Author Topic: E-Mail Encryption Contest  (Read 11620 times)

Offline t00nces2

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E-Mail Encryption Contest
« on: April 28, 2013, 03:23:17 PM »
I would like to get people interested in using encryption and signatures in email. I think it is a very important skill and interested people should take the time to learn. I think we may be able to get a group together trading encrypted and signed email and once learned, may be able to get other people interested. So....

t00nces2 and crypto spent a day configuring our email client to trade encrypted and signed email. This is not a simple thing to do but it is not rocket science. We both had some experience with the programs and had worked with them in the past. We both thought it was too bad more people did not use these tools. So...

We decided to make a bit of a contest to see if we could get people interested in configuring an email account to send and receive encrypted email. First prize will be a silver pre '64 quarter. Second place will receive a 1oz TSP copper.

The rules for the contest are as follows:


1. Send an e-mail to t00nces2@yahoo.com and crypto@libertyassociate.com letting us know you are interested.

2. We will reply Monday morning (since this contest is posted Sunday night, the contest this week will start Tues morn) with the programs you will need, the websites we found useful, our public key, and any advice we would like to pass along.

3. You can reply with any questions, I will do my best, but the questions will be answered at our convenience.

4. The first person to reply to both of us with an signed and encrypted email and answer our encrypted reply will win a silver quarter, second place will win a copper TSP round.

5. No results of the contest will be given until Saturday morning (so those who do not win first or second will not be discouraged and quit trying)

6. If you sign up for a week, that is your one shot at a prize (you are on your honor), no banking info to fire off an encrypted e-mail next Monday evening.

The first thing you will need to have is Mozilla Thunderbird email client. This is not the only program that can be used, but it is the program we both used and were most familiar with. You can find the program here ---> https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/  If you have a different OS than windows, do a search for Mozilla Thunderbird and your OS.

We will keep the game going as long as there is interest in learning the skill.

Good luck and let the games begin!

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 04:23:11 PM »
Hello Everyone.

As t00nces2 has posted, we are having a BLAST with this new skill.  So please consider joining in the fun by entering this contest!

For those of you who haven't been exposed to email encryption, here is a brief explanation.  Encrypted email is a means by which two parties can send each other messages that are all but impossible for anyone else to intercept and read.  This is accomplished by the use of virtual "keys".  Each person has two keys which are mathematically (almost magically!) linked.  One is a "public" key which is shared with others whom you exchange emails.  The other one is a "private" key which you keep safe and secure on your system and don't share with anyone.  The purpose of the public key is to encrypt messages.  It is like a virtual padlock.  Once a message is locked with a public key, it becomes unreadable until the corresponding private key is used to unlock it.

So, by giving your public key to others they can lock messages in such a way that only you can open them with your private key.  Similarly, you can use their public key to lock a message to them so that only they can open it with their private key.  In other words, by exchanging public keys we can send email to each other which no-one else can read!  With the modern software, this is practically automatic. 

We look forward to exchanging encrypted messages with you!

- iam4liberty (crypto@libertyassociate.com)

Offline archer

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 11:25:04 PM »
you might as well post your public keys here or let us know if you have put them on a public key server.

or did i just disqualify myself?

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 07:28:44 AM »
We considered posting our keys but we felt that would give an advantage to someone ahead of someone else. We are also hoping that someone who already has PGP configured and understands it won't just fire off an email to win a coin. The prizes are inexpensive enough that we are hoping to get people interested in giving it a try who are sincerely interested in encryption and not necessarily interested in the coin, but the coins sweeten the deal a little. We want as fair a contest as We can get. I (I hope crypto too, but this is the first shot out of the box) am going to reply to each interested party so no one will be discouraged by a large number of people and become frustrated and quit.

Thank you,
Todd

Offline archer

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 08:04:26 AM »
We considered posting our keys but we felt that would give an advantage to someone ahead of someone else. We are also hoping that someone who already has PGP configured and understands it won't just fire off an email to win a coin. The prizes are inexpensive enough that we are hoping to get people interested in giving it a try who are sincerely interested in encryption and not necessarily interested in the coin, but the coins sweeten the deal a little. We want as fair a contest as We can get. I (I hope crypto too, but this is the first shot out of the box) am going to reply to each interested party so no one will be discouraged by a large number of people and become frustrated and quit.

Thank you,
Todd

better exclude me from the drawing then. i setup gpg/pgp years ago and still use it periodically....

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2013, 08:54:10 AM »
better exclude me from the drawing then. i setup gpg/pgp years ago and still use it periodically....

Well, please be part of the community. I would like to have a group that can help others and trade encrypted email. The reason I have gotten to the point where I had to relearn the skill is because I had no one to communicate with that understood how to send encrypted mail. It is not just logging onto a server via a browser, it is adding another program and learning to configure and use it, and then actually using it. Unless you have any interest, the skill just atrophy's.

As far as being excluded, you would be the best judge on whether or not to exclude yourself. If the group we get all have a similar experience, then I wouldn't necessarily exclude you. If I have two people who have never even heard of the programs before, I would present you with the facts and let you consider whether or not you felt it would be better to pass it along to someone who did manage to work through it successfully.

In the end, I am trying to work together a group that will want to exchange encrypted mail with other people who are working to expand their survival skills and abilities.

Offline archer

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 01:56:22 PM »
oh i'll be part of the community. i just wont run in the contest...

Offline Entity

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 07:31:37 PM »
I used to use this, and am tempted to go back to it.  I got frustrated in the end by the response of many of " your email's broken, I keep getting this large block of junk text". And only have a couple of corrisponants that knew what it was and used it made it a hassle most of the time

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 11:58:04 AM »
I used to use this, and am tempted to go back to it.  I got frustrated in the end by the response of many of " your email's broken, I keep getting this large block of junk text". And only have a couple of corrisponants that knew what it was and used it made it a hassle most of the time

Well, fire off a mail. There are at least a few here who are using PGP. If they aren't using PGP, the will get a large block of unreadable text.

Offline idelphic

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 01:27:20 PM »
Here's a question.. I don't have TB installed anymore,.. with more then 6 email accounts, it got to be a bit problematic.  I know that TB has PGP in it,.. but most of my tools are of the portable kind... yes there is TB that is portable (www.portableapps.com).  But again,.. get's a bit finiky...

How would you suggest participation in that case?

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 03:17:40 PM »
Here's a question.. I don't have TB installed anymore,.. with more then 6 email accounts, it got to be a bit problematic.  I know that TB has PGP in it,.. but most of my tools are of the portable kind... yes there is TB that is portable (www.portableapps.com).  But again,.. get's a bit finiky...

How would you suggest participation in that case?

Well, I have a few accounts. Some I don't really use. I grabbed t00nces2@xxx.com from alot of free sites, so I just used one of those accounts. Perhaps one account is not used very much. Perhaps a free Yahoo or Gmail account.

Thunderbird allows you to pull e-mail off the server, leave e-mail on the server, or pull e-mail off server in x amount of time. If you just told T-bird to leave messages on the server, it would have no effect on what your other mail clients got as mail. However, if one of your clients was configured to pull the mail off the server, the T-bird might have no opportunity to collect it before it is pulled off the server.

As far as having 6 accounts, you can configure T-bird to handle all 6 accounts it the one client.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 09:47:36 PM »
Here's a question.. I don't have TB installed anymore,.. with more then 6 email accounts, it got to be a bit problematic.  I know that TB has PGP in it,.. but most of my tools are of the portable kind... yes there is TB that is portable (www.portableapps.com).  But again,.. get's a bit finiky...

How would you suggest participation in that case?

In addition to what t00nces2 suggested, there are also webmail implementations.   For example, mailvelope http://www.mailvelope.com/ for firefox and chrome is a popular one.  And roundcube announced that they will be adding PGP encryption within an upcoming implementation.

Offline idelphic

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 08:52:19 AM »
Well, I have a few accounts. Some I don't really use. I grabbed t00nces2@xxx.com from alot of free sites, so I just used one of those accounts. Perhaps one account is not used very much. Perhaps a free Yahoo or Gmail account.

Thunderbird allows you to pull e-mail off the server, leave e-mail on the server, or pull e-mail off server in x amount of time. If you just told T-bird to leave messages on the server, it would have no effect on what your other mail clients got as mail. However, if one of your clients was configured to pull the mail off the server, the T-bird might have no opportunity to collect it before it is pulled off the server.

As far as having 6 accounts, you can configure T-bird to handle all 6 accounts it the one client.
Been there done that.  I used TB for a long time,.. and had several accounts configured, so I know what it will do.  Since I maintain such portability - my tools, browser and such - all live on a thumb drive... performance became a serious issue.  I suppose - if I really wanted to I could install it all on a computer,.. but I try to maintain as small of a footprint as possible,.. this way what I need to function is a part of my EDC.

Right now, I think I'm running just over 1GB in just one mailbox - now this includes attachments of course..  don't want / need to eat up my thumb drive with that data....

In addition to what t00nces2 suggested, there are also webmail implementations.   For example, mailvelope http://www.mailvelope.com/ for firefox and chrome is a popular one.  And roundcube announced that they will be adding PGP encryption within an upcoming implementation.
I'll have to look into that.

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 05:34:56 PM »
Hello We have our winners for week 1 of the configure encrypted e-mail message contest. SteveO and Dr John (in that order) have successfully sent me and crypto an encrypted e-mail and have successfully read our encrypted responses. SteveO will receive a pre '64 quarter and Dr John will be getting a TSP copper round. Congratulations guys! Great job!

Now week two rules for the contest are as follows:


1. Send an e-mail to t00nces2@yahoo.com and crypto@libertyassociate.com letting us know you are interested.

2. We will reply Monday morning with the programs you will need, the websites we found useful, our public key, and any advice we would like to pass along.

3. You can reply with any questions, I will do my best, but the questions will be answered at our convenience.

4. The first person to reply to both of us with an signed and encrypted email and answer our encrypted reply will win a silver quarter, second place will win a copper TSP round.

5. No results of the contest will be given until Friday afternoon (so those who do not win first or second will not be discouraged and quit trying)

6. If you sign up for a week, that is your one shot at a prize (you are on your honor), no banking info to fire off an encrypted e-mail next Monday evening.

You will need to have Mozilla Thunderbird email client. This is not the only program that can be used, but it is the program we both used and were most familiar with. You can find the program here ---> https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/  If you have a different OS than windows, do a search for Mozilla Thunderbird and your OS.

We will keep the game going as long as there is interest in learning the skill.

Good luck and let the games begin!

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2013, 07:07:05 PM »
Right now, I think I'm running just over 1GB in just one mailbox - now this includes attachments of course..  don't want / need to eat up my thumb drive with that data....

Did a quick search at portableapps.com.  Looks like several there use portable versions of GPG and WinPT for email encryption.  It would work like this:http://www.derekallard.com/blog/post/step-by-step-practical-encryption-with-winpt  Very elegant and thin.

Offline archer

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2013, 12:14:27 PM »
should we pick a public keyserver to host keys in? this would make it easier to update keys and also mean that it would be harder to take down than if we host our own.

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2013, 10:45:57 PM »
should we pick a public keyserver to host keys in? this would make it easier to update keys and also mean that it would be harder to take down than if we host our own.

Thunderbird automatically uses the SKS... keyserver by default. I have no problem with keyservers, it will just make the product easier to use.

My desire is to get people using encryption so google, yahoo, aol, et al cannot scan your email and use it for data mining. I fully appreciate that a very tiny fraction of the users have any idea what we are talking about, but in my opinion, it is a very important facet to be considered to help insure privacy. Why give away your private information just because you are using their free service. It is not free, you pay the price of ease with a sacrifice of your privacy and security.

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2013, 06:49:45 PM »
Why should you learn how to encrypt your correspondence?

"Dubbed the “Policy Violation Checker” in the patent filed May 2, the system would identify “problematic phrases” in documents like emails or other online documents run on Google’s Drive like presentations."

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/07/policy-checker-google-developing-feature-that-monitors-problematic-phrases/

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2013, 07:46:30 PM »
Wow.  When it rains, it pours:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57583743-38/senator-demands-doj-fbi-seek-warrants-to-read-e-mail/

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/aptos/ci_23210638/email-accounts-15-cabrillo-staff-and-employees-recently

The second one also brings up another positive for encryption.  Encrypted emails can be signed ensuring that the sender was who they said they were.  Thus, if someone hijacks your email account, they won't be able to impersonate you with anyone whom you exchanged passed keys.

Offline archer

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2013, 08:02:50 PM »
thanks for the quarter!

Offline Kagetsu

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2013, 07:01:26 PM »
 8)A very long time ago I was able to use encryption. Never tried it for email. I have Truecrypt but never learned how to use it. It's become another of my round 'tuit projects.

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2013, 11:45:35 AM »
8)A very long time ago I was able to use encryption. Never tried it for email. I have Truecrypt but never learned how to use it. It's become another of my round 'tuit projects.

I have used TrueCrypt and find it really cool. If you want to get 'round tuit, duit tuit now and get helpwitit.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2013, 02:05:05 PM »
Here you go:


Offline Cylon

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2013, 04:25:22 AM »
I'm very interested in this technology, but honestly have no idea where to begin or what's trustworthy.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2013, 05:53:24 PM »
I'm very interested in this technology, but honestly have no idea where to begin or what's trustworthy.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Yes. Send an e-mail to t00nces2@yahoo.com. I will help you out.

Offline ScottyK

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2013, 07:35:35 AM »
As we are figuring out how to encrypt our emails, I'd like to see a guide published featuring a step-by-step checklist on how to set it up. I especially would like it to be in the language suitable for the "non-techie".  Something I could fire off to my 60+ year old parents and they could follow along. Maybe this could be a group effort, as everybody contributes the parts they have figured out?

Also, is it wise to publish our emails here? How can we get in contact with everyone who wants to exchange encrypted emails? Does this forum offer private messages? I want to throw my email out there, but not have the spam bots pick it up.

Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2013, 08:47:09 PM »
As we are figuring out how to encrypt our emails, I'd like to see a guide published featuring a step-by-step checklist on how to set it up. I especially would like it to be in the language suitable for the "non-techie".  Something I could fire off to my 60+ year old parents and they could follow along. Maybe this could be a group effort, as everybody contributes the parts they have figured out?

Also, is it wise to publish our emails here? How can we get in contact with everyone who wants to exchange encrypted emails? Does this forum offer private messages? I want to throw my email out there, but not have the spam bots pick it up.

Hello. I would be glad to help you. I will need to send you my public key. It may or may not mean anything now, but it is the key someone would use to send me an encrypted email. Once you have worked your way through the installation of these programs (it is not unlikely that you already use Mozilla Thunderbird as an e-mail client), you will create a public/private key pair. You guard your private key and give out your public key so others can encrypt mail to you.

If you have not ever done this and have no idea what you are doing, I (we) have helped several people work their way through the setup and sending of mail.

First thing I would recommend would be to get an email address to use
for this project. Gmail, Yahoo, POP3 if you have one. Just an e-mail to
learn and practice the configuration with.

I would recommend using Mozilla Thunderbird as your client. It is not a
must, but it is the program I am most familiar with configuring. It also
has some nice crossover features that make configuration easier.
Thunderbird is an open source email program that is free to install and
use. It will hook up to your email account just like the browser on your
computer or Outlook client does, but has many features (like encryption)
that the others do not have or are difficult to configure. The encryption
will be done on your computer before it is ever sent to the email server
and will be decrypted on the recipients computer after it is pulled off
the server.

Here are the two sites I used to install and configure T-bird and PGP
and Enigmail.

http://www.enigmail.net/documentation/quickstart.php
https://securityinabox.org/en/thuderbird_encryption

I think it best to do in that order. Enigmail will automatically
recognize and incorporate the PGP and Thunderbird. Just follow the
instructions in the two sites and let me know if you have any questions.

I realize people may be hesitant to send me an email, but it will help you be able to check to make sure you have configured T-bird, GnuPG and Enigmail correctly.

As for teaching non techies, get it figured out and judge for yourself whether or not your parents would be capable (or have any interest in) configuring encryption. The fact is, it is not the most convenient way to correspond. To a certain degree, it is a pain in the ass.

As for publishing your e-mail, I did not ask for you to publish your e-mail anywhere, I asked for you to send t00nces2@yahoo.com an e-mail if you wanted help configuring PGP encryption. It is no trick. I do not want your email, other than to be able to trade signed and encrypted e-mail with someone, and possibly make a couple friends on the board I can work together with to accomplish new skills.

Like I said, create a throw away e-mail to use for the project. Once you learn, you can integrate it into an existing e-mail or create an email to use for encrypted correspondence.

Good Luck!
Todd

Offline Cylon

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2013, 10:48:39 AM »
Yes. Send an e-mail to t00nces2@yahoo.com. I will help you out.

E-mail sent.

Offline PrepperJim

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 07:51:49 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I've been working on encrypted email systems for Mac and iPhone. I am not some elitist MAC guy as I have an old 2007 Macbook Pro that just does not die. Besides, I am going to learn how to do encryption on a Window's based computer so that my wife can send me secure communications should it be necessary. Also, i want to have the capability to send encrypted emails on an Android tablet or phone. Then, I will have all the bases covered.

First off, download and install the GPGTools for Mac and read some of the FAQ's.

https://gpgtools.org/

I found the FAQ and documentation to be more valuable than the software. It goes over the basics of encryption and also leads you step by step on what it takes to communicate securely.

The only problem is that I could not get it to work with iMail. The solution is to use Thunderbird:

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

Free, easy.

Lastly is the iPhone. This was harder and I am just trying out this app. I think it cost $1.99. :

http://ipgmail.com/

I successfully imported my keyring to the app and sent an email. I also decoded a previous email. The decoding part was done via cut and paste, but was extremely easy. One other great feature is it integrates with Dropbox. My next foray is to encrypt some documents, put them in Dropbox and see if I can read them on my iPhone.

While I am relatively inexperienced at encryption, I think my experience on the Mac demonstrates that it is relatively easy to get started. If I can support anyone or answer questions, drop me a line at prepperjim@gmail.com


 


Offline t00nces2

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Re: E-Mail Encryption Contest
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2013, 04:16:31 PM »
Looks like our government had removed a major roadblock to spying on American citizens. Don't really need a reason or expect to find evidence anymore, they can listen without reason and invent a crime using the words of individual and their friends and relatives. The offer to teach e-mail encryption is still open and I will be happy to help you install and configure on your computer.

What was not earlier reported, the Post said, was the 2008 ban imposed by the court, at the government's request, on the very kinds of searches the Obama administration in 2011 got the court to allow once again.

The court decision written by Bates permitted the NSA "to query the vast majority" of its databases using email addresses and phone numbers of Americans and legal residents without a warrant.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/09/10/obama-white-house-had-nsa-limits-reversed.html