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Critical Vulnerabilities in PGP and S/MIME Email Encryption May Leak an Encrypted Email in Plain Text

May 15, 2018

 

 

A new set of Critical vulnerabilities affecting users of PGP and S/MIME Email encryption may reveal the encrypted Email’s in clear text including the past Emails.

PGP and S/MIME Email encryption is the widely used standard that developed to securely transmit the data over the network.

 

  • PGP(Pretty Good Privacy) is an encryption program that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication for data communication which is used for signing, encrypting, and decrypting texts in email communication.

  • S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standard for public key encryption and signing of MIME data.

In this case, researchers advised to immediately disable and/or uninstall tools that automatically decrypt PGP-encrypted email.

Sebastian Schinzel, a professor of computer security at Münster University of Applied Sciences said, “We’ll publish critical vulnerabilities in PGP/GPG and S/MIME email encryption on 2018-05-15 “07:00 UTC”.

 

Aslo he said in his next tweet, “There are currently no reliable fixes for the vulnerability. If you use PGP/GPG or S/MIME for very sensitive communication, you should disable it in your email client for now”.

A complete information about this serious flaw will be published on Tuesday at 07:00 AM UTC (3:00 AM Eastern, midnight Pacific).

Before that researchers warn the wider PGP user community in advance of its full publication to reduce the short-term risk.

In order to reduce the risk, Electronic Frontier Foundation warned used to disable PGP and related plugins in following Email client.

  • Thunderbird with Enigmail

  • Apple Mail with GPGTools

  • Outlook with Gpg4win

Before mitigated against this vulnerability by the wider community, the user can follow this steps for a temporary fix to avoid this flaw to be exploited by hackers.

 

Full details of this critical flaw will be published soon so stay tuned with us, we will come back with complete technical information.

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