Warning to all you Hushmail users

  1. Running with the Big Boys
    Board Sponsor
    tattoopierced1's Avatar
    Stats
    6'7"  270 lbs.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    127.0.0.1
    Posts
    5,233
    Rep Power
    8350

    Warning to all you Hushmail users


    Hushmail open to Feds with court orders | The Register

    US federal law enforcement agencies have obtained access to clear text copies of encrypted emails sent through Hushmail as part a of recent drug trafficking investigation.

    The access was only granted after a court order was served on Hush Communications, the Canadian firm that offers the service.

    Hush Communications said it would only accede to requests made in respect to targeted accounts and via court orders filed through Canadian court.

    Nonetheless, the incident illustrates that Hushmail's marketing claims that not even its own staff can access encrypted email is well wide of the mark.

    September court documents (pdf) from a US federal prosecution of alleged steroid dealers reveals that Hush turned over 12 CDs involving emails on three targeted Hushmail accounts, in compliance of court orders made through the mutual assistance treaty between the US and Canada.

    Hushmail is widely used by privacy advocates and the security-conscious to send confidential emails. The service uses robust cryptographic and encryption protocols (OpenPGP and AES 256) to scramble the contents of messages stored on its servers, and to exchange encrypted messages with other encrypted email users.

    Breaking messages encrypted by the service by brute force would be nigh-on impossible. So how was access to clear-text messages obtained? An investigation by Wired reveals that a server-side encryption option introduced by Hushmail in 2006 means that a copy of a user's passphrase, which gives access to encrypted messages, might be obtained.

    "In the case of the alleged steroid dealer, the feds seemed to compel Hushmail to exploit this hole, store the suspects' secret passphrase or decryption key, decrypt their messages, and hand them over," Wired reports.
    Brewing up a storm

    Hushmail introduced the server-side encryption option because some users found installing and running a Java applet to be slow and annoying. In its original form this Java applet was used to perform the encryption and decryption of messages on a user's computer.

    In this scenario, a clear text copy of a message would never hit Hushmail's servers so Hush would only be able to respond to law enforcement requests with scrambled messages, at least in theory. In practice, Hushmail's Java architecture still permits a mechanism for the recovery of scrambled emails in clear-text form.

    Brian Smith, chief technology officer of Hushmail, declined to speak about specific law enforcement requests. However he was more forthcoming in explaining the technology implications of Hushmail's server-side encryption options.

    "The key point, though, is that in the non-Java configuration, private key and passphrase operations are performed on the server-side. This requires that users place a higher level of trust in our servers as a trade off for the better usability they get from not having to install Java and load an applet," he said.

    "This might clarify things a bit when you are considering what actions we might be required to take under a court order. Again, I stress that our requirement in complying with a court order is that we not take actions that would affect users other than those specifically named in the order."

    As Wired notes, Hushmail's marketing collateral fails to stress the implications of using the non-Java option. Even the non-Java option might not be entirely secure. Hush may be obliged to rig the Java applet sent to targeted users with a backdoor designed to capture their passwords, Wired implies.

    It explains that "Hushmail's own threat matrix includes this possibility, saying that if an attacker got into Hushmail's servers, they could compromise an account - but that 'evidence of the attack' (presumably the rogue Java applet) could be found on the user's computer."

    The upshot of this is that a paranoid user might be able to detect - if not prevent - if his Hushmail account is being interfered with, but only if he uses the Java applet option.

    "This means that in Java mode the level of trust the user must place in us is somewhat reduced, although not eliminated," Hushmail's Smith told Wired. "The extra security given by the Java applet is not particularly relevant, in the practical sense, if an individual account is targeted."

    Smith told Wired that those looking to Hushmail as a safe haven for snooping on illegal activity were out of luck. However, he added that the firm, unlike US telecoms firms involved in the controversy over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, would resist mass surveillance efforts.

    "[Hushmail] is useful for avoiding general Carnivore-type government surveillance, and protecting your data from hackers, but definitely not suitable for protecting your data if you are engaging in illegal activity that could result in a Canadian court order," Smith told Wired.

    "That's also backed up by the fact that all Hushmail users agree to our terms of service, which state that Hushmail is not to be used for illegal activity. However, when using Hushmail, users can be assured that no access to data (including server logs, etc.) will be granted without a specific court order.

    "We receive many requests for information from law enforcement authorities, including subpoenas, but on being made aware of the requirements, a large percentage of them do not proceed," said Smith.

    "To date, we have not challenged a court order in court, as we have made it clear that the court orders that we would accept must follow our guidelines of requiring only actions that can be limited to the specific user accounts named in the court order. That is to say, any sort of requirement for broad data collection would

  2. Registered User
    PumpingIron's Avatar
    Stats
    5'11"  190 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4,690
    Rep Power
    2461

    F-that...



    Cyber-rights baby!!
  3. Registered User
    KingMeso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Age
    33
    Posts
    606
    Rep Power
    431

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    Cyber-rights baby!!
    Yep!
    •   
       

  4. Registered User
    Xodus's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,902
    Rep Power
    1040

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    F-that...



    Cyber-rights baby!!
    Cyber-rights is a spin off of Hush.

    They use the same encryption engine and presumably have the same 'backdoor' access.

    From their privacy FAQ:

    What if my message is subpoenaed?

    Hush, like any company or individual, is legally bound to respond to court-issued subpoenas. However, because not even Hush can access the encryption keys of individual users, in the case of a subpoena Hush would only be able to provide the encrypted (coded) version of the transmitted email.


    On their contact page:

    Contact Details

    Contact Form - Abuse and Spam
    https://www.hushmail.com/contact/?area=Abuse+and+Spam

    Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
    Yaman Akdeniz,
    Director, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
    Url: http://www.cyber-rights.org/
    E-mail: lawya@cyber-rights.org

    Technical Issues Regarding Site
    Michael Tsekouras,
    Webmaster, Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK)
    Email: help@cyber-rights.org




    X
  5. Banned
    pistonpump's Avatar
    Stats
    6'2"  225 lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hawaii Nei
    Age
    30
    Posts
    12,114
    Rep Power
    0

    i doubt cyber-rights is any better.
  6. Registered User
    PumpingIron's Avatar
    Stats
    5'11"  190 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    4,690
    Rep Power
    2461

    but they aren't being targetted.
  7. Banned
    pistonpump's Avatar
    Stats
    6'2"  225 lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hawaii Nei
    Age
    30
    Posts
    12,114
    Rep Power
    0

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    but they aren't being targetted.
    very true. good point.
  8. Registered User
    Xodus's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,902
    Rep Power
    1040

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpingIron View Post
    but they aren't being targetted.
    Yet.

    And when they are, they will turn everything over just like Hush did. They 'say' that 'even they cannot access emails' and could 'only turn over encrypted emails', this is blatantly NOT true.

    You best bet is to start using PGP and type II/III remailers.


    X
  9. Running with the Big Boys
    Board Sponsor
    tattoopierced1's Avatar
    Stats
    6'7"  270 lbs.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    127.0.0.1
    Posts
    5,233
    Rep Power
    8350

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodus View Post
    Yet.

    And when they are, they will turn everything over just like Hush did. They 'say' that 'even they cannot access emails' and could 'only turn over encrypted emails', this is blatantly NOT true.

    You best bet is to start using PGP and type II/III remailers.


    X
    Been using PGP for a while now.
  10. Banned
    pistonpump's Avatar
    Stats
    6'2"  225 lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hawaii Nei
    Age
    30
    Posts
    12,114
    Rep Power
    0

    Quote Originally Posted by tattoopierced1 View Post
    Been using PGP for a while now.
    what is an example of one....not exactly computer savy. literate yes, savy no. lol
  11. Running with the Big Boys
    Board Sponsor
    tattoopierced1's Avatar
    Stats
    6'7"  270 lbs.
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    127.0.0.1
    Posts
    5,233
    Rep Power
    8350
  12. -Dalla Hunga-
    BigVrunga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Somewhere between a 4x12 stack and a power rack...
    Age
    38
    Posts
    5,064
    Rep Power
    2682

    Hushmail and Cyberights are basically the same thing. I would not trust any of these 'free' encryption email services. Get PGP, use your own secure key.

    BV
  13. Registered User
    freqfly's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  160 lbs.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    949
    Rep Power
    7243

    It kills me. Why the hell do the feds want to spend so much money on tracking down people who want to improve there looks, most of which are healthy adult males that are not abusing steroids..... when on the other hand, theres a crack head around the corner selling kids rocks.... I'll never understand our government's priorities.
  14. Registered User
    In Hulk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    IL
    Age
    30
    Posts
    230
    Rep Power
    200

    I thought Hush and Cyber were owned by the same company...
  15. Registered User
    Xodus's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,902
    Rep Power
    1040

    Quote Originally Posted by In Hulk View Post
    I thought Hush and Cyber were owned by the same company...
    Keep up!


    Warning to all you Hushmail users


    X
  16. Banned
    jomi822's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,419
    Rep Power
    0

    Quote Originally Posted by freqfly View Post
    It kills me. Why the hell do the feds want to spend so much money on tracking down people who want to improve there looks, most of which are healthy adult males that are not abusing steroids..... when on the other hand, theres a crack head around the corner selling kids rocks.... I'll never understand our government's priorities.
    BECAUSE STEROIDS ARE THE ONLY EASY TARGET LEFT. CRACK, METH, HEROINE, COCAINE USERS ARE ALL BUYING SMALL QUANTITIES FOR IMMEDIATE PERSONAL USE. THEY HAVE NO SOCIAL NETWORKS, ONLY AN ADDICTION BASED LIFESTYLE THAT CANNOT BE SYSTEMATICALLY TRACKED DOWN AND CRUSHED.

    BODYBUILDING IS A WAY OF LIFE AND THE BASIS OF A COMMUNITY. THESE PEOPLE ARE SELF SERVING, THEY KNOW WE ARENT DOING ANYTHING WRONG, BUT WE ARE THE ONLY TARGET LEFT THEY CAN GET RESULTS BY TARGETING.

    we are legitimate and organized. its like taking candy from a baby. just think about what kind of people we are dealing with here.....willing to **** anyone over to keep jobs they know are baseless abuses of government power and suppression of liberty. its ****ing sickening. switch over to meth, theyll never catch you.
  17. Registered User
    freqfly's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  160 lbs.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    949
    Rep Power
    7243

    Well put Jomi
  18. Registered User
    yeahright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Poised on the brink of disaster.
    Posts
    6,372
    Rep Power
    10345
  19. Registered User
    Irish Cannon's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Age
    27
    Posts
    12,615
    Rep Power
    74316

    I think we should just use a different language... Gearish.

    Example: I M EO W/ SYN-HG TO CR PF TP. BB=5P, BA=20P, LAWLZ

    Now, translate...
  20. Registered User
    Iron Warrior's Avatar
    Stats
    6'0"  265 lbs.
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    5,329
    Rep Power
    13066

    Huge ****in waste of resources. The FEDS also raided SRCS which is just a chemicals analysis lab and didn't do anything illegal. They're going after everything that aids the steroid market. I just hope this sh!t gets back to normal after the Olympica in China !
  21. Registered User
    nelix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,329
    Rep Power
    753

    I highly recommend using GnuPG over PGP... Open source software is more open to peer review.
  22. Banned
    gotripped's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Age
    34
    Posts
    2,074
    Rep Power
    0

    this is generally when someone is under investigation correct? i mean couldn't we just switch email accounts over and over again (consumer level) and not worry about getting caught? i think i may have to switch to cyber-rights and I am not sure what PGP is yet but I will be learning it.
  23. Registered User
    yeahright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Poised on the brink of disaster.
    Posts
    6,372
    Rep Power
    10345

    Quote Originally Posted by gotripped View Post
    this is generally when someone is under investigation correct? i mean couldn't we just switch email accounts over and over again (consumer level) and not worry about getting caught? i think i may have to switch to cyber-rights and I am not sure what PGP is yet but I will be learning it.
    No....it's more complicated than that. Depending upon how sophisticated an effort is being made, all sorts of data point correlations can be made (for example IP Addresses, writing styles, etc.) to show that different accounts are actually the same person. No form of secret communications (encryption, disposable cellphones, steganography, etc.) is completely secure. The important variable is what resources are used to uncover the secret communications. Bottom line, if you're using electronic communications to engage in illegal activity, you can be caught if an agency tries hard enough to crack your method of communication.
  24. Registered User
    Xodus's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,902
    Rep Power
    1040

    Quote Originally Posted by yeahright View Post
    No....it's more complicated than that. Depending upon how sophisticated an effort is being made, all sorts of data point correlations can be made (for example IP Addresses, writing styles, etc.) to show that different accounts are actually the same person. No form of secret communications (encryption, disposable cellphones, steganography, etc.) is completely secure. The important variable is what resources are used to uncover the secret communications. Bottom line, if you're using electronic communications to engage in illegal activity, you can be caught if an agency tries hard enough to crack your method of communication.
    I'm going back to carrier pigeons...




    X
  25. Registered User
    yeahright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Poised on the brink of disaster.
    Posts
    6,372
    Rep Power
    10345

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodus View Post
    I'm going back to carrier pigeons...




    X
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/...om=moreStories
  26. Registered User
    Xodus's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"   lbs.
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,902
    Rep Power
    1040

    That is crazy.

    Although they might be faster than USPS now...




    X
  •   

      
     

Similar Forum Threads

  1. To All You Stinkin' Rep-Whores...
    By Mass_69 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-31-2007, 11:12 AM
  2. to all you IGF gods....
    By neverstop in forum IGF-1/GH
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-04-2006, 06:54 PM
  3. Hello to all you anabolic minded freaks
    By coroner in forum General Chat
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-29-2006, 02:00 PM
  4. A NOTE TO ALL YOU NON-PCTers
    By UNDERTAKER in forum Anabolics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-01-2004, 03:45 PM
  5. To all you pro-Bush folks
    By Funny Monkey in forum Politics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-23-2004, 03:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in