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Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension.

MIME refers to an official Internet
standard that specifies how messages must
be formatted so that they can be exchanged
between different email systems.
MIME permits any type of file or
document in an email message.
MIME will probably emerge as the industry

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP,
RFC 822)

SMTP Limitations - Can not transmit, or has a problem with:
executable files, or other binary files (jpeg image)
national language characters (non-ASCII)
messages over a certain size
ASCII to EBCDIC (Extended Binary Coded Decimal
Interchange Code ) translation problems
lines longer than a certain length (72 to 254 characters)
Header fields in MIME
MIME-Version: Must be 1.0 -> RFC 2045, RFC
Content-Type: More types being added by
developers (application/word)
Content-Transfer-Encoding: How message has
been encoded (radix-64)
Content-ID: Unique identifying character string.
Content Description: Needed when content is not
readable text (e.g.,mpeg)
Content-ID and Content Description: optional
MIME Headers
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)
RFC 1341 and RFC 1521
MIME -Version: version number
Content-Description: human-readable string
Content-ID: unique identifier
Content-Transfer-Encoding: body encoding
> ASCII (Plain, quoted-printable, or Richtext)
> Binary (base64)
Content-Type: nature of the message
> Image (gif, jpeg), Video (mpeg),
> Application (Postscript, octet-stream)

MIME Content Type
Text: Plain(a string of ASCII
characters), Enriched(ISO8859
Image: jpeg, gif
Video: mpeg
Audio: Basic
Application: Postscript, octet-stream
other kinds of data: uninterpreted binary data or
information by a mail-based application
MIME Transfer Encodings
The objective: to provide reliable delivery across the
largest range of environments
7bit: ASCII characters
8bit: non-ASCII characters
quoted-printable: data consist largely of octets that
correspond to printable ASCII characters
base64: radix-64 (6bits-> 8bits)
x-token: A named nonstandard encoding

Common Mime Types:
FileExtension MIME Type Description
.txt text/plain Plain text
.htm text/html Styled text in HTML
.jpg image/jpeg Picture in JPEG format
.gif image/gif Picture in GIF format
.wav audio/x-wave Sound in WAVE format
.mp3 audio/mpeg Music in MP3 format
.mpg video/mpeg Video in MPEG format
.zip application/zip Compressed file in PK-
ZIP format
MIME Functions
Enveloped Data: Encrypted content and
encrypted session keys for recipients.
Signed Data: Message Digest encrypted with
private key of signer.
Clear-Signed Data: Signed but not encrypted.
Signed and Enveloped Data: Various orderings
for encrypting and signing.

Algorithms Used
Message Digesting:
support SHA-1 and MD5
should use SHA-1
Digital Signatures:
must support DSS
should support RSA encryption
Secret-Key Encryption:
should support encryption with Triple-DES, RC2/40 (exportable)
Public-Private Key Encryption:
should support RSA with key sizes of 512 and 1024 bits
must support Diffie-Hellman (for session keys)