Opened 8 months ago

Closed 4 months ago

Last modified 4 months ago

#21880 closed enhancement (fixed)

Protected E-mail Headers (Enigmail)

Reported by: cypherpunks Owned by: sukhbir
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/TorBirdy Version:
Severity: Minor Keywords:
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Enigmail allows the encryption of the subject line, References, etc. for PGP/MIME-Messages (The orginal subject line becomes part of the encrypted MIME-part). This feature is already build in an can be enabled by setting the following options in Thunderbird's about:config.

extensions.enigmail.protectHeaders true
Protect sensitive headers of encrypted messages, such as the subject. The original header is moved into the encrypted message and replaced by a dummy value (such as "Encrypted Message"). This is part of the Memory Hole standard that is currently being developed.

extensions.enigmail.protectedSubjectText Encrypted Message
Text to use as replacement for the subject, following the Memory Hole standard. If nothing is defined, then "Encrypted Message" is used. [1]

(Remark: if not set, "Encrypted Message" might be translated)

This feature is not unique to Enigmmail and has been implemented to other platforms but unfortunately it's not that wide-spread [2] either. That means, that in the worst case, the other side will just see "Encrypted Message" as subject line---but that seems to me a rather small trade-off.

[1] https://enigmail.wiki/Advanced_Operations
[2] https://github.com/ModernPGP/memoryhole

Child Tickets

Change History (7)

comment:1 Changed 5 months ago by cypherpunks

Priority: Very LowMedium

I'm using enigmail for a long time, but I never realized this settings is exist! Setting it now.

This will be a good addition to TorBirdy.

comment:2 Changed 5 months ago by sukhbir

I like the idea and I also remember we discussed this around 2013 when we had started working on TorBirdy but at that time the discussion was that we should warn users that the subject will not be encrypted. So bonus points for actually encrypted mail headers.

That means, that in the worst case, the other side will just see "Encrypted Message" as subject line---but that seems to me a rather small trade-off.

I just need to confirm this part before I make the change.

comment:3 Changed 5 months ago by cypherpunks

@sukhbir

I just need to confirm this part before I make the change.

Both sides are using Enigmail, and they see "Encrypted Message" or "Re: Encrypted Message".
This is not a serious issue IMO.

comment:4 Changed 5 months ago by cypherpunks

Wrong.

If both sides are using enigmail, they will see "Encrypted Message" but addon automatically
changed to original title. Very useful and secure.

Add this to TorBirdy, sukhbir.

comment:5 in reply to:  4 Changed 5 months ago by cypherpunks

Replying to cypherpunks:

Wrong.

If both sides are using enigmail, they will see "Encrypted Message" but addon automatically
changed to original title. Very useful and secure.

Add this to TorBirdy, sukhbir.

@cypherpunks
If the recipient uses enigmail he/she's going to see the original title (ok, after a second or so), no further addon is needed (even without him/her having set the option, if the she/he replies to the sender without having the option set the original title gets lost)

It won't work with sides that just support inline-PGP (like protonmail, nothing changes, because the title is put into pgp/mime-part and the option has no effect on inline-pgp), i guess it wouldn't work with Mailvelope either, etc. put overall most people don't trust js-cryptogryphy probably won't use a service that requires their private-key to be on thair server anyway.

@sukhbir
Maybe just add an option (pref. menu) to turn it on/off.

Last edited 5 months ago by cypherpunks (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 4 months ago by sukhbir

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

Thanks for working on this ticket. This is merged in 4fd21e7c854 and will be a part of the next release. There is an option to disable this setting in case a user doesn't want it or it breaks their encrypted email communication.

comment:7 Changed 4 months ago by sukhbir

(To be clear, this only affects the subject and references header for now so only those is encrypted.) *

  • - edited to include references
Last edited 4 months ago by sukhbir (previous) (diff)
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