Despite all of the mechanisms provided by MIME  which attempt to
protect data from being damaged in the course of email transport, it
is still desirable to have a mechanism for verifying that the data,
once decoded, are intact. For this reason, this memo defines the use
of an optional header field, Content-MD5, which may be used as a
message integrity check (MIC), to verify that the decoded data are
the same data that were initially sent. The Content-MD5 header may
also be placed in the encapsulated headers of an object of type
message/external-body, to be used to verify that the retreived and
decoded data are the same data that were initially referenced.
MD5 is an algorithm for computing a 128 bit "digest" of arbitrary-
length data, with a high degree of confidence that any alterations in
the data will be reflected in alterations in the digest. The MD5
algorithm itself is defined in . This memo specifies how the
algorithm may be used as an integrity check for MIME mail.