[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Mandatory email verification

> From: "Dr. D.C. Williams" <[email protected]>
> Is anyone aware of a way to modify sendmail to require a verified digital
> signature for all mail sent?

This would be very difficult to do in the short-term because of the
current problems of few PKCAs and the relatively poor intergration of
signatures into current mail user agents.

But, rather than providing user-keyed authentication, it should be
possible for you to set up your sendmail so that you could prove that
an _outgoing_ message did or did not originate at your site (e.g.
rather than verify userx sent it you can say with reasonable certainty
that [email protected] sent that message.)  Create a public key pair for
the mail system.  Messages being sent out are given a signature based
upon the user who sent the message (the person who invoked
sendmail...), so if someone tried to forge mail that had the 
appearance of coming from your site you would be able to at least show
that it was not actually sent from the @foo.bar mail system.  It is
not too difficult to push the system a little further and be able to
show that if the message does have such a signature then either the
user did send the message or the originating system was hacked.  A
few more quick hacks would let someone send a mail message to the site
given on the From line and have it check the signature and report back
on whether or not the message was obviously forged or if it has the
right sending signatures.  

Such a system would only take a few hours of hacking to get
operational, and users would not be significantly inconvenienced by
it's operation and would only need to query it if they wanted to check
the validity of a message...