RFC977]), and <WEBMASTER@domain> for HTTP (see [HTTP]). Defacto standards also exist for well known mailbox names which have nothing to do with a particular protocol, e.g., <ABUSE@domain> and <TROUBLE@domain>. The purpose of this draft is to aggregate and specify the basic set of mailbox names which organizations need to support. Most organizations do not need to support the full set of mailbox names defined here, since not every organization will implement the all of the associated services. However, if a given service is offerred, then the associated mailbox name(es) must be supported, resulting in delivery to a recipient appropriate for the referenced service or role. If a host is not configured to accept mail directly, but it implements a service for which this specification defines a mailbox name, that host must have an MX RR set (see [RFC974]) and the mail exchangers specified by this RR set must recognize the referenced host's domain name as "local" for the purpose of accepting mail bound for the defined mailbox name. Note that this is true even if the advertised domain name is not the same as the host's domain name; for example, if an NNTP server's host name is DATA.RAMONA.VIX.COM yet it advertises the domain name VIX.COM in its ``Path:'' headers, then mail must be deliverable to both <USENET@VIX.COM> and <USENET@DATA.RAMONA.VIX.COM>, even though these addresses might be delivered to different final destinations. The scope of a well known mailbox name is its domain name. Servers accepting mail on behalf of a domain must accept and correctly process mailbox names for that domain, even if the server, itself, does not support the associated service. So, for example, if an NNTP server advertises the organization's top level domain in ``Path:'' headers (see [RFC977]) the mail exchangers for that top level domain must accept mail to <USENET@domain> even if the mail exchanger hosts do not, themselves, serve the NNTP protocol. 2. INVARIANTS For well known names that are not related to specific protocols, only the organization's top level domain name are required to be valid. For example, if an Internet service provider's domain name is COMPANY.COM, then the <ABUSE@COMPANY.COM> address must be valid and supported, even though the customers whose activity generates complaints use hosts with more specific domain names like SHELL1.COMPANY.COM. Note, however, that it is valid and encouraged to support mailbox names for sub-domains, as appropriate. Mailbox names must be recognized independent of character case. For example, POSTMASTER, postmaster, Postmaster, PostMaster, and even PoStMaStEr are to be treated the same, with delivery to the same mailbox. Implementations of these well known names need to take account of the expectations of the senders who will use them. Sending back an automatic mail acknowledgement is usually helpful (though we suggest caution against the possibility of "duelling mail robots" and the resulting mail loops). 3. BUSINESS-RELATED MAILBOX NAMES These names are related to an organization's line-of-business activities. The INFO name is often tied to an autoresponder, with a range of standard files available. MAILBOX AREA USAGE ----------- ---------------- --------------------------- INFO Marketing Packaged information about the organization, products, and/or services, as appropriate MARKETING Marketing Product marketing and marketing communications SALES Sales Product purchase information SUPPORT Customer Service Problems with product or service 4. NETWORK OPERATIONS MAILBOX NAMES Operations addresses are intended to provide recourse for customers, providers and others who are experiencing difficulties with the organization's Internet service. MAILBOX AREA USAGE ----------- ---------------- --------------------------- ABUSE Customer Relations Inappropriate public behaviour NOC Network Operations Network infrastructure SECURITY Network Security Security bulletins or queries 5. SUPPORT MAILBOX NAMES FOR SPECIFIC INTERNET SERVICES For major Internet protocol services, there is a mailbox defined for receiving queries and reports. (Synonyms are included, here, due to their extensive installed base.) MAILBOX SERVICE SPECIFICATIONS ----------- ---------------- --------------------------- POSTMASTER SMTP [RFC821], [RFC822] HOSTMASTER DNS [RFC1033-RFC1035] USENET NNTP [RFC977] NEWS NNTP Synonym for USENET WEBMASTER HTTP [RFC 2068] WWW HTTP Synonym for WEBMASTER UUCP UUCP [RFC976] FTP FTP [RFC959] 6. MAILING LIST ADMINISTRATION MAILBOX Mailing lists have an administrative mailbox name to which add/drop requests and other meta-queries can be sent. For a mailing list whose submission mailbox name is: <LIST@DOMAIN> there MUST be the administrative mailbox name: <LIST-REQUEST@DOMAIN> Distribution List management software, such as MajorDomo and Listserv, also have a single mailbox name associated with the software on that system -- usually the name of the software -- rather than a particular list on that system. Use of such mailbox names requires participants to know the type of list software employed at the site. This is problematic. Consequently: LIST-SPECIFIC (-REQUEST) MAILBOX NAMES ARE REQUIRED, INDEPENDENT OF THE AVAILABILITY OF GENERIC LIST SOFTWARE MAILBOX NAMES. 7. DOMAIN NAME SERVICE ADMINISTRATION MAILBOX In DNS (see [RFC1033], [RFC1034] and [RFC1035]), the Start Of Authority record (SOA RR) has a field for specifying the mailbox name of the zone's administrator. This field must be a simple word without metacharacters (such as ``%'' or ``!'' or ``::''), and a mail alias should be used on the relevant mail exchanger hosts to direct zone administration mail to the appropriate mailbox. For simplicity and regularity, it is strongly recommended that the well known mailbox name HOSTMASTER always be used <HOSTMASTER@domain>. 8. AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM MAILBOX Several Internet registries implement mailing lists for Autonomous System contacts. So, for example, mail sent to <AS3557@RA.NET> will at the time of this writing reach the technical contact for Autonomous System 3557 in the BGP4 (see [RFC1654], [RFC1655] and [RFC1656]). Not all Autonomous Systems are registered with all registries, however, and so undeliverable mailbox names under this scheme should be treated as an inconvenience rather than as an error or a standards violation. 9. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS Denial of service attacks (flooding a mailbox with junk) will be easier after this document becomes a standard, since more systems will support the same set of mailbox names. 10. REFERENCES [RFC821] J. Postel, "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 821, Information Sciences Institute, 08/01/1982 [RFC822] D. Crocker, "Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages", RFC 822, University of Delaware, 08/13/1982. [RFC959] J. Postel (et al), "File Transfer Protocol (FTP)", RFC 959, Information Sciences Institute, October 1985. [RFC974] C. Partridge, "Mail routing and the domain system", RFC 974, CSNET CIC BBN Laboratories Inc, 01/01/1986. [RFC976] M. Horton, "UUCP mail interchange format standard", RFC 976, Bell Laboratories, 02/01/1986. [RFC977] B. Kantor (et al), "Network News Transfer Protocol: A Proposed Standard for the Stream-Based Transmission of News", RFC 977, University of California, February 1986. [RFC1033] M. Lottor, "Domain administrators operations guide", RFC 1033, SRI International, 11/01/1987. [RFC1034] P. Mockapetris, "Domain names - concepts and facilities", RFC 1035, USC/Information Sciences Institute, 11/01/1987. [RFC1035] P. Mockapetris, ``Domain Names - Implementation and Specification,'' RFC 1035, USC/Information Sciences Institute, November 1987. [RFC1654] Y. Rekhter (et al), "A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP- 4)", RFC 1654, T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corp., 07/21/1994. [RFC1655] Y. Rekhter (et al), "Application of the Border Gateway Protocol in the Internet", RFC 1655, T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corp., 07/21/1994. [RFC1656] P. Traina, "BGP-4 Protocol Document Roadmap and Implementation Experience", RFC 1656, cisco Systems, July 1994. [HTTP] T. Berners-Lee (et al), "Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.0", <draft-ietf-http-v10-spec-05.txt>, February 19, 1996. 11. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This specification derived from an earlier draft written by Paul Vixie. Thanks to Stan Barber, Michael Dillon, James Aldridge, J. D. Falk, Peter Kaminski, Brett Watson, Russ Wright, Neal McBurnett, and Ed Morin for their comments on that draft. 12. AUTHOR'S ADDRESS Dave Crocker Internet Mail Consortium 127 Segre Ave. Santa Cruz, CA +1 408 246 8253 <firstname.lastname@example.org>