Tutanota Germany-based encrypted webmail

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by dogbite, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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  2. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    lots of so-called privacy respecting email services
    riding the wave of the NSA scandal

    I wouldn't trust any
     
  3. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    They retain your private key - nuff said!
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Right. ProtonMail has the best approach so far (except for user-managed keys). They have users' private keys, but encrypted by a password. They can supply the user's encrypted private key to any of the user's devices. And it's all in the background, so users don't even need to know that they have private keys.

    But there are two major risks. Users must trust that ProtonMail won't grab the password. And users who forget their password lose all of their old messages.
     
  5. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  6. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    But this is actually what Tutanota does as well.
    Quoting from the link of ronjor:

    “With Tutanota we cannot get access to the user's private key because it is stored encrypted on the server,” said the spokesperson. “It is encrypted with the user's password and that password is never sent to the server. Decryption of the user's private key takes place on the client.”
     
  7. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Think of it this way - two things are needed to access your account: #1- your private key and #2- your password. They already have one of them and in the best case scenario, should have "neither"!
     
  8. snerd

    snerd Registered Member

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    Been happy with MyKolab.com
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    That's the tradeoff. Having a user's encrypted private key, they can provide it to the user transparently on multiple devices. You must trust that they aren't capturing your password when you're locally decrypting the private key.

    This isn't that different from the CounterMail design, in that you're using your private key while interacting with their server. The difference is that CounterMail doesn't have your private key at all, unless you provide it in order to permit encrypted storage on their servers. Also, as I recall, CounterMail doesn't push your encrypted private key to new devices.
     
  10. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Tutanota now using "DANE" (DNS-based Authentification of Named Entities)

    http://blog.tutanota.de/

    https://www.dnssec-validator.cz/

    Opinions?? DANE1.PNG

    Giving this a second look as the others - "Startmail", "Protonmail", "Lavaboom" are still in private beta. Tutanota states they plan to eventually allow local key storage and work with PGP.
     
  11. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Protonmail - quite rightly in my opinion - has sacrificed some security for usability. That's OK as long as you know what the risks are, and are OK with crypto in the browser (probably a bigger risk). But it's better than the status quo, and if you want better, hop over to some OTR service.
     
  12. django12

    django12 Registered Member

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    DANE is a great add-on, in fact more should use it. The encryption - startmail, protonmail, tutanota - all works similar: The private key is on the server, but encrypted with the user's password. So it's secure as long as no one does an attack with manipulated javascript. Now, tutanota is open source so others can verify that the javascript is okay. That's not the case with the others...
     
  13. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    Yes, in more detail the FAQ explains this:
    Are people saying there is something different about how Protonmail does this?
     
  14. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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  15. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    We badly need code signing for javascript, or some way of verifying hashes.
     
  16. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I'm pretty sure that ProtonMail also does this.
     
  17. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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  18. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Good news is I see that they have Two Factor Authentication planned for mid-2015, and pgp support by a more vague end of the year.
     
  19. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    I'm impressed by how quickly Tutanota is developing and incorporating new features (as well is really acting on users' suggestions).
     
  20. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    I've made an account and I am testing the service. So far so good but still some miles away to become my primary email address: it'a not possible to import contacts and that is a bit senseless for a new service. They are working on that, though. Also 2 factor auth. is on the way.

    I will carry on my test maybe using this address for receiving automatic emails like the ones from Amazon, Ebay, etc.
     
  21. atunis5804

    atunis5804 Registered Member

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    at the moment, proton mail - a swiss email co - is by far the most secure service out there, although more are coming...
     
  22. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    What's your basis for that claim?

    I like Protonmail (and have an account), but I think Tutanota is using the same type of encryption methods. Protonmail does have the advantage of owning and controlling their own servers, as well as being in Switzerland, which is important. On the other hand, Tutanota currently encrypts incoming email on their server from outside non-encrypted sources, whereas on Protonmail such emails are not stored encrypted on their servers (I think they plan this feature for the future, but it does not currently exist).

    Both services have their good points, but I think it's hard to say one is definitively more secure than the other. And for the moment Tutanota is developing and adding features much more quickly. They also have a longer track record (they started in 2011--Protonmail in 2013). Of course, Protonmail has gotten a lot of attention and financial support, so it's promising too, but new features aren't being added as quickly.

    I'm interested in honest assessments and comparisons between the two, with details to substantiate claims. Blanket assertions that one is clearly more secure than the other, at the moment, seem unwarranted.
     
  23. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    @cb474 - kindly put, thank you. Agree with your assessment.

    I'd actually like to see these different services cooperate at the back-end so that they would securely exchange email with each other. I think that would benefit all of them because it automatically extends the range of encrypted recipients. With PKI, that ought to be possible.
     
  24. cb474

    cb474 Registered Member

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    @deBoetie Yeah, that's a good idea. I think it would be beneficial to both services. Although I think I'd rather see support for PGP first, which would effectively make the two services compatible with each other. Tutanota currently lists support for PGP as planned, probably by the end of this year. Protonmail also says they plan it, but with no specific timeline.

    *

    In further response to atunis5804's assertion that Protonmail is "by far" the most secure service out there, it should probably also be noted to anyone else looking at this thread that (although not free) Countermail is probably actually the most secure and certainly most mature of these sort of services, at least that I can think of. And of course, anybody can use GPG for free with their regular email and arguably get as much if not more security.
     
  25. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I do too.
    That's why I still like CounterMail. With proprietary crypto, each provider is a closed system (except for symmetric encryption, which is tedious).
     
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