At 3:24 PM -0600 6/18/01, Vernon Schryver wrote:
If only to set a good example for the world, could somebody please
arrange to have the IETF mailing lists, starting with this one, create
and publish its own certificate()s and notice and use STARTTLS?
If that happened and it was trumpeted, people would then start to
assume that SMTP over TLS assures that the messages that appear on
the list are securely the ones that were sent by the sender. Nothing
could be further from the truth. SMTP over TLS is a hop-by-hop
protocol, and protecting one hop in a chain does not protect the
chain. Further, it is the job of the SMTP server on each hop to
change the message, at least in the headers, and possibly in the body.
SMTP over TLS has many good features: it lets the two SMTP servers
authenticate each other, it prevents snooping, and it prevents active
attackers from changing messages. It does not prevent SMTP servers on
any hop from changing messages.
Giving folks a false sense of security is a bad example, not a good one.
--Paul Hoffman, Director
--Internet Mail Consortium