Future OpenPGP Support in Thunderbird
Robert J. Hansen
rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Tue Oct 15 21:09:40 CEST 2019
> I'm confused. I thought the whole efail thing was about crafting a
> plain text message that says "Good signature verified" and fools the
> user even though it was never run through pgp or had its signature
> verified with s/mime.
I'd suggest reading the Efail paper. The vast majority of the news
coverage was shoddy. Efail included two *completely separate* attacks
in their paper, which the news media overwhelmingly conflated into a
I'll call them Efail-1 and Efail-2 here.
Efail-1 was what Werner is talking about here. It was a pretty bad blow
to S/MIME, but far less so to OpenPGP, since OpenPGP has had
countermeasures in place for almost twenty years. Efail-1's impact on
OpenPGP was, is, minimal.
Efail-2 wasn't an attack on OpenPGP at all, but instead showed how
poorly email clients and/or email plugins communicated with GnuPG. It
was possible for GnuPG to give a correct warning that someone was
playing games with the message, and for the email client to disregard
this warning and present it to the user as authentic.
Efail-1 had minimal applicability to GnuPG; Efail-2 had none whatsoever
(except, arguably, some of the messages GnuPG gave were ambiguous: I
think they were, but Werner disagrees).
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