What is MIME? List the limitations of SMTP/REC 822
Subject Computer and Network Security
NU Year Set: 3.(b) Marks: 1+4 Year: 2015

MIME (Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions) is an extension of the original Internet e-mail protocol that lets people use the protocol to exchange different kinds of data files on the Internet: audio, video, images, application programs, and other kinds, as well as the ASCII text, handled in the original protocol, the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP). 


Limitations of SMTP/REC 822:

  • Body must be encoded in 7 bit ASCII: no binaries

        7 bit= 128 possible characters

        Images, video, etc are inherently "8 bit"

  • No National Language characters (8 bit)
  • SMTP servers may have arbitary size limit. 
  • SMTP gateways have inconsistent ASCII to EBCDIC Mapping
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