S/MIME Version 2 Message Specification (RFC2311)
Original Publication Date: 1998-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
S. Dusse: AUTHOR [+4]
This document describes a protocol for adding cryptographic signature and encryption services to MIME data. This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group S. Dusse Request for Comments: 2311 RSA Data Security Category: Informational P. Hoffman Internet Mail Consortium B. Ramsdell Worldtalk L. Lundblade Qualcomm L. Repka Netscape March 1998
S/MIME Version 2 Message Specification
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.
S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) provides a consistent way to send and receive secure MIME data. Based on the popular Internet MIME standard, S/MIME provides the following cryptographic security services for electronic messaging applications: authentication, message integrity and non-repudiation of origin (using digital signatures) and privacy and data security (using encryption).
S/MIME can be used by traditional mail user agents (MUAs) to add cryptographic security services to mail that is sent, and to interpret cryptographic security services in mail that is received. However, S/MIME is not restricted to mail; it can be used with any transport mechanism that transports MIME data, such as HTTP. As such, S/MIME takes advantage of the object-based features of MIME and allows secure messages to be exchanged in mixed-transport systems.
Further, S/MIME can be used in automated message transfer agents that use cryptographic security services that do not require any human intervention, such as the signing of software-generated documents and the encryption of FAX messages sent over the Internet.
Dusse, et. al. Informational [Page 1]
RFC 2311 S/MIME Version 2 Message Specification March 1998
Please note: The information in this document is historical material being published for the public record. It is not an IETF standard. The use of the word "standard" in this document indicates a standard for adopters of S/MIME version 2, not an IETF standard.
1.1 Specification Overview
This document describes a protocol for adding cryptographic signature and encryption services to MIME data. The MIME standard [MIME-SPEC] provides a general structure for the content type of Internet messages and allows extensions for new content type applications.
This memo defines how to create a MIME body part that has been cryptographically enhanced according to PKCS #7 [PKCS-7]. This memo also defines the application/pkcs7-mime MIME type that can be used to transport those body parts. This memo also defines how to create certification requests that conform to PKCS #10 [PKCS-10], and the application/pkcs10 MIME type for transporting those requests.
This memo also discusses how to use the multipart/signed MIME type defined in [MIME-SECURE] to transport S/MIME signed messages. This memo also defines the application/pkcs7-signature MIME type, which is also used to transport S/MIME signed messages. This specification is compatible with PKCS #7 in that...