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This document relates to the policy proposal 2019-04, “Validation of "abuse-mailbox"”. If approved, it will modify ripe-705, “Abuse Contact Management in the RIPE Database”.
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This policy originated from the work of the Abuse Contact Management Task Force. The task force examined the collection and maintenance of resource registration information in the RIPE Database, including potential areas for improvement and alternative approaches.

This policy introduces a new contact attribute named "abuse-c:”, that can be included in inetnuminet6num and aut-num objects.



1.0 Abuse Contact Information

2.0 Attribution

2.0 About the "abuse-mailbox"
3.0 Objectives of "abuse-mailbox" validation
4.0 Validation of “abuse-mailbox"
5.0 Escalation to the RIPE NCC
6.0 Attribution


1.0 Abuse Contact Information

The "abuse-c:" will reference a role object holding abuse contact information. The positioning of the “abuse-c:” attributes will make use of the hierarchical nature of the resource data to minimize the workload on resource holders. Internet number resources need to have an “abuse-c:” attribute.

The “abuse-c:” will be mandatory for all aut-nums.

Due the hierarchical nature of IP address objects, at least every direct allocated inetnum and inet6num needs to have an “abuse-c:”. Inherited objects might have their own “abuse-c:” attribute or they will be covered by the higher level objects.

The role objects used for abuse contact information will be required to contain a single “abuse-mailbox:” attribute which is intended for receiving automatic and manual reports about abusive behavior originating in the resource holders' networks.

The “abuse-mailbox:” attribute must be available in an unrestricted way via whois, APIs and future techniques.

The RIPE NCC will validate the “abuse-mailbox:” attribute at least annually. Where the attribute is deemed incorrect, it will follow up in compliance with relevant RIPE Policies and RIPE NCC procedures. 

As per current practice, other "e-mail:" attributes can be included for any other purposes.

2.0 Attribution

The RIPE NCC will validate the “abuse-mailbox:” attribute at least every six months. Where the attribute is deemed incorrect, it will follow up in compliance with relevant RIPE Policies and RIPE NCC procedures. 

As per current practice, other "e-mail:" attributes can be included for any other purposes.

2.0 About the "abuse-mailbox"

  • Emails sent to "abuse-mailbox":
  • Require intervention by the recipient
  • Must not require the reporter to complete a form
  • Must guarantee that abuse reports and related logs, examples, or email headers are received 

3.0 Objectives of "abuse-mailbox" validation

The procedure, which will be developed by the RIPE NCC, must meet the following objectives:

  1. A simple process that guarantees the abuse contact is able to fulfil its intended purpose.
  2. Confirm that the resource holder understands the procedure and the policy, that they regularly monitor the abuse-mailbox, that measures are taken, and that abuse reports receive a response.
  3. Initial validation period of no longer than 15 days.
  4. If validation fails, escalate to other LIR contacts and set a new validation period not to exceed 15 days.

4.0 Validation of “abuse-mailbox"

The RIPE NCC will validate compliance with the items above, both when the "abuse-c:" and/or "abuse-mailbox:" attributes are created or updated, as well as periodically, not less than once every six months, and additionally whenever RIPE NCC sees fit.
Lack of compliance will lead to a more  exhaustive follow-up, in accordance the relevant RIPE NCC policies, procedures or contractual requirements.

5.0 Escalation to the RIPE NCC

Fraudulent behaviour (for example, an  "abuse-mailbox" that only replies to the RIPE NCC's emails or to messages with a specific subject or content), or failure to comply with the remaining aspects of  this policy (incorrect or lack of responses to abuse cases) can be reported to the RIPE NCC for a re-validation as per section 4.0.

6.0 Attribution

This document is developed by the RIPE community.

The following people actively contributed by making proposals through the RIPE Policy Development Process:

Tobias Knecht


Get Involved

The Anti-Abuse Working Group is open to anyone with an interest in combating network abuse. Areas such as cybersquatting and hosting illegal content are beyond the scope of the WG. The WG advises relevant parties such as Internet service providers (ISPs), governments and law enforcement agencies on both technical and non-technical methods of tackling abuse. This mailing list was previously the “anti-spam-wg”, the archives of which are still publicly available on the RIPE NCC website. To post a message to the list, send an email to [email protected] Please note that only subscribers can post messages.

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