RFC 6468

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                       A. Melnikov
Request for Comments: 6468                                 Isode Limited
Category: Standards Track                                       B. Leiba
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                    K. Li
                                                     Huawei Technologies
                                                           February 2012

               Sieve Notification Mechanism: SIP MESSAGE


   This document describes a profile of the Sieve extension for
   notifications, to allow notifications to be sent over SIP MESSAGE.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   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.

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
     1.1.  Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
     1.2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   2.  Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     2.1.  Notify Parameter "method"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     2.2.  Notify Tag ":from" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     2.3.  Notify Tag ":options"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.4.  Notify Tag ":importance" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.5.  Notify tag ":message"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.6.  Other Definitions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.7.  Test notify_method_capability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.1.  Example 1  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.2.  Example 2  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   4.  Requirements Conformance Checklist . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   7.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   8.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     8.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     8.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

1.  Introduction

1.1.  Overview

   The Notify extension [RFC5435] to the Sieve mail filtering language
   [RFC5228] is a framework for providing notifications by employing
   URIs that specify the notification mechanism.  (See RFC 5435 for
   details about the motivation and use cases.)  This document defines
   how Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) URIs [RFC3261] are used to
   generate notifications via SIP MESSAGE [RFC3428].

1.2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   This document inherits terminology from the Sieve email filtering
   language [RFC5228], the Sieve Notify extension [RFC5435], and RFC
   3261 [RFC3261].

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

2.  Definition

   The SIP MESSAGE mechanism defined in this document results in the
   sending of a SIP MESSAGE request to notify a recipient about an email

2.1.  Notify Parameter "method"

   The "method" parameter MUST be a URI that conforms to the SIP or SIPS
   URI scheme (as specified in RFC 3261 [RFC3261]) and that identifies a
   SIP or SIPS recipient of the notification.  The URI MAY include the
   resource identifier portion of a SIP address and URI parameters.  The
   URI MUST include the URI parameter "method", with the value
   "MESSAGE".  Example:

         notify "sip:romeo@example.com;method=MESSAGE"

   Note that future specifications might extend this document and define
   Sieve notifications that use SIP methods other than "MESSAGE".

   The processing application MUST form a request according to the rules
   specified in RFC 3261 [RFC3261].

   Note that other URI schemes can also trigger SIP processing, but only
   SIP and SIPS are defined here.  Future extensions might define other
   Sieve notification methods that use SIP through other URI schemes.

2.2.  Notify Tag ":from"

   The value of the ":from" tag MUST use the SIP "From" header field
   syntax; if the ":from" value is specified, has valid syntax, and is
   valid according to the implementation-specific security checks (see
   Section 3.3 of Sieve Notify [RFC5435]), then the notification SHOULD
   include the "From" SIP header field containing the value of the
   ":from" notify tag.  If the specified value is not valid, then it is

   All SIP authentication, including challenges and client certificates,
   SHOULD be done in the context of the Sieve engine -- the Sieve engine
   is the identity being authenticated.  This avoids security issues
   associated with the Sieve engine's having access to the end user's
   SIP authentication credentials.  The Sieve engine MAY use server-wide
   credentials (including applicable certificates) that are the same for
   all scripts.  Alternatively, it MAY, for auditing purposes, use
   different sets of Sieve-engine credentials when operating on behalf
   of different users.

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

   See Section 22 of RFC 3261 [RFC3261] for more information about SIP

2.3.  Notify Tag ":options"

   Handling of the ":options" tag is implementation specific.  This
   document doesn't require presence of any option and doesn't define
   how options are processed.

2.4.  Notify Tag ":importance"

   The ":importance" tag is intended to convey the importance of the SIP
   MESSAGE notification, not the importance of the email message that
   generated the notification.  The value of the ":importance" tag MAY,
   therefore, be transformed into SIP "Priority" header field (in
   addition to or instead of including it in the body of the message).
   Note that because the Sieve ":importance" tag only has three values,
   not all SIP "Priority" values can be represented in the
   transformation.  If this transformation is done, the value of the
   "Priority" header field MUST be "urgent" if the value of the
   ":importance" tag is "1", "normal" if the value of the ":importance"
   tag is "2", and "non-urgent" if the value of the ":importance" tag is
   "3".  There is no mapping to the SIP value "emergency", nor to any
   additional values that might be defined.

2.5.  Notify tag ":message"

   If the ":message" tag is included, it MUST be transformed into the
   message body of a SIP MESSAGE, which MUST have Content-Type value of
   "text/plain" with CHARSET="UTF-8".  If the ":message" tag is not
   included, a default message will be used.  The values of the "From"
   and "Subject" header fields of the triggering email message are
   particularly useful to users receiving notifications, and including
   them in the default message is generally a good idea, as shown in
   Section 3.2 below.  (However, see the Security Considerations,
   Section 5.)  The default body might also include the value of the
   ":importance" tag, if one is specified.

   Note that in no case is the actual triggering message body included
   in the notification.

   Implementations MUST comply with the SIP MESSAGE size limits, as
   discussed in Section 8 of RFC 3428 [RFC3428].

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

2.6.  Other Definitions

   An implementation MUST ignore any URI parameter it does not
   understand (the URI MUST be processed as if the parameter were not
   present).  The URI "body" parameter can serve the same purpose as the
   Sieve ":message" tag, providing the message body of the SIP MESSAGE
   request.  If both are present at the same time, the Sieve processing
   MUST ignore the "body" parameter.

   Using the ":message" tag has advantages over using the "body"
   parameter.  Because the ":message" tag is part of the "notify"
   statement syntax, it can be easier to include it in a script, and to
   do things such as variable substitutions [RFC5229] with it.  It is
   also easier to include non-ASCII characters in the ":message" tag
   because such characters have to be encoded if they are within URI
   parameters, but can be included directly in UTF-8 in Sieve tag

   The policy for retrying delivery of failed notifications is specified
   in RFC 3261 [RFC3261], according to the SIP error code returned
   during an attempt to deliver a SIP notification.  In other words,
   unlike the situation with some other Sieve notification methods,
   retries for SIP MESSAGE notifications are controlled by the
   notification protocol itself (SIP).

2.7.  Test notify_method_capability

   Absent use of SIP extensions such as [RFC3856], it is impossible to
   tell in advance whether the notification recipient is online and able
   to receive a SIP MESSAGE.  Expect the notify_method_capability test
   for "online" to frequently return "maybe" for this notification

3.  Examples

   In the following examples, the sender of the email has an address of
   juliet@example.org, the entity to be notified has a SIP address of
   <sip:romeo@example.com>, and the notification service has a SIP
   address <sip:notifier@example.com>.

3.1.  Example 1

   The following is a basic Sieve notify action with only a method:

   notify "sip:romeo@example.com;method=MESSAGE"

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

   The resulting SIP MESSAGE request might be as follows:

      MESSAGE sip:romeo@example.com SIP/2.0
      Via: SIP/2.0/TCP notifier.example.com;branch=z9hG4bK776sgdkse
      Max-Forwards: 70
      From: sip:notifier@example.com;tag=32328
      To: sip:romeo@example.com
      Call-ID: asd88asd77a@
      CSeq: 1 MESSAGE
      Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2010 23:29:00 GMT
      Content-Type: text/plain
      Content-Length: 53

      <juliet@example.com> wrote: Contact me immediately!

   In the example above, the email message was received from
   juliet@example.com and had "Subject: Contact me immediately!"

3.2.  Example 2

   The following is a more advanced Sieve notify action with a method,
   importance, subject, and message:

      notify :importance "1"
          :message "You got new mail!"

      MESSAGE sip:romeo@example.com SIP/2.0
      Via: SIP/2.0/TCP notifier.example.com;branch=z9hG4bK776sgdkse
      Max-Forwards: 70
      From: sip:notifier@example.com;tag=32328
      To: sip:romeo@example.com
      Subject: SIEVE
      Priority: urgent
      Call-ID: asd88asd77a@
      CSeq: 1 MESSAGE
      Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 06:54:00 GMT
      Content-Type: text/plain
      Content-Length: 19

      You got new mail!

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

4.  Requirements Conformance Checklist

   Section 3.8 of Sieve Notify [RFC5435] specifies a set of requirements
   for Sieve notification methods.  A checklist is provided here to show
   conformance of the SIP MESSAGE notification method.

   1.   No new Sieve tags have been added to the "notify" action.

   2.   An implementation of the SIP MESSAGE notification method SHOULD
modify the final notification text, except to comply with
        SIP MESSAGE length limits.  Deployments MAY make operational
        decisions about notification text, for reasons such as privacy
        and confidentiality.  Modification of characters themselves
        should not be necessary, since the SIP MESSAGE body is encoded
        in UTF-8 [RFC3629].

   3.   An implementation MAY ignore parameters specified in the
        ":importance" and ":options" tags.

   4.   A default message is suggested in Section 2.5.

   5.   A notification sent via the SIP MESSAGE notification method MAY
        include the Date header field containing the date-time of the
        moment when the SIP MESSAGE notification was generated.

   6.   The notification source is identified through the SIP "From:"
        header field, via the Sieve Notify ":from" tag (see
        Section 2.2).

   7.   An implementation MUST NOT include any extraneous information
        not specified in parameters to the notify action.

   8.   An implementation MUST ignore any URI parameters it does not
        understand (i.e., the URI MUST be processed as if the action or
        parameter were not present).  See Section 2.6 for more details.

   9.   The notify_method_capability test for the "online" notification-
        capability behaves as described in Section 2.7.

   10.  The policy for retrying delivery of failed notifications is
        specified in RFC 3261 [RFC3261], as noted in Section 2.6.

5.  Security Considerations

   Depending on the information included, sending a notification can be,
   from a confidentiality point of view, comparable to forwarding mail
   to the notification recipient.  Care must be taken when automatically
   forwarding information, such as the sender and the subject of a

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

   message, to ensure that confidential information is not sent into an
   insecure environment or over an insecure channel.  Depending upon the
   environment, this might entail using SIPS URIs, not sending
   information about the subject and/or the sender, or applying
   heuristics to the message to determine what may be sent.

   As required by RFC 3428, user agents that support the SIP MESSAGE
   request MUST implement end-to-end authentication, body integrity, and
   body confidentiality mechanisms.  At the time of this writing, there
   is not widespread deployment of SIP end-to-end security, so there can
   be cases where it is not possible to use it, even though it is
   implemented on one end.  It's important to note that such situations
   are open to exposure of user credentials, message content, and other
   private information via man-in-the-middle and other passive attacks.

   The Sieve Notify extension specifies that notification methods MUST
   provide mechanisms for avoiding notification loops.  In this case,
   the SIP protocol itself prevents loops, and no explicit work is
   needed within the notification mechanism.  In situations where a SIP
   MESSAGE notification can result in an email message that could
   generate another SIP MESSAGE notification, loop prevention through
   rate detection and limiting might be necessary.  An implementation
   might detect too many notifications within a given time period, too
   many triggered by a particular sender, too many with the same
   subject, or the like, and shut off the affected notifications for a
   period of time or until manual intervention turns them back on.

   If SIP MESSAGE requests might be billed by the message, or the use of
   them might deplete a user's quota of messages, notification by this
   mechanism can present a situation where someone using a large number
   of messages to generate a large number of notifications will cause a
   significant expense to the recipient.  Because there is no external
   way an attacker can tell that this is the case, such an attack would
   likely be a random or nuisance attack.  Nevertheless, users might be
   warned of potential costs when they set up SIP MESSAGE notifications.

   Other security considerations given in the Sieve base specification
   [RFC5228], the Sieve Notify extension [RFC5435], and RFC 3261
   [RFC3261] are also relevant to this document.

6.  IANA Considerations

   The following template provides the IANA registration of the Sieve
   notification mechanism specified in this document.  This information
   has been added to the list of Sieve notification mechanisms
   maintained at <http://www.iana.org/assignments/sieve-notification>.

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

   To: iana@iana.org
   Subject: Registration of new Sieve notification mechanism
   Mechanism name: sip-message
   Mechanism URI: SIP/SIPS as specified in RFC 3261 [RFC3261]
   Mechanism-specific options: none
   Standards Track/IESG-approved experimental RFC number: [RFC6468]
   Person and email address to contact for further information:
       See authors of [RFC6468]

7.  Acknowledgements

   This document borrows some text from RFC 5437 [RFC5437].

   Henning Schulzrinne (hgs@cs.columbia.edu) was a special contributor
   to this document, with early work and reviews.

   The authors would like to thank Adam Roach and Eric Burger for their
   helpful comments.  Ben Campbell did a very thorough RAI-team review,
   as well as a follow-up review to make sure we resolved all of his
   issues satisfactorily.  This document was greatly improved by their

   Qian Sun contributed text to this document.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC3261]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
              A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E.
              Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261,
              June 2002.

   [RFC3428]  Campbell, B., Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Huitema, C.,
              and D. Gurle, "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Extension
              for Instant Messaging", RFC 3428, December 2002.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC5228]  Guenther, P. and T. Showalter, "Sieve: An Email Filtering
              Language", RFC 5228, January 2008.

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RFC 6468             Sieve Notification: SIP MESSAGE       February 2012

   [RFC5435]  Melnikov, A., Leiba, B., Segmuller, W., and T. Martin,
              "Sieve Email Filtering: Extension for Notifications",
              RFC 5435, January 2009.

8.2.  Informative References

   [RFC3856]  Rosenberg, J., "A Presence Event Package for the Session
              Initiation Protocol (SIP)", RFC 3856, August 2004.

   [RFC5229]  Homme, K., "Sieve Email Filtering: Variables Extension",
              RFC 5229, January 2008.

   [RFC5437]  Saint-Andre, P. and A. Melnikov, "Sieve Notification
              Mechanism: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol
              (XMPP)", RFC 5437, January 2009.

Authors' Addresses

   Alexey Melnikov
   Isode Limited
   5 Castle Business Village
   36 Station Road
   Hampton, Middlesex  TW12 2BX

   EMail: Alexey.Melnikov@isode.com
   URI:   http://www.melnikov.ca/

   Barry Leiba
   Huawei Technologies

   Phone: +1 646 827 0648
   EMail: barryleiba@computer.org
   URI:   http://internetmessagingtechnology.org/

   Kepeng Li
   Huawei Technologies
   Huawei Base, Bantian, Longgang District
   Shenzhen, Guangdong  518129
   P.R. China

   Phone: +86-755-28974289
   EMail: likepeng@huawei.com

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