[MORG] New IMAP keyword registration proposal: $Phishing

Robert Mueller <robm@fastmail.fm> Sun, 26 March 2017 10:45 UTC

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From: Robert Mueller <robm@fastmail.fm>
To: morg@ietf.org
Cc: iana@iana.org, Alexey Melnikov <aamelnikov@fastmail.fm>
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Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:45:09 +1100
Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/morg/65YV6545FTw2PaA_1ytVFhA2H-Q>
Subject: [MORG] New IMAP keyword registration proposal: $Phishing
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IMAP keyword name:

Purpose (description):
Phishing emails are a particularly pernicious problem and
unfortunately many users are tricked by them into revealing
private passwords and other personal information. Many delivery
agents may be able to detect emails as likely phishing emails
either at delivery time or shortly afterwards, but moving them
to the users spam/junk folder or marking them as $Junk may not
be enough. If they look legitimate enough, users may think they
were incorrectly identified as junk and still click on the links
in them believing that they are legitimate and the marking as
junk was a false positive error.

The $Phishing keyword can be used by a delivery agent to mark a
message as highly likely to be a phishing email. If this is the
case, the user agent should display an additional warning message
to the user alerting them that this email seems suspicious
and may be trying to trick them into giving away personal
information. Additionally the user agent may display a warning
when clicking on any hyperlinks within the message.

In general an email that’s determined to be a phishing email
by the delivery agent should also be considered a junk email
and have the appropriate junk filtering applied as well (e.g.
setting the $Junk flag or placing in the \Junk special-use

Private or Shared on a server:
SHARED (see Note 1)

Is it an advisory keyword or may it cause an automatic action:
This keyword is advisory.

When/by whom the keyword is set/cleared:
$Phishing will mostly be set by a delivery agent. A mail
client may set the flag if it supports a “Report phishing” type
action. If a user marks a message as not junk, the $Phishing
flag should also be removed.

Related keywords:
$Junk and $NotJunk

Related IMAP capabilities:
RFC6154 IMAP LIST Extension for Special-Use Mailboxes

Security considerations:
False positive detection of a phishing email by a delivery agent
is always possible so user agents should never fully stop users
being able to view a message or click through on links in the

Published specification (recommended):

Person & email address to contact for further information:
Rob Mueller <robm@fastmail.com>

Intended usage: COMMON

Owner/Change controller: IESG

1). Unlike junk where people may have different ideas of
what email might be considered junk or not junk, and as
it’s expected that mostly delivery agents will set this
flag, this should be a shared flag.

Rob Mueller