Manual Reference Pages  - Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::DKIM (3)


Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::DKIM - perform DKIM verification tests



 loadplugin Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::DKIM [/path/to/]

Taking into account signatures from any signing domains:

 full   DKIM_SIGNED           eval:check_dkim_signed()
 full   DKIM_VALID            eval:check_dkim_valid()
 full   DKIM_VALID_AU         eval:check_dkim_valid_author_sig()

Taking into account signatures from specified signing domains only: (quotes may be omitted on domain names consisting only of letters, digits, dots, and minus characters)

 full   DKIM_SIGNED_MY1       eval:check_dkim_signed(’dom1’,’dom2’,...)
 full   DKIM_VALID_MY1        eval:check_dkim_valid(’dom1’,’dom2’,...)
 full   DKIM_VALID_AU_MY1     eval:check_dkim_valid_author_sig(’d1’,’d2’,...)

 full   __DKIM_DEPENDABLE     eval:check_dkim_dependable()

Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP) from any author domains:

 header DKIM_ADSP_NXDOMAIN    eval:check_dkim_adsp(’N’)
 header DKIM_ADSP_ALL         eval:check_dkim_adsp(’A’)
 header DKIM_ADSP_DISCARD     eval:check_dkim_adsp(’D’)
 header DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_LOW  eval:check_dkim_adsp(’1’)
 header DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_MED  eval:check_dkim_adsp(’2’)
 header DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_HIGH eval:check_dkim_adsp(’3’)

Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP) from specified author domains only:

 header DKIM_ADSP_MY1         eval:check_dkim_adsp(’*’,’dom1’,’dom2’,...)

 describe DKIM_SIGNED   Message has a DKIM or DK signature, not necessarily valid
 describe DKIM_VALID    Message has at least one valid DKIM or DK signature
 describe DKIM_VALID_AU Message has a valid DKIM or DK signature from author’s domain
 describe __DKIM_DEPENDABLE     A validation failure not attributable to truncation

 describe DKIM_ADSP_NXDOMAIN    Domain not in DNS and no valid author domain signature
 describe DKIM_ADSP_ALL         Domain signs all mail, no valid author domain signature
 describe DKIM_ADSP_DISCARD     Domain signs all mail and suggests discarding mail with no valid author domain signature, no valid author domain signature
 describe DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_LOW  adsp_override is CUSTOM_LOW, no valid author domain signature
 describe DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_MED  adsp_override is CUSTOM_MED, no valid author domain signature
 describe DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_HIGH adsp_override is CUSTOM_HIGH, no valid author domain signature

For compatibility with pre-3.3.0 versions, the following are synonyms:

 OLD: eval:check_dkim_verified = NEW: eval:check_dkim_valid
 OLD: eval:check_dkim_signall  = NEW: eval:check_dkim_adsp(’A’)
 OLD: eval:check_dkim_signsome = NEW: redundant, semantically always true

The __DKIM_DEPENDABLE eval rule deserves an explanation. The rule yields true when signatures are supplied by a caller, OR ELSE when signatures are obtained by this plugin AND either there are no signatures OR a rule __TRUNCATED was false. In other words: __DKIM_DEPENDABLE is true when failed signatures can not be attributed to message truncation when feeding a message to SpamAssassin. It can be consulted to prevent false positives on large but truncated messages with poor man’s implementation of ADSP by hand-crafted rules.


This SpamAssassin plugin implements DKIM lookups as described by the RFC 4871, as well as historical DomainKeys lookups, as described by RFC 4870, thanks to the support for both types of signatures by newer versions of module Mail::DKIM.

It requires the Mail::DKIM CPAN module to operate. Many thanks to Jason Long for that module.


The following tags are added to the set, available for use in reports, header fields, other plugins, etc.:

    Agent or User Identifier (AUID) (the ’i’ tag) from valid signatures;

    Signing Domain Identifier (SDID) (the ’d’ tag) from valid signatures;

Identities and domains from signatures which failed verification are not included in these tags. Duplicates are eliminated (e.g. when there are two or more valid signatures from the same signer, only one copy makes it into a tag). Note that there may be more than one signature in a message - currently they are provided as a space-separated list, although this behaviour may change.


Mail::DKIM, Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin


whitelist_from_dkim [signing-domain] Works similarly to whitelist_from, except that in addition to matching an author address (From) to the pattern in the first parameter, the message must also carry a Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) signature made by a signing domain (SDID, i.e. the d= tag) that is acceptable to us.

Only one whitelist entry is allowed per line, as in whitelist_from_rcvd. Multiple whitelist_from_dkim lines are allowed. File-glob style characters are allowed for the From address (the first parameter), just like with whitelist_from_rcvd. The second parameter does not accept wildcards.

If no signing-domain parameter is specified, the only acceptable signature will be an Author Domain Signature (sometimes called first-party signature) which is a signature where the signing domain (SDID) of a signature matches the domain of the author’s address (i.e. the address in a From header field).

Since this whitelist requires a DKIM check to be made, network tests must be enabled.

Examples of whitelisting based on an author domain signature (first-party):

  whitelist_from_dkim *
  whitelist_from_dkim *@*

Examples of whitelisting based on third-party signatures:

  whitelist_from_dkim *
  whitelist_from_dkim *@*         

def_whitelist_from_dkim [signing-domain] Same as whitelist_from_dkim, but used for the default whitelist entries in the SpamAssassin distribution. The whitelist score is lower, because these are often targets for abuse of public mailers which sign their mail.
adsp_override domain [signing-practices] Currently few domains publish their signing practices (RFC 5617 - ADSP), partly because the ADSP rfc is rather new, partly because they think hardly any recipient bothers to check it, and partly for fear that some recipients might lose mail due to problems in their signature validation procedures or mail mangling by mailers beyond their control.

Nevertheless, recipients could benefit by knowing signing practices of a sending (author’s) domain, for example to recognize forged mail claiming to be from certain domains which are popular targets for phishing, like financial institutions. Unfortunately, as signing practices are seldom published or are weak, it is hardly justifiable to look them up in DNS.

To overcome this chicken-or-the-egg problem, the adsp_override mechanism allows recipients using SpamAssassin to override published or defaulted ADSP for certain domains. This makes it possible to manually specify a stronger (or weaker) signing practices than a signing domain is willing to publish (explicitly or by default), and also save on a DNS lookup.

Note that ADSP (published or overridden) is only consulted for messages which do not contain a valid DKIM signature from the author’s domain.

According to RFC 5617, signing practices can be one of the following: unknown, all and discardable.

unknown: The domain might sign some or all email - messages from the domain may or may not have an Author Domain Signature. This is a default if a domain exists in DNS but no ADSP record is found.

all: All mail from the domain is signed with an Author Domain Signature.

discardable: All mail from the domain is signed with an Author Domain Signature. Furthermore, if a message arrives without a valid Author Domain Signature, the domain encourages the recipient(s) to discard it.

ADSP lookup can also determine that a domain is out of scope, i.e., the domain does not exist (NXDOMAIN) in the DNS.

To override domain’s signing practices in a SpamAssassin configuration file, specify an adsp_override directive for each sending domain to be overridden.

Its first argument is a domain name. Author’s domain is matched against it, matching is case insensitive. This is not a regular expression or a file-glob style wildcard, but limited wildcarding is still available: if this argument starts by a *. (or is a sole *), author’s domain matches if it is a subdomain (to one or more levels) of the argument. Otherwise (with no leading asterisk) the match must be exact (not a subdomain).

An optional second parameter is one of the following keywords (case-insensitive): nxdomain, unknown, all, discardable, custom_low, custom_med, custom_high.

Absence of this second parameter implies discardable. If a domain is not listed by a adsp_override directive nor does it explicitly publish any ADSP record, then unknown is implied for valid domains, and nxdomain for domains not existing in DNS. (Note: domain validity is only checked with versions of Mail::DKIM 0.37 or later (actually since 0.36_5), the nxdomain would never turn up with older versions).

The strong setting discardable is useful for domains which are known to always sign their mail and to always send it directly to recipients (not to mailing lists), and are frequent targets of fishing attempts, such as financial institutions. The discardable is also appropriate for domains which are known never to send any mail.

When a message does not contain a valid signature by the author’s domain (the domain in a From header field), the signing practices pertaining to author’s domain determine which of the following rules fire and contributes its score: DKIM_ADSP_NXDOMAIN, DKIM_ADSP_ALL, DKIM_ADSP_DISCARD, DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_LOW, DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_MED, DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_HIGH. Not more than one of these rules can fire for messages that have one author (but see below). The last three can only result from a ’signing-practices’ as given in a adsp_override directive (not from a DNS lookup), and can serve as a convenient means of providing a different score if scores assigned to DKIM_ADSP_ALL or DKIM_ADSP_DISCARD are not considered suitable for some domains.

RFC 5322 permits a message to have more than one author - multiple addresses may be listed in a single From header field. RFC 5617 defines that a message with multiple authors has multiple signing domain signing practices, but does not prescribe how these should be combined. In presence of multiple signing practices, more than one of the DKIM_ADSP_* rules may fire.

As a precaution against firing DKIM_ADSP_* rules when there is a known local reason for a signature verification failure, the domain’s ADSP is considered ’unknown’ when DNS lookups are disabled or a DNS lookup encountered a temporary problem on fetching a public key from the author’s domain. Similarly, ADSP is considered ’unknown’ when this plugin did its own signature verification (signatures were not passed to SA by a caller) and a metarule __TRUNCATED was triggered, indicating the caller intentionally passed a truncated message to SpamAssassin, which was a likely reason for a signature verification failure.


  adsp_override *   discardable
  adsp_override * discardable

  adsp_override *
  adsp_override *
  adsp_override *
  adsp_override   all
  adsp_override * all
  adsp_override    custom_high
  adsp_override     custom_low
  adsp_override      custom_low
  adsp_override custom_low
  adsp_override      custom_low
  adsp_override   custom_low
  adsp_override       custom_low

  adsp_override nxdomain
  adsp_override nxdomain

  # effectively disables ADSP network DNS lookups for all other domains:
  adsp_override *              unknown

  score DKIM_ADSP_ALL          2.5
  score DKIM_ADSP_DISCARD     25
  score DKIM_ADSP_NXDOMAIN     3

  score DKIM_ADSP_CUSTOM_MED   3.5


dkim_timeout n (default: 5) How many seconds to wait for a DKIM query to complete, before scanning continues without the DKIM result.

perl v5.8.8 Mail::SpamAssassin::Plugin::DKIM (3) 2010-03-16
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