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Old 31 Dec 2020, 01:35 PM   #1
dynaco120
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Need An Email Client That Saves Decrypted Email.

I am long time user of Pine/Alpine on Slackware. Recently I thought it would be nice to have the ability to send and receive encrypted email so after generating a key pair with openssl, I configured Alpine for S/MIME encryption. I found it worked easily and I was generally pleased with its performance with one exception. I could not find a way of saving the email in its decrypted form.

My first choice would be to find a way of saving email in its decrypted form in Alpine, but I am pretty much convinced after trying several things that this is not going to happen. My second choice would be another Linux text based client that I could use from a shell login, but that is probably not going to happen either. Lastly I would consider any email client, Windows or Linux, that would allow you to save your email after you have read it in its decrypted form. Is there such a beast?
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Old 31 Dec 2020, 07:49 PM   #2
chrisretusn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 714
Wow, I have not used Pine or Alpine in ages. I am using Elm for my local mail. It may be possible to configure Alpine to print to a file.

I am also a Slackware user (64-current).

I currently use Claws Mail which does have encryption capabilities.

I don't use encryption that much, not many folks I know can handle it.

I ran a test with S-MIME. My test example without the From and To addresses.
Code:
Subject: test
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 17:32:02 +0800
X-Mailer: Claws Mail 3.99.0 (GTK+ 3.24.24; x86_64-slackware-linux-gnu)

This is a test.
I am able to save the messages body "This is a test." to a file in the clear, but that is the only part saved, nothing else.

I can also print the message to a file (PDF) in the clear with From, To, Subject, etc.

I also tested with the other options available PGP Inline and PGP MIME, same results.
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Old 5 Jan 2021, 03:08 AM   #3
dynaco120
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
@chrisretusn

Thanks for the reply and the testing. It appears Claws Mail works pretty much like Alpine. Anything you can do to save the content strips the header and also any attachments. I guess I am going to say "uncle" and continue with clear text email, and if something comes up that I feel that is confidential enough to warrant encryption, I will use the telephone.

It is really too bad. I think until email clients provide an option to decrypt once after transit and save as a normal email, it will never become mainstream. There are so many ways to encrypt files without the use of certificates, that I really do not see the need to to maintain S/MIME encryption for email at rest.

Another downside is that saving email in encrypted form makes it hard to do searches through past emails. I would really miss not being able to use grep or pico to quickly search email files.
.
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Old 9 Jan 2021, 02:05 PM   #4
emoore
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 231
See https://thunderbird.topicbox.com/gro...7d482a75e4af98 . The enigmail add-on for Thunderbird used to have an option to save decrypted mail. Version 78 of Thunderbird doesn't support that add-on, its been replaced by integrated code for PGP/S-MIME. However, it doesn't have a similar option yet to save decrypted messages. Its not clear when that might be added as its not listed in the post version 78 roadmap

If you want to use an old version of Thunderbird that supports the enigmail add-on I'd suggest version 52. They started to add support for the WebExtension API in version 60, which causes complications. Most security bugs in Thunderbird are really security bugs in the Gecko layout engine which have no effect on email accounts in Thunderbird because javascript is disabled by default. Even the Mozilla security advisories state "In general, these flaws cannot be exploited through email in the Thunderbird product because scripting is disabled when reading mail, but are potentially risks in browser or browser-like contexts."

https://www.enigmail.net/index.php/en/
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Go_back_to...of_Thunderbird
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