Secure “Mail”

Mail. I seem to have written a number of blogs about it. Here’s another. I was interested in the TED talk by Andy Yen and ProtonMail and the subsequent news story about how their servers were brought down by a DDoS attack.  It got me thinking…secure communications, using a third party? However secure the pieces might be, you’ve still got servers to store and forward your message. Well why not cut the middle-man out for added security? Why not the digital equivalent of hand delivery, without the post office? If you want to send a secure message from your machine to your friend, don’t try until you are both online then use peer-to-peer with public/private cryptography. This is probably not within the definition of “email” but it could be made to interface with users just like email. If you know your own machine is secure you don’t need to worry about third parties as the communication goes direct to your peer when they come online.

Of course, there are third party network providers and the packets go through their equipment but seems like a big improvement to me even though you’ve sacrificed the store  and forward functionality for better security.

Of course, if I looked, I’d no doubt find a bunch of products which did this but there’s nothing wrong with re-inventing the wheel, if it’s just an idea 🙂

MacMail – Get Back to Simple.

To carry on the last post, and yes another Mac bashing post, my scanner worked quickly and easily on Centos, another win for Centos! I then ran into a nasty Mail problem, the one where it uses up all memory because it tries to load gargantuan debug enabled log files on startup and zip them. This is described copiously on forums. In my case the log files are created by one IMAP mail account which constantly tries to update the mailbox into the 100,000s of messages, thus producing a 20G debug log file.

I thought initially this poblem was caused by GPGSuite (which did not initially work with El Capitan) so I removed it after copying that set of tools to Centos. However, it turned out not to be the problem so I put the latest GPGSuite back on the Mac.

In the meantime I had spent an hour or so with first line Apple Support who had no idea about the problem and simply ran through the standard troubleshooting steps.

As I’ve said before, the system has become so complex, I don’t think anyone understands it. Get back to simple!