Browse Prior Art Database

On the junk mail problem (RFC0706)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003752D
Original Publication Date: 1975-Nov-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 1 page(s) / 2K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Postel: AUTHOR

Abstract

In the ARPA Network Host/IMP interface protocol there is no mechanism for the Host to selectively refuse messages. This means that a Host which desires to receive some particular messages must read all messages addressed to it. Such a Host could be sent many messages by a malfunctioning Host. This would constitute a denial of service to the normal users of this Host. Both the local users and the network communication could suffer. The services denied are the processor time consumed in examining the undesired messages and rejecting them, and the loss of network thruput or increased delay due to the unnecessary busyness of the network.

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Network Working Group Jon Postel (SRI-ARC)

Request for Comments: 706 Nov 1975

NIC #33861

On the Junk Mail Problem

In the ARPA Network Host/IMP interface protocol there is no

mechanism for the Host to selectively refuse messages. This means

that a Host which desires to receive some particular messages must

read all messages addressed to it. Such a Host could be sent many

messages by a malfunctioning Host. This would constitute a denial of

service to the normal users of this Host. Both the local users and

the network communication could suffer. The services denied are the

processor time consumed in examining the undesired messages and

rejecting them, and the loss of network thruput or increased delay

due to the unnecessary busyness of the network.

It would be useful for a Host to be able to decline messages from

sources it believes are misbehaving or are simply annoying. If the

Host/IMP interface protocol allowed the Host to say to the IMP

"refuse messages from Host X", the IMPs could discard the unwanted

messages at their earliest opportunity returning a "refused" notice

to the offending Host.

How the IMPs might do this is an open issue -- here are two

possibilities:

The destination IMP would keep a list (per local Host) of sources

to refuse (this has the disadvantage of keeping the network

busy).

The destination IMP on receiving the "refuse messages from Host

X" message forwards the message to the source IMP (the IMP local

to Host X). That IMP keeps a list (per local Host) of

destinations that are refusing messages from this source Host.

This restriction on messages might be removed by a destination Host

either by sending a "accept messages from Host X" message to the

IMP, or by resetting its Host/IMP interface.

A Host might make use of such a facility by measuring, per source,

the number of undesired messages per unit time, if this measure

exceeds a threshold then the Host could issue the "refuse messages

from Host X" message to the IMP.