Re: UTF-7 is dead

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Tue May 25 1999 - 18:50:56 EDT

Pete Resnick wrote on 1999-05-25 21:48 UTC:
> Most [email MTA] environments are now 8-bit safe, and more are moving
> that way all of the time.

Agreed. In fact, I would go even further: there is NOT A SINGLE
non-8-bit-transparent email message transfer agent connected the
Internet today that does not also have a well-known security
vulnerability. All the old sendmail etc. versions that caused the 7-bit
transparency problems have also turned out to have severe security
problems and they were very quickly replaced to stop hacking breakins.
If you find still a 7-bit sendmail installed somewhere, I'd be happy to
delete it from here ... ;-) Thanks to the many security-related updates
of email software, both quoted-printable and utf-7 have become several
orders of magnitude faster completely obsolete than the pessimists in
the MIME committee believed would be possible. Internet email is 8-bit
transparent today and both quoted-printable and utf-7 are obsolete. My
special thanks to the Internet hacking community for killing this one so


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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