Mail::DKIM::ARC::Verifier - verifies an ARC-Sealed message


version 1.20240124


  use Mail::DKIM::ARC::Verifier;

  # create a verifier object
  my $arc = Mail::DKIM::ARC::Verifier->new();

  # read an email from a file handle

  # or read an email and pass it into the verifier, incrementally
  while (<STDIN>)
      # remove local line terminators

      # use SMTP line terminators

  # what is the result of the verify?
  my $result = $arc->result;

  # print the results for all the message-signatures and seals on the message
  foreach my $signature ($arc->signatures)
      print $signature->prefix() . ' v=' . $signature->instance .
                                     ' ' . $signature->result_detail . "\n";

  # example output.  Note that to pass, only the MOST RECENT ARC-Message-Signature
  # must match, because other steps may have modified the signature.  What matters
  # is that all ARC-Seals pass, and the most recent ARC-Message-Signature passes.


The verifier object allows an email message to be scanned for ARC seals and their associated signatures to be verified. The verifier tracks the state of the message as it is read into memory. When the message has been completely read, the signatures are verified and the results of the verification can be accessed.

To use the verifier, first create the verifier object. Then start "feeding" it the email message to be verified. When all the _headers_ have been read, the verifier:

 1. checks whether any ARC signatures were found
 2. queries for the public keys needed to verify the signatures
 3. sets up the appropriate algorithms and canonicalization objects
 4. canonicalizes the headers and computes the header hash

Then, when the _body_ of the message has been completely fed into the verifier, the body hash is computed and the signatures are verified.

The results of the verification can be checked with "result()" or "signatures()".

The final result is calculated by the algorithm layed out in - if ALL ARC-Seal headers pass and the highest index (i=) ARC-Message-Signature passes, then the seal is intact.



Constructs an object-oriented verifier.

  my $arc = Mail::DKIM::ARC::Verifier->new();

  my $arc = Mail::DKIM::ARC::Verifier->new(%options);

The only options supported at this time are:


if specified, the canonicalized message for the ARC-Seal is written to the referenced string or file handle.


if specified, the canonicalized message for the ARC-Message-Signature is written to the referenced string or file handle.


If true, rejects sha1 hashes and signing keys shorter than 1024 bits.



Feeds part of the message to the verifier.

  $arc->PRINT("a line of the message\015\012");
  $arc->PRINT('more of');
  $arc->PRINT(" the message\015\012bye\015\012");

Feeds content of the message being verified into the verifier. The API is designed this way so that the entire message does NOT need to be read into memory at once.

Please note that although the PRINT() method expects you to use SMTP-style line termination characters, you should NOT use the SMTP-style dot-stuffing technique described in RFC 2821 section 4.5.2. Nor should you use a <CR><LF>.<CR><LF> sequence to terminate the message.


Call this when finished feeding in the message.


This method finishes the canonicalization process, computes a hash, and verifies the signature.


Load the entire message from a file handle.


Reads a complete message from the designated file handle, feeding it into the verifier. The message must use <CRLF> line terminators (same as the SMTP protocol).


Access the "From" header.

  my $address = $arc->message_originator;

Returns the "originator address" found in the message, as a Mail::Address object. This is typically the (first) name and email address found in the From: header. If there is no From: header, then an empty Mail::Address object is returned.

To get just the email address part, do:

  my $email = $arc->message_originator->address;

See also "message_sender()".


Access the "From" or "Sender" header.

  my $address = $arc->message_sender;

Returns the "sender" found in the message, as a Mail::Address object. This is typically the (first) name and email address found in the Sender: header. If there is no Sender: header, it is the first name and email address in the From: header. If neither header is present, then an empty Mail::Address object is returned.

To get just the email address part, do:

  my $email = $arc->message_sender->address;

The "sender" is the mailbox of the agent responsible for the actual transmission of the message. For example, if a secretary were to send a message for another person, the "sender" would be the secretary and the "originator" would be the actual author.


Access the result of the verification.

  my $result = $arc->result;

Gives the result of the verification. The following values are possible:


Returned if a valid ARC chain was found, with all the ARC-Seals passing, and the most recent (highest index) ARC-Message-Signature passing.


Returned if any ARC-Seal failed, or if the ARC-Message-Signature failed. Will also be a fail if there is a DNS temporary failure, which is a known flaw in this version of the ARC::Verifier. Future versions may reject this message outright (4xx) and ask the sender to attempt delivery later to avoid creating a broken chain. There is no temperror for ARC, as it doesn't make sense to sign a chain with temperror in it or every spammer would just use one of those.


Returned if a ARC-Seal could not be checked because of a problem in the signature itself or the public key record. I.e. the signature could not be processed.


Returned if no ARC-* headers were found.


Access the result, plus details if available.

  my $detail = $dkim->result_detail;

The detail is constructed by taking the result (e.g. "pass", "fail", "invalid" or "none") and appending any details provided by the verification process for the topmost ARC-Seal in parenthesis.

The following are possible results from the result_detail() method:

  fail (bad RSA signature)
  fail (OpenSSL error: ...)
  fail (message has been altered)
  fail (body has been altered)
  invalid (bad instance)
  invalid (invalid domain in d tag)
  invalid (missing q tag)
  invalid (missing d tag)
  invalid (missing s tag)
  invalid (unsupported version 0.1)
  invalid (unsupported algorithm ...)
  invalid (unsupported canonicalization ...)
  invalid (unsupported query protocol ...)
  invalid (signature is expired)
  invalid (public key: not available)
  invalid (public key: unknown query type ...)
  invalid (public key: syntax error)
  invalid (public key: unsupported version)
  invalid (public key: unsupported key type)
  invalid (public key: missing p= tag)
  invalid (public key: invalid data)
  invalid (public key: does not support email)
  invalid (public key: does not support hash algorithm 'sha1')
  invalid (public key: does not support signing subdomains)
  invalid (public key: revoked)
  invalid (public key: granularity mismatch)
  invalid (public key: granularity is empty)
  invalid (public key: OpenSSL error: ...)


Access all of this message's signatures.

  my @all_signatures = $arc->signatures;

Use $signature->result or $signature->result_detail to access the verification results of each signature.

Use $signature->instance and $signature->prefix to find the instance and header-name for each signature.


  • Jason Long <>

  • Marc Bradshaw <>

  • Bron Gondwana <> (ARC)


Work on ensuring that this module passes the ARC test suite was generously sponsored by Valimail (


  • Copyright (C) 2013 by Messiah College

  • Copyright (C) 2010 by Jason Long

  • Copyright (C) 2017 by Standcore LLC

  • Copyright (C) 2020 by FastMail Pty Ltd

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.8.6 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.