Related to email protocols, clients, servers, content, and message format.

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160
votes
3answers
24k views

Don't understand how my mum's Gmail account was hacked

My mum (on Gmail, using Chrome) received an email from a friend's Hotmail address. She opened the email (very obviously a phishing email) and clicked a link in it. This opened a webpage with loads of ...
97
votes
9answers
11k views

How can PayPal spoof emails so easily to say it comes from someone else?

When I receive a payment in PayPal, it sends me an email about it (pictured below). The problem is that the email is shown to be coming from the money sender's email address and not from PayPal ...
63
votes
12answers
21k views

Is Google overreaching by forcing me to use TLS?

Gmail was recently changed to require HTTPS for everyone, whether they want to use it or not. While I realize that HTTPS is more secure, what if one doesn't care about security for certain accounts? ...
62
votes
4answers
9k views

What are the security reasons for disallowing the plus sign in email addresses?

My question is based on this tweet after I commented about forbidding + symbols in email addresses. The tweet says, "This is a measure we've taken for security reasons." This can be frustrating and ...
56
votes
5answers
16k views

Is sending password to user email secure?

How secure is sending passwords through email to a user, since email isn't secured by HTTPS. What is the best way to secure it? Should i use encryption?
53
votes
4answers
3k views

Is using 'dot' and 'at' in email addresses in public text still useful?

When entering your email address publicly, a practice is to replace . with text dot and @ with text at. I assume that the reasoning is that this way automatic email-collector robots won't match your ...
42
votes
3answers
8k views

Paypal sent an email addressing me with one of my old passwords as my name

I got this email from service@intl.paypal.com, with the title: Your account has been limited until we hear from you. I think this is a scam / spoof email because I don't see any notification in my ...
38
votes
10answers
2k views

Cryptography that looks like ordinary email

I would like to stay out of the automatic filters in place by security agencies and not be accidentally placed on a no-fly list or such. Say I'm having a political debate with a friend about democracy ...
33
votes
2answers
9k views

What malicious things can happen when clicking on links in email?

I've received a spam from one of my friends (well I'm sure he didn't send it). so there's this link, and i'd thought what exactly would be the implications of clicking the link (i've not clicked it ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

If email is insecure, why do we use it for password resets?

I found myself telling a coworker today "Email is insecure, that's why we developed our secure report application." But then it struck me, Why is email considered insecure? If it is so insecure, why ...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does PGP work with the CC field in e-mails?

I was wondering how PGP works with a CC. In my understanding, if I send an e-mail to foo@example.com and use baz@example.org in the CC, Enigmail would have to encrypt the e-mail once for every user ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Is email less secure than voicemail, snail mail, or internet portals for transferring sensitive information?

Where I am in the US, health care providers refuse to send anything through email (e.g. even something as trivial as an appointment reminder). Often they claim that email is not secure. Instead they ...
29
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it illegal to read an e-mail that was accidentally sent to you?

I'm not sure if this is the right website to ask this but I'm giving it a shot. I got the following message in an email today: (it's translated so sorry for the typo's/mistakes) This e-mail and ...
28
votes
10answers
6k views

How to explain to a customer that spamfilters don't catch everything

I used to work in a small office which provided basic desktop support for users. One day I had to answer a call from a very angry customer and he asked for my boss. He wanted to know how could one ...
27
votes
4answers
17k views

How does PGP differ from S/MIME?

Is S/MIME an abstracted system for general MIME type encryption, whereas PGP is more for email? Why would I want to choose one over the other, or can I use both at the same time?
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Tell people that I can encrypt emails

I know that it is still not very easy to use PGP for an average user. However, the situation is improving (there are some easy plugins that can even nicely integrate into your GMail webmail). In ...
24
votes
4answers
14k views

What steps do Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail take to prevent eavesdropping on email?

I would like to ask what happens when an email is sent from gmail, yahoo or hotmail public web email services? I don't understand email protocols in details, but as far as I know email traffic is ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

What real world benefits does PGP have over sending email with SSL/TLS such as with HTTPS?

I've been learning about PGP, and I asked myself, "Why?" For example, if I'm using https://mail.google.com, then what benefit would adding PGP offer that would justify it being used? I can ...
22
votes
5answers
27k views

Is it still unsafe to email credit card number nowadays?

We all know not to do it, but someone emailed my credit card number and cvv code to my gmail. I'm wondering if the risk is so low I don't have to call to cancel my card. The email is sent from a ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the email header-line “message opened by mailclient” mean?

Today a Belgian MP claimed (backed up by a security expert) that her email headers show that her email was read during routing (text in Dutch). The published screenshot of the headers highlights the ...
22
votes
5answers
69k views

How to find out the IP address of email sender in Gmail

Gmail doesn't give the IP address of the sender in its mail headers for security reasons. I'd like to know whether there is some other way of getting the IP address of the sender. Since Gmail ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

How long should an e-mail address confirmation link last and why must it expire at all?

After a user registers an e-mail is sent to them with a link they must click on to activate the account. I know other sites have a limit on the amount of time the user has to click the link, else the ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

The registration confirmation email contains my password: do they keep it in plaintext?

I was kind of shocked when I just received my confirmation mail from the shop where I just registered myself: they sent my username (which is my email address) and the password I typed in. The ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there anything standing in the way of email encryption going mainstream? [closed]

PGP has been around for almost 20 years, but email encryption is not used by most 'regular people'. At the moment, with Snowden's NSA revelations (which should not be a huge surprise to anyone), the ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Would 'spam' mail really avoid eavesdropping?

spammimic.com offers a service that 'encrypts' your mail as 'spam', the rationale being that all mail services automatically filter out spam, and so if you're wanting to communicate with someone ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the supposed security benefits of a “dead-drop” email strategy?

This was in the news recently. Here's what they were said to have been doing: Petraeus and Broadwell apparently used a trick, known to terrorists and teenagers alike, to conceal their email ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

What type of content better not to transfer by email?

Email is one of the main tools of business communication. On the other hand, it is not a secure way of communication. But to what extent it is not secure? I have always wondered how sensible it is ...
17
votes
4answers
17k views

Is it possible to easily retrieve Thunderbird's passwords with access to HDD?

I know Firefox 8 stores it's passwords in a SQLite database, which can easily be stolen with access to the HDD! What about Thunderbird 8? How does it store the passwords and how can one retieve them? ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How does Bayesian poisoning work?

This answer mentions Bayesian poisoning in passing and I've read the wikipedia page but don't feel I've fully grasped it. The first case, where a spammer sends a spam with a payload (link, malicious ...
17
votes
4answers
953 views

Is it a bad idea for an information holder to e-mail a user their password?

A couple of websites with which I'm registered have, after a period of inactivity on my part, each sent me an e-mail to remind me that I'm still registered. In each case, that e-mail has included my ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How does preventing automatic download of pictures help to protect my privacy?

When viewing some emails in Microsoft Outlook, if the sender has included images, I get the following option appear at the top of the email: "To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I protect against email tracking services?

Recently a free service came out for email tracking, bananatag. It's able to track the fact that the email was read in gmail without any notice or strange inclusions in the email body. In this case ...
15
votes
6answers
997 views

When secure email, is not really secure

We have a vendor who sends us "secure" messages. The messages come as an email message that contains a link to an SSL encrypted website that has the real message. There is no username/password on the ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Is this “Domain Registration Service” email a scam?

I received an email to the email address listed on our website (it's a generic info@ourcompany.com to help "weed out" spam, whereas each employee has something like andreas@ourcompany.com to which I ...
15
votes
3answers
381 views

What expectation of privacy is there with US-based vendors with the LavaBit and SilentCircle shutdown?

Lavabit hosts a secure messaging service that was recently shut down. Likewise SilentCircle has preemptively done the same thing with their email-based service. It seems that the justification for ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Does my PGP key really need to match the e-mail address for which I'll be using it?

In considering whether or not I want to join the big web o' trust and put my keys on a key server, I got to thinking about how it would affect my e-mail address' exposure. I generally try to keep my ...
14
votes
9answers
5k views

Encrypting email for gmail

My friend who is an accountant was asking me what the best way to exchange documents with clients. He was trying to tell me that just sending via email was sufficient and I told him he was insane. I ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

For users that does not use PGP, what would be the other channel to securely send them a document?

I would like to send a document that is confidential to users that have no clue what PGP is (so no point in teaching them how to install it etc...) via email. The real question is how to do that? ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I safely inspect a suspicious email attachment?

I received a pretty blatantly spammy email to my Gmail account. I'm not really sure how it made it through the spam filters, since it has all of the telltale signs. The FROM field is spoofed as ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Paypal Account created using my gmail account

Some time ago, probably about 6 months, somebody hacked my email account and used gmail settings to forward my emails to him/her. I noticed that, removed the forward and changed the password. Now, I ...
12
votes
7answers
20k views

Can my email account be accessed without the password? How secure is it?

Can my email account be accessed without the password, and how secure is email if I store my personal documents on it? And how come Yahoo Mail asks me to tell them my friends and folders names to ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why would someone want to block images in email?

While there is the possibility that this is just to prevent people from viewing offensive images against their will, somehow I don't think that's the reason why pretty much every email client defaults ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Identity-Based Encryption - how secure is it?

I was always taught never to invent my own crypto algorithm, and never to trust someone who has a proprietary algorithm. I'm looking at Voltage SecureMail, which uses IBE (identity-based encryption) ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I change phone number and e-mail address after PayPal fraud?

I have been the victim of PayPal fraud. I hadn't used PayPal in a year and then within 9 days there were three unauthorized transactions on my account for a total of 150 Canadian dollars and 290 ...
12
votes
3answers
790 views

Can I expect my e-mail to be routed securely?

If I connect to my e-mail server via SSL (SMTP/SSL) and the recipient also only checks his e-mail via SSL (web/https or IMAP/SSL), does this - generally speaking - increase the security for the ...
12
votes
3answers
444 views

Is it inconsistent to tell users to “not click on password links in email”, and requiring clicks on “forgot password” links?

On one hand, IT Security shops have been telling users to not click on links in email because they can do damage to your computer, or phish your personal information. Many of those issues are ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Forgotten password or reset link, which is more secure to email?

I originally posted this as a reply here in this thread but didn't get much feedback on it, and now I'm curious as to what others think is the best approach, or if there is any difference between the ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the hacker manage to spoof a different IP address?

For the last 2 days, +/- every 15 minutes, someone is attempting to sign-in to my online email account. When I verify recent activity, the IP address (and the corresponding country) is different for ...
11
votes
5answers
656 views

what would be a good way for a doctor to send xrays encrypted to another doctor?

As a dentist, I often want to send medical information including digital xrays to another doctor. What would be a good/easy way to do this encrypted? Our organization currently requires that all ...
11
votes
3answers
11k views

Is a password protected PDF file safe for bank statement attachments?

My bank emails my monthly statement to me in a password protected PDF attachment. Is this a secure method of transmitting something as sensitive as bank statement?