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webmail encryption broken...?

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webmail encryption broken...?

Just tried to use the encryption facility via two of my mailbox accounts on force9. Sent to each account the other public key and added to each other's address book. But when trying to reply and encrypting I get a security msg about display of secure and non-secure items (ok) and then in the msg the following text

Public key for ....@.....force9.co.uk cannot be used (invalid format?)

The facility would be quite useful when out and about away from home and therefore not using my usual mail client.

If it does work, then waht's the trick...?

Thanks, Richard
8 REPLIES
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@Mail & PKI

Hi Richard,

The problems with @mail and its PKI encryption feature has been known about and was discovered by another F9 user and there was a number of discussion threads previously in a forum (sorry! it was a while back & I cannot recall which forum it was in or who the user was!).

I seem to recall that @mails keyring didnt allow a user to add his or other users public or private keys to the @mail ring or something like this. I cannot remember the exact details as I said it was a few months back.

**Have you had a look at PGP (the freeware version well it used to be freely available before but I dont know if it still is?). PGP is a fantastic program and works brilliantly if setup correctly.

Ivan
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webmail encryption broken...?

Thanks Ivan.

I have WinPT and GnuPG which work fine. Thunderbird and enigmail work fine when connected to f9 at home. However my main interest was in webmail because I'm frequently away home when at least as far as I understand it I cannot connect directly to the mail-servers - unless I'm missing something...?

Richard.
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Getting your mail

Hi Richard

What makes you think you wont be able to connect to the F9 mail servers even if your outside of the UK or on the move away from home? As far as I am aware there shouldnt be any problems doing that provided you just have the correct hostname (such as relay.force9.net or mail.force9.net) or the F9 mail servers actual IP address. Even if your mailing or collecting mail whilst staying in hotels or from cyber cafe's or airports,etc.

**As you say one of the advantages of the F9 @mail web based email application is that you dont need to have an email client program on your laptop etc.

**OK the only limitation you might come up against is using a slow dialup connection then agree that @mail might be a problem, in terms of being too slow for practical use on the move.

Ivan
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webmail encryption

Connections direct to mail servers do of course work away from the home connection. Thanks. Alas, my employer's setup blocks IMAP and SMTP ports to remote servers which is a pain and encryption on their mail servers is banned.

So I'm still a bit stuck without a working webmail system supporting encryption.

Richard.
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Work around blocking

Hi Richard,

OK I understand what you are saying and Yes! I can see how annoying it must be with your employers policy of blocking ports for IMAP & SMTP. So OK you cannot encrypt mail on the fly as it where (where the email client encrypts & decrypts the messages) but I would maintain that this wouldnt stop you using a program like PGP, so OK you might have to manually encypt & decrypt mail but to be honest HOW much more of a hassle is that? it takes a few extra mouse clicks or a couple of extra key strokes. This might also be a way of working around the blocked IMAP & SMTP ports issue, due to the fact that an email encypted with PGP is still seen by a server as a normal mail message, its only the contents which are scrambled. So this might still a useful option dont know what you think?

Ivan
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webmail encryption broken...?

Ivan,

I agree, a few mouse clicks and that would be fine. However, ....

My employer's policies are...
- block incoming encrypted messages to its mail servers
- block outgoing encrypted messages from its servers
- block access to external mail servers
- a host of what some might consider to be draconian measures
and I understand the reasons why.

I have some external contacts who are senstive about the topics for some e-mails, hence their desire for encryption.

So access to webmail with support for encryption would be a suitable work around for me to continue dialogue with these contacts and for me to use my domestic e-mail provision.

f9 support suggests that things should be okay. I've relayed to them the precise steps I have taken which lead me to believe that @Mail's encryption facility does not seem to work as deployed by f9. Hopefully, I'm wrong and I've made a trivial mistake somewhere along the line ...

Richard.
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@mail more

Hi Richard,

Gosh!! as you so rightly said and I agree with you, your employers security policy on email does seem pretty draconian. I know security is very important these days but in some cases such policies can end up looking abit counter productive and can actually tip the balance more towards making life more difficult for staff or for secure communications.

**Frankly I cannot see how your employer could block an encypted email if you used PGP becuase as I said too you before, its only the body or text which is scrambled not the header information. So to a mail server your PGP message looks like any ordinary email.

**Yes! now you've given abit more detail I can understand your point of view and @mail would seem to meet all the criteria you need (shame about the encryption not working as required). But seems like it should work as its a feature provided with the application.

Ivan
N/A

@mail more

Hi Richard,

Gosh!! as you so rightly said and I agree with you, your employers security policy on email does seem pretty draconian. I know security is very important these days but in some cases such policies can end up looking abit counter productive and can actually tip the balance more towards making life more difficult for staff or for secure communications.

**Frankly I cannot see how your employer could block an encypted email if you used PGP becuase as I said too you before, its only the body or text which is scrambled not the header information. So to a mail server your PGP message looks like any ordinary email.

**Yes! now you've given abit more detail I can understand your point of view and @mail would seem to meet all the criteria you need (shame about the encryption not working as required). But seems like it should work as its a feature provided with the application.

Ivan