Feeds

Hushmail swats code backdoor rumors

Safe as (straw) houses

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Web-based encrypted email service Hushmail has refuted rumours it stopped using software based on the source code published on its website.

Within the zip archive containing the Hush Encryption Engine is a Java executable (.jar) file called HushEncryptionEngine. But this isn't the same file found on Hushmail's mail servers, a poster to Cryptome pointed out over the weekend.

The behaviour raised concerns that Hushmail may no longer be safe to use until Brian Smith of Hush Communications stepped in to say that the wrong files were being compared. Rather than the Java executable, comparisons should be made between the applet in the source code and the applet running on Hushmail's servers. The other file contains debug information, so it does not match the file running on the website, he explained.

Although an innocent explanation for the apparent discrepancy was quickly found, it does illustrate lingering concerns about the absolute reliability of the service. For years Hushmail was considered a safe, reliable and straightforward way to send encrypted, confidential messages. But the revelation last year that Hush Communications, the Vancouver-based firm that runs Hushmail, was forced to hand over 12 CDs of decrypted data to US drug trafficking investigators has shaken this faith.

Hush Communications maintains that it only acted in response to a court order and it might be obliged to hand over clear data again, even if this meant sending a targeted user a poisoned Java applet or other such trickery. Users who needed more security ought to use the desktop version of packages such as PGP.

A section on the limitations of the service goes on to explain that viral infection on a user's PC can also compromise a user's Hushmail account. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton EXPOSED in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.