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Thread: Encryption (XP)

  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Encryption (XP)

    I am confused about this (and apparently there is some reason for that). A friend of mine recently got a personal email Digital Certificate and sent it to me. I saved it to his contact record per Microsoft's Knowledge Base instructions (which didn't work very well, but I got there anyway). The same Knowledge Base article (286159) indicates that I can now, using his public key, send encrypted messages to this person.

    I suspect this is not complete. I have read through the article a couple of times and I suspect I will need to get my own Digital Certificate. Can anyone verify this? I have looked at Thawte's and VeriSign and have not gotten clear info there, either.

    Can anyone give me the Last Word on this? Thanks!

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Encryption (XP)

    While I don't have the Last Word, yes, you will need an e-mail ID (there are other, more expensive IDs that you won't need). Last time I checked, you can get a free trial ID from VeriSign. The easiest way to get to the right page was through Outlook (2000): Tools > Options... > Security tab > Get a Digital ID... (for VeriSign, you end up here).

    If you don't get your own ID, you can't sign or encrypt your outgoing messages, but having your friend's certificate on his contact record should allow you to confirm the digitally signature on his messages to you.

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    Re: Encryption (XP)

    The Last Word: J is right. Although in theory having their public key should be enough for you to encrypt the message so that only they can read it, Outlook does not support this configuration by default. I think they figured you would always want to know who the sender was. Maybe its an assumption in the actually algorithms (eg outside MS) - I don't know.

    Despite the promising title "OL2000: How to Programmatically Sign or Encrypt Mail Messages" it says, in part, "Outlook was not designed to provide full functionality for digitally signing and encrypting e-mail messages. However, you can use the CommandBars object model..." - ie. they haven't exposed the commands to users. (http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;279013). It also says that CDO1.21 does NOT contain anything to help with encryption/signing.

    I think it would be quite doable to write a seperate app that encrypts the message and sends it as an attachment. A receiving app could decrypt it. Although this would require working with the Crypto API, the code should be quite simple. The trick would be to use CryptGetUserKey with a handle to a signature key, rather than to an exchange key. http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default....pifunctions.asp refers. For a VB developer, this is easiest in VB.Net.

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    Re: Encryption (XP)

    Steve, have you looked at PGP's extensions to Outlook? I have not had time, but I'm curious ...
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7ąDS

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    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Re: Encryption (XP)

    Thanks, all, for the info. After J's response, I obtained an email only Digital Cert from Thawte, which offers them for free.

    K

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