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Author wbolster
Recipients barry, r.david.murray, wbolster
Date 2021-08-25.13:23:26
SpamBayes Score -1.0
Marked as misclassified Yes
Message-id <>
Various date parsing utilities in the email module, such as email.utils.parsedate(), are supposed to gracefully handle invalid input, typically by raising an appropriate exception or by returning None.

The internal email._parseaddr._parsedate_tz() helper used by some of these date parsing routines tries to be robust against malformed input, but unfortunately it can still crash ungracefully when a non-empty but whitespace-only input is passed. This manifests as an unexpected IndexError.

In practice, this can happen when parsing an email with only a newline inside a ‘Date:’ header, which unfortunately happens occasionally in the real world.

Here's a minimal example:

$ python
Python 3.9.6 (default, Jun 30 2021, 10:22:16) 
[GCC 11.1.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import email.utils
>>> email.utils.parsedate('foo')
>>> email.utils.parsedate(' ')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python3.9/email/", line 176, in parsedate
    t = parsedate_tz(data)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.9/email/", line 50, in parsedate_tz
    res = _parsedate_tz(data)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.9/email/", line 72, in _parsedate_tz
    if data[0].endswith(',') or data[0].lower() in _daynames:
IndexError: list index out of range

The fix is rather straight-forward; will open a pull request shortly.
Date User Action Args
2021-08-25 13:23:27wbolstersetrecipients: + wbolster, barry, r.david.murray
2021-08-25 13:23:27wbolstersetmessageid: <>
2021-08-25 13:23:27wbolsterlinkissue45001 messages
2021-08-25 13:23:26wbolstercreate