[Mailman-Users] Preserving S/MIME-Encoded Mail

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Tue Jan 20 10:46:18 CET 2009

Grant Taylor writes:
 > On 1/19/2009 10:19 PM, Taylor, Grant wrote:
 > > I will play with forwarding an S/MIME signed / encrypted message and 
 > > let you know what my MUAs (of choice) do with the message/rfc822 MIME 
 > > body part.

This isn't really relevant to Mailman, though.  MIME messages are by
design recursively structured, and MUAs that claim to support S/MIME
should be able to handle recursive structure.  The only responsibility
Mailman has or should accept is to encapsulate signed bodies verbatim
so as not to break the signature.

 > This means that it is possible to enclose a multipart/signed message as 
 > a message/rfc822 MIME part and have it successfully display.  The only 
 > problem is that the attachments them selves would have to be opened (as 
 > opposed to viewing them inline) to have any indication if the signature 
 > is valid.

The user should put in an RFE for your MUA if that extra effort
bothers him.  If he hasn't validated the signature himself, he has to
assume that it is invalid.  This is not a task that can be delegated
to mailing list software.

 > Thus I think that Mailman (or any thing else doing similar 
 > types of operations) should attach the original signed message as a 
 > message/rfc822 MIME part *AND* sign it's own message including a textual 
 > note that the original message had a valid signature.

Please, no.  That's an open invitation to phishing.  To prevent it
robustly, Mailman would have to remove signatures that it can't
validate, otherwise a message could be crafted to look like one that
was validated by Mailman.  But that is clearly the wrong thing to do,
as the recipient might be able to validate signatures that Mailman

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