The so-called “Dark Mail Technical Alliance” wants to make e-mail communication safer in the future and establish a new standard that goes beyond the capabilities of S/MIME and PGP. Is Dark Mail the future of secure business communication?

While PGP and S/MIME technologies are already able to securely encrypt the contents of messages , there is no possibility to protect the metadata of the message, yet. However, the metadata includes important information such as the sender, the recipient and the subject of a message from which much valuable information can be stripped.

An attacker spying on an encrypted PGP email stream over a longer period can gain detailed information about the subject the transacting parties talk about. This information may form the basis for a "social engineering" attack using the gathered knowledge to make one of the two participants reveal even more confidential information.

One approach to this problem is "Dark Mail", a standard in which the components of the message are encrypted in multiple layers, comparable with several envelopes packed within each other. The subject is protected. Also, the sender and receiver of the message should not be visible at any time for any single mail server which is outside the control of the sender or recipient. The server can decrypt only parts of the message and so it only has the necessary information required for routing to the next point in the chain.

However, a pre-requisite for the functioning of the system is a series of mail servers between sender and receiver that support the Dark Mail Standard.

If you don’t want to wait for more security in communication, Cryptshare offers a solution today that provides similar benefits. Cryptshare transmits digital information directly through an SSL/TLS secure connection between the sender/recipient and the Cryptshare Server instead of using a chain of mail servers from different providers. Thus, it is possible to reliably and securely transmit not only messages but also files of any size in an ad hoc manner, a function which is in growing demand for business communication. E-mails can be created as usual in MS Outlook, IBM Notes or via a web interface. Cryptshare converts the email into a file and stores it encrypted on the Cryptshare server. When the recipient downloads the message, a reverse conversion is carried out converting the file back into an e-mail that can be stored in the user's e-mail program where it is processed in the normal workflow used. Since no header information of the message is needed for the transport, all the details of the message can be encrypted.

Unlike Dark Mail, Cryptshare allows the tracking of the IP addresses of the sender and recipient which are both logged on the Cryptshare server. It also allows the checking of the transferred files and contents of the message on the Cryptshare server for malicious code. Both are important requirements in business communication. In addition Cryptshare eliminates any file size limits for attachments that are often a barrier when businesses need to send important information quickly.

Cryptshare requires no infrastructure other than a single server in your DMZ making the technology instantly available to all who need it typically putting it into production for all of a company's employees and customers within under a working day.

To learn more about how Cryptshare makes your business more secure, please contact us!