The Recent Concerns with OpenPGP and S/MIME Encryption

On Monday, May 14th, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported that European researchers had discovered core problems and commonplace implementation flaws in the S/MIME and OpenPGP protocol specifications. The vulnerability, which the researchers have described as EFAIL, can reportedly expose the content of encrypted emails (even messages sent in the past) to be viewed. The EFAIL vulnerability affects many email clients that use S/MIME and OpenPGP. There is a list of email clients with vulnerabilities by protocol in an article posted at thehackernews.com.

It’s very important to understand that to be at risk for this vulnerability, attackers would need access to your emails. This means that your email system has been compromised by an attacker who has access to the encrypted emails through tactics such as eavesdropping on network traffic (also known as a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack), compromised email accounts, access to email servers, backup systems or client computers, usually achieved through social engineering attacks, such as Phishing and other tactics.

We have checked our own web-based email client (MDaemon Webmail) and our MDaemon OpenPGP-based encryption feature. Our results show that MDaemon Webmail is not vulnerable. However, the MDaemon email server OpenPGP feature is partially vulnerable to one implementation flaw. We have released a patch for affected versions of MDaemon email software, which can be found here. The current version of the MDaemon email server, v18.0.1, includes this fix.

A Reminder on the Best Email Security Practices

This latest issue should remind us all about the importance of email security practices as a whole.  Implementing strong passwords, two-factor authentication, location screening, SSL/TLS, SMTP AUTH, IP Shielding, dynamic screening, freezing accounts after failed authentication attempts, all play a role in helping to keep your accounts and your email safe. You can review a list of email security features in MDaemon here.

If you’ve implemented security to help protect malicious people from accessing your email accounts, then you are less likely to have an account compromised and you will be better protected against these types of attacks and vulnerabilities.

Ongoing Monitoring

While the researchers go into some depth to expose issues deep within the S/MIME and OpenPGP specification documents, these encryption protocols may need specification changes to address the longer-term issues mentioned in the initial report. MDaemon Technologies will continue to monitor this issue.

Additional Resources

We have provided links to past blog posts that cover a number of email security topics to provide additional information:

Thwart Hackers with Strong Password Policies

Are You Taking the Security of Your Email Account Seriously?

Why Passwords May Not Keep Your Email Safe

Block Incoming Connections by Country with MDaemon’s New Location Screening Feature

SSL & TLS Best Practices

Block Hackers from Guessing Passwords with MDaemon’s Improved Dynamic Screening

Are You Doing Enough to Protect Your Email Privacy?

Follow These 13 Tips to Avoid Being Blacklisted

New Security & Collaboration Features for MDaemon 17.5!

Introducing SecurityGateway 5.0, with New Location Screening, Terms of Service Agreements, and More!

How to Encrypt your Email Messages from MDaemon Webmail in Three Easy Steps!

Whether you work in healthcare, finance, education, or another highly regulated industry, it’s likely that you’re required to meet increasingly stringent regulations on email security and privacy, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But even if these strict requirements do not apply to your industry, you still want to maintain customer trust by ensuring their confidential data is safe.

To address these concerns, MDaemon offers email encryption using OpenPGP.

In the past, implementations of OpenPGP have been cumbersome, requiring users to manually exchange encryption keys or to take complex steps to send encrypted messages. With MDaemon, in addition to providing various ways to automate the encryption key exchange and server-side encryption processes, MDaemon Webmail users can easily enable per-message encryption right from within the message compose window.

Here’s a quick video to demonstrate how easy it is to encrypt messages in MDaemon Webmail.

A more comprehensive overview of MDaemon’s OpenPGP settings and how to configure them can be found in this knowledge base article.

Upgrade MDaemon to Take Advantage of the Latest Features!

Are you running an older version of MDaemon? Check out our Features by Version chart to see what you may be missing out on! Server-side email encryption with OpenPGP was introduced in MDaemon 15.5. Click here for upgrade & renewal instructions.

If you’re not currently using MDaemon and would like to see how an affordable, easy-to-use mail server can benefit your business, click here to download your free trial!

Introducing MDaemon 18: Single Installer for All Licensed Features, AntiVirus Mailbox Scanning, and Much More!

I’ve got some exciting news. Our latest & greatest MDaemon release is now available for download! With MDaemon 18, we introduce new features that benefit administrators and end-users alike. Let’s go over the top new features. You can view a more comprehensive list of all new features and enhancements in the MDaemon release notes.

New Features for Administrators

Single Installer for All Licensed Features

The MDaemon download/install file now includes all former plug-ins which are now “licensed features” of MDaemon that require a separate license key.

When you enable each feature for the first time, a 30-day trial is activated. You can purchase a full license for these features on our website or through your local MDaemon reseller. Purchase options can also be found under the Help menu in MDaemon.

Enhanced Security to Avoid DNS Attacks

DNSSEC is a technology that digitally signs DNS data so that you can be assured that it’s valid. It was created to combat man-in-the-middle attacks that are possible in the DNS system. These types of attacks can lead to users being directed to a hijacker’s own deceptive website in an attempt to collect personal data. To help ensure MDaemon does not become a victim of these attacks, it is now capable of requesting DNSSEC be used when available.

DNSSEC - Enhanced Protection Against DNS Attacks
DNSSEC – Enhanced Protection Against DNS Attacks

Remote Administration – Set Security Features to their Recommended Settings

If you have adjusted MDaemon’s security settings over time and are unsure of the best settings for optimal security, you can now set each security feature to its recommended setting with a single mouse click in MDaemon Remote Administration.

MDaemon Remote Administration - Set Security Settings to Recommended Values
MDaemon Remote Administration – Set Security Settings to Recommended Values

Antivirus – Mailbox Scanning

When MDaemon Antivirus is enabled, administrators can now configure a schedule to scan all mailboxes. This allows the detection of any infected messages that may have passed through before any new virus definitions were created to detect the latest threats.

MDaemon Antivirus Mailbox Scan
MDaemon Antivirus Mailbox Scan

ActiveSync – Exempt Known Devices from Location Screening

An option has been added to allow a previously known device to bypass location screening when connecting via MDaemon ActiveSync. Administrators can enable this option to allow users to continue to access their account from locations that are configured to have their authentication attempts blocked. This is useful if you have users who are traveling and need access to their email.

Exempt Mobile ActiveSync Devices from Location Screening
Exempt Mobile ActiveSync Devices from Location Screening

New Features for End Users

Remote Administration  & Webmail – Remember Me for Easier Access

MDaemon Webmail and Remote Administration users can enable the Remember Me feature to automatically login without having to enter a username and password. The Remember Me duration can be configured by the administrator for up to 365 days.

Remember Me for MDaemon Webmail and Remote Administration
Remember Me for MDaemon Webmail and Remote Administration

Webmail – Simplified Email Encryption

When composing a message, MDaemon Webmail users can use the Advanced Options screen to instruct MDaemon to encrypt the message, retrieve their public key, or retrieve the public key of another user (if available). This greatly simplifies the process of sending secure, encrypted email using MDaemon PGP.

MDaemon Webmail Encryption using OpenPGP
MDaemon Webmail Encryption using OpenPGP

Webmail  – Message Snooze

MDaemon Webmail users can snooze emails to temporarily remove them from their inbox until they need them. The user’s email will reappear in the inbox at the configured time, whether it’s tomorrow, next week, or when you get home.  Snoozed messages can be displayed at any time using the View Snoozed Messages options.

MDaemon Webmail - Message Snooze
MDaemon Webmail – Message Snooze

Webmail  – Collaboration & Security for Public Calendars

MDaemon Webmail users can publish a calendar to a publicly accessible URL for easy sharing and collaboration. For added security, these public calendars can be password protected. To publish a calendar, click the Share Folder icon for your calendar under the Options|Folders menu in MDaemon Webmail, enter an optional display name and password under the Public Access tab, and then click on Publish Calendar. Anyone who has the calendar’s URL and optional password can view it in their browser. More information on how to enable this feature globally or on a per-user basis can be found in the MDaemon release notes.

MDaemon Webmail - Publish Calendar to Public URL
MDaemon Webmail – Publish Calendar to Public URL

Webmail – Text-to-Speech

When viewing a message in MDaemon Webmail using the WorldClient, LookOut, or Mobile theme, users can click on a button to listen to the message.

MDaemon Webmail - Text-to-Speech
MDaemon Webmail – Text-to-Speech

Note: This feature is currently only supported in Chrome or Firefox.

Are you running an older version of MDaemon or using a different email platform? Download the latest MDaemon & see what you’ve been missing!

If you’d like to learn more about MDaemon & what’s new with version 18, or if you’re considering changing platforms for a simpler and more cost-effective email solution, here are a few links you may find helpful.

As always, I’ll be happy to answer any questions via the Comments section, or if you need further assistance, you can click here to contact our Support staff.

And one more thing while we’re on the topic of product updates. Is there a feature you’d like us to add to a future version of MDaemon? Click here & let us know!

Is Your Email Down Again?

According to Microsoft, Office 365 users in Europe, Asia and some US states were left without email access for as long as 14 hours (per some users) on Friday, April 6th. And a quick search of historical outages show that the outages happen with more frequency than many realize, such as reported on sites like currentlydown.com/office365.com.

Can businesses really afford to be without what is arguably the most important business tool? Or are we seeing a slow erosion in accepted availability of email as more and more companies move to the cloud?

When I talk to many customers and resellers who are deciding to take their email to the cloud, the primary reason seems to be that they don’t want the hassle of dealing with SPAM, phishing, ransomware, etc. and users’ complaints. As some put it, “I’d rather put that burden on someone else.” Sure there is the argument of moving the cost to monthly operational costs, which for some can appear to be a savings. Even over at SpiceWorks, a one stop shop for IT Pros, discussions are always ongoing about O365 versus on-premise. And we’ve posted our own email platform price comparisons with some help from Osterman Research.

Now I recognize that for many companies the cloud ship has sailed. They’ve committed to putting their software into the hands of a third party provider, trusting that the provider will be as responsive and careful with their information as their own IT professional. And for many small businesses with limited resources, it does make sense.

But if you’re a business that still has trust issues when it comes to your company’s email, and believe me that’s not a bad thing, then there is still a very affordable alternative. The MDaemon email server has been trusted for over 20 years by companies around the globe. And if you have over 100 email users and you’re using Microsoft Exchange, you will save both in cost and time. It’s just one reason we see weekly migrations to the MDaemon platform.

Using the cloud for email is not inherently a bad thing depending on your company’s needs. But if privacy and control are important and you’re curious about an email alternative, you can learn how MDaemon’s email server features compare to what you are currently using. Or, simply ask Brad to give you a personal demo of the software by sending a message to training@mdaemon.com.

Better yet, just take MDaemon for a free, 30-day test drive and find out what other IT pros know.

Three Ways MailStore Makes Your Job Easier

MailStore Logo

Unless your business is stuck in the pen & paper generation, chances are you deal with lots…and LOTS of email on a daily basis, to the point where your Inbox is bloated and out of control, causing your email client, and even your mail server, to run frustratingly slow.

The solution is to implement an archiving solution such as MailStore.With MailStore, all those emails that pile up on the server from users wanting to keep every email sent and received can be safely tucked away in an archive and  removed from the server after a period of time, freeing up space on the server and improving performance.

But the benefits of an archiving solution don’t stop at performance improvements. MailStore can help make your life easier by providing tools for easy searching of messages and attachments, storage efficiency with compression and de-duplication (meaning if multiple copies of the same message exist on the server, only one copy needs to be stored in MailStore), and status reports to keep administrators informed of the status of their archives.

Learn more about these three ways MailStore can help make your  job easier from our latest video!

Start archiving your email today. Click here to download your 30-day free trial of MailStore!

Never lose an important message. Organize your Inbox with message Categories!

MDaemon’s webmail client is loaded with a variety of features for organization, collaboration and security. As a daily user of MDaemon Webmail (I use it almost exclusively instead of my desktop email client), I like to keep important messages organized so I can find them later. This is made easy with message categories (in addition to follow-up flags). Within the MDaemon webmail client, you’ll find a variety of built-in categories, or you can create your own custom categories. Multiple categories can be assigned to a message, and messages can be arranged by category, keeping all of your important messages in one, easy-to-find place.

Check out our latest tutorial video to learn more, or if you’re not yet an MDaemon user, click here to download your free trial!

 

Save Time by Saving Frequently-Performed Searches as Folders

If you’re like me, you like shortcuts that make life easier when performing common tasks. For example, if you work in finance or accounting, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pull up all emails with the word “invoice” with a single mouse click? Well now you can. With the latest release of MDaemon, we introduced search folders in MDaemon Webmail. This week’s 30-Second Email Tips video will walk you through the setup process.

Search folders were added in MDaemon 17.5.1. If you’re running an older version of MDaemon, you could be missing out on some great new features!

If you’re not currently using MDaemon, but would like to try it out, click here to download your free 30-day trial!

10 Tips to Identify a Phishing Email

Don’t Risk Losing your Life Savings to Scammers. Follow these 10 Tips to Identify a Phishing Email.

From October 2013 to December 2016, phishing scams cost businesses approximately $1.6 billion, averaging roughly $500 million each year. While these figures are staggering, they continue to rise as scammers reap huge payouts from BEC (Business Email Compromise), CEO fraud and other phishing scams.

The real estate industry is a prime target for phishing because large sums of money change hands and there are various weak links in the transaction process. If any step within the transaction process becomes compromised with a successful phishing email, the attacker could gain access to a legitimate email address from which to launch other attacks. The fraudster could then lie in wait, scanning email messages for financial or transaction related details, and then send off fraudulent wire transfer instructions to an unsuspecting buyer, seller, or agent. For example, this happened to a 31 year-old first-time homebuyer in San Antonio, Texas. You can read details about this case here, but the short version of the story is that she felt that she was in a time crunch to send in her down payment and finalize other closing tasks, and felt that the title company was dragging its feet. This state of high anxiety made her a prime target for a phishing email she received stating that she had previously been given the wrong wire transfer information, and that she needed to wire her down payment to a new account. With 5 hours left to get everything done, she attempted to contact her title company to confirm the change, but no one responded, so in a panic, she hastily ran to the bank and wire transferred her $52,000 down payment. Unfortunately, she sent her life savings to scammers.

The phishing industry is so lucrative for scammers because the barriers to entry are low relative to potential huge payouts. With botnets-for-hire and Malware as a Service (Maas), spammers have an impressive arsenal of tools at their disposal to propagate their campaigns, so to fight this scourge, an educated user is the best defense against phishing scams. With this in mind, here are my top 10 tips on how to identify and protect yourself from phishing attacks.

  1. Watch out for messages disguised as something expected, like a shipment or payment notification. These often contain links to malware sites. Hover your mouse over any links to make sure they’re safe. Think before you click! Here’s an example using a phishing email I received claiming to come from HSBC.

    Payment notification phishing email
    Watch for unexpected payment or shipment notices
  2. Watch for messages asking for personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. Legitimate companies will never ask for this over email.
  3. Beware of urgent or threatening messages claiming that your account has been suspended and prompting you to click on a link to unlock your account.
  4. Check for poor grammar or spelling errors. While legitimate companies are very strict about emails they send out, Phishing emails often contain poor spelling or grammar.
  5. Hover before you click! Phishing emails often contain links to malware sites. Don’t trust the URL you see! Always hover your mouse over the link to view its real destination. If the link claims to point to a known, reputable site, it’s always safer to manually type the URL into your browser’s address bar.
  6. Check the Greeting – Is the message addressed to a generic recipient, such as “Valued customer” or “Sir/Madam?” If so, be careful & think twice! Legitimate businesses will often use your real first and last name. In our HSBC example, notice the generic greeting.

    Watch for generic greetings in email messages
    Watch for generic greetings in email messages
  7. Check the Signature – In addition to the greeting, phishing emails often leave out important information in the signature. Legitimate businesses will always have accurate contact details in their signature, so if a message’s signature looks incomplete or inaccurate, chances are it’s spam. In our HSBC example, the sender’s name and contact information are missing from the signature.

    Watch for generic signatures in phishing email messages.
    Watch for generic signatures in phishing email messages.
  8. Don’t download Attachments – With the proliferation of Ransomware as a Service (Raas), spammers have an easy mechanism for distributing malware-laden spam messages to thousands of users. And because the payout for ransomware can be quite high, even one successful ransomware infection could net the spammer large amounts of money. If there’s ANY doubt about the identity of the message sender or the contents of an attachment, play it safe and don’t download the attachment.
  9. Don’t trust the From address – Many phishing emails will have a forged sender address. The From address is displayed in two places. The Envelope From is used by mail servers to generate NDR messages, while the Header From is used by the email client to display information in the From field. Both of these headers can be spoofed. MDaemon Webmail has built-in security features to help users identify spoofed emails. Many mail clients hide the From address, only showing the From name, which can be easily spoofed. In MDaemon Webmail, the From address is always displayed, giving users a clearer view into the source of the email and helping them identify spoofed senders. Using our HSBC example, I’ve highlighted the actual sender.
    Phishing email highlighting the actual sending address
    Phishing email highlighting the actual sending address

    MDaemon Webmail will also display information in the Security tag to help users identify messages from verified senders, as shown here.

    MDaemon Webmail - DKIM-Verified Sender
    MDaemon Webmail – DKIM-Verified Sender
  10. Don’t Enable Macros – And while we’re on the subject of ransomware, another common vector for ransomware infections is through macros in Microsoft Word documents. These documents often arrive in phishing emails claiming to have important content from HR, Finance, or another important department, and to trick the user, they request the user to enable macros. Never trust an email that asks you to enable macros before downloading a Word document.

While anti-spam and anti-malware tools are quite effective at filtering out the majority of scams, there’s really no substitute for good old-fashioned user education. Know the potential costs to your business and don’t become the next victim!

If you’re the MDaemon or SecurityGateway administrator and need help with your security settings to help block as much phishing as possible before it reaches your users, give us a call or drop us an email support request.

 

 

 

With MDaemon Webmail, you can use the same keyboard shortcuts found in your favorite email client!

If you’re what most would call a “power user,” then you may be used to using keyboard shortcuts. If you’re used to the keyboard shortcuts of another client, such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Eudora, MDaemon’s webmail client has a feature that allows you to continue using those shortcuts. So if you’re used to using Shift+P to print (which is an Outlook shortcut), then all you need to do in MDaemon’s web-based email client is go to the Options menu & select Personalize. Then select your preferred option in the Keyboard Shortcuts drop-down menu, as shown here:

MDaemon webmail keyboard shortcuts
MDaemon’s webmail client lets you continue using the same keyboard shortcuts found in your favorite email client!

More information on this feature can be found in the following page from our online manual:

http://help.altn.com/mdaemon/worldclient/en/index.html?shortcut_keys.htm

If you have questions or comments about this feature, let us know! If you’re not an MDaemon user, but would like to learn more about its features, visit the MDaemon product page and have a look around!

A New Year and a New Name

As we welcome in a New Year, we are also welcoming a new company name. Alt-N Technologies is transitioning to MDaemon Technologies. This change is now in motion and will be implemented gradually across our many company assets.

We are adopting the new name to better leverage the brand equity and recognition we have built over the many years with our trusted email server. The new name will consolidate our brand and align the company around a globally recognized name.

With the name change also brings the new tag line: Simple Secure Email. We believe this tag line summarizes the value many of our global customers and partners have expressed over the years and is synonymous with the attributes that have made MDaemon a popular email server with many IT professionals and resellers.

We may have a new name but our mission and focus remain the same: develop features in our email server and email gateway products that deliver value (reliability, security, and flexibility) to the IT professionals that put their trust in us.

For more than 20 years we have succeeded by listening to our global customers and delivering exceptional service. We treat our employees, customers and channel partners like family and we believe this is just one of the many reasons why we remain a trusted vendor in an ever changing and competitive email and email security market. We may not be the biggest company you will deal with, but we strive to be the best company you deal with!

To our current customers we thank you for allowing us the opportunity to earn your business. To prospective customers, we ask that you give us a try. Download a free 30 day trial of our products or look at our hosted services and partners.

We look forward to an exciting 2018 and the opportunity to serve you!

Happy New Year,
Kevin

Kevin Beatty
VP, Marketing & Business Development