Trouble with MIME encoding and PGP

Trouble with MIME encoding and PGP

Post by Smarag » Mon, 12 Jan 1998 04:00:00



I use a nym account. When I try the reply function by
sending myself a letter, it works well when I use
uuencode in the outgoing message. When I use MIME, I
still receive the message from the nym account, but
only the headers seem to become decrypted, the con-
tent of the message is still unreadable. I use Private
Idaho 2.8b3 with PGP 2.6.3i for DOS on a Windows95 PC.
The administrator of the nym-server thought it prob-
ably had something to do with my e-mail client soft-
ware. I concluded that my Internet Mail application
worked as it should. After advice I switched from PI
to Jack B. Nymble, but got the same result. Now I ask
myself if there is something wrong with PGP, or the way
I have configured my Autoexec.bat file :

set tz=met-1dst
SET PGPPATH=C:\PGP
SET MIXPATH=C:\pgp
SET path=C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND
PATH=C:\WINDOWS\C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND;C:\PGP;%PATH%

Does someone know what could be wrong ? This is very important
to me, please help me.

                                Thank you, Smaragd.
                             (formerly known as "Elmer")

 
 
 

Trouble with MIME encoding and PGP

Post by RProces » Tue, 13 Jan 1998 04:00:00



Quote:>I use a nym account. When I try the reply function by
>sending myself a letter, it works well when I use
>uuencode in the outgoing message. When I use MIME, I
>still receive the message from the nym account, but
>only the headers seem to become decrypted, the con-
>tent of the message is still unreadable. I use Private
>Idaho 2.8b3 with PGP 2.6.3i for DOS on a Windows95 PC.
>The administrator of the nym-server thought it prob-
>ably had something to do with my e-mail client soft-
>ware. I concluded that my Internet Mail application
>worked as it should. After advice I switched from PI
>to Jack B. Nymble, but got the same result. Now I ask
>myself if there is something wrong with PGP, or the way
>I have configured my Autoexec.bat file :

I don't understand what you are trying to do.  If you clarify what you're doing
and what you're trying to accomplish, I might be able to give you a better
answer.

If you're trying to attach a binary file to an email message, and send it via a
nym account, this is the procedure in Jack B. Nymble:

Open a book.  Fill in the headers and text of your message.  Click on the
"Extra" page.  Enter the pathname of the binary file under Attachments, select
MIME Auto for encoding, and press Add Attachment.

 
 
 

Trouble with MIME encoding and PGP

Post by Smarag » Tue, 13 Jan 1998 04:00:00




> >I use a nym account. When I try the reply function by
> >sending myself a letter, it works well when I use
> >uuencode in the outgoing message. When I use MIME, I
> >still receive the message from the nym account, but
> >only the headers seem to become decrypted, the con-
> >tent of the message is still unreadable. I use Private
> >Idaho 2.8b3 with PGP 2.6.3i for DOS on a Windows95 PC.
> >The administrator of the nym-server thought it prob-
> >ably had something to do with my e-mail client soft-
> >ware. I concluded that my Internet Mail application
> >worked as it should. After advice I switched from PI
> >to Jack B. Nymble, but got the same result. Now I ask
> >myself if there is something wrong with PGP, or the way
> >I have configured my Autoexec.bat file :

> I don't understand what you are trying to do.  If you clarify  > what you're doing and what you're trying to accomplish, I might > be able to give you a better answer.

> If you're trying to attach a binary file to an email message,  > and send it via a nym account, this is the procedure in Jack B. > Nymble:

> Open a book.  Fill in the headers and text of your message.    > Click on the "Extra" page.  Enter the pathname of the binary   > file under Attachments, select MIME Auto for encoding, and     > press Add Attachment.

Thank you for replying. This is what i am trying to do :
I can perfectly well send mail from my nym account, the trouble
appears when i try to send e-mail *to* it. I am not trying to
send any attachments, just plain text, from my own regular
e-mail adress and client (MS Internet Mail). I thought that en-
coding was only used when sending attachments (binaries), how-
ever there is in my e-mail client a dialogue-box "Settings for
unformatted text", where i can choose either MIME ("base 64",
"quoted printable" or "none") or Uuencode. The problem is that
when i choose Mime base 64, even though i only send plain text,
and send the message to my nym account adress, i am not able to
decrypt the message properly when i receive it from the nym-
server. No error messages appear, i decrypt with my secret key
as usual, i can now read the very extensive message headers, but
the *content* of the message is still unreadable ! I don't know
much about encrytion and e-mail encoding, but i assume that it
is not supposed to be like this. Is it ? Can someone explain/
help me ?

                                 Thank you, Smaragd

 
 
 

Trouble with MIME encoding and PGP

Post by RProces » Wed, 14 Jan 1998 04:00:00



Quote:>Thank you for replying. This is what i am trying to do :
>I can perfectly well send mail from my nym account, the trouble
>appears when i try to send e-mail *to* it. I am not trying to
>send any attachments, just plain text, from my own regular
>e-mail adress and client (MS Internet Mail). I thought that en-
>coding was only used when sending attachments (binaries), how-
>ever there is in my e-mail client a dialogue-box "Settings for
>unformatted text", where i can choose either MIME ("base 64",
>"quoted printable" or "none") or Uuencode. The problem is that

Some text is not 7 bit ASCII, and thus is binary text.  (Such as text
containing special non-english characters, etc.)  Such text must be encoded.
Some email clients encode ALL text, as quoted-printable at least.
Quoted-printable is still readable, though, with some characters substituted.

Quote:>when i choose Mime base 64, even though i only send plain text,
>and send the message to my nym account adress, i am not able to
>decrypt the message properly when i receive it from the nym-

What you describe is not a decryption problem, it is a decoding problem.  MIME
base 64 is NOT MIME quoted-printable, it is an encoding scheme (changes binary
data to ASCII data) which is unreadable.  Note that ASCII 7 bit text is a
subset of binary - thus you can encode plain text using base 64.  This
compresses it and makes it unreadable.  That is what your mail client is doing.

If you received this mail to a normal mail account, your email client would
convert the base 64 MIME to plain text, transparently.  Because you are
manually decrypting and reading your nym mail in a plain text editor, this
conversion is not being done.  You have several options:

1) To read this mail, after decrypting, run the message through a MIME decoder,
such as udec.exe (which is provided with JBN's Decrypt.)  This should convert
the base 64 back to plain text.  (If udec doesn't detect it, try another MIME
utility, such as munpack, winzip, etc.)

2) If you use JBN's Decrypt to decrypt your nym mail, it may or may not decode
the base 64.  I would guess not, but it depends on the formatting headers.
However, Decrypt can also export decrypted nym mail to email clients -
Netscape, Eudora, Agent, where they will handle the decode for you, as if the
mail were sent directly to your regular account.

3) The real source of the problem is the way your mail is being sent.  It
should not be base 64 encoded.  Even if it contains more than simple plain
text, it should be quoted-printable encoded, which is a bit messy, but is
readable.  You should correct the way your client is sending mail.  Choose
quoted-printable, or no encoding at all, for plain text data.  Or, use JBN to
send your mail.  JBN can send mail like any email client, without going through
remailers.  [Note: It is poor security practice to send mail directly to your
own nym account.]

 
 
 

1. Trouble with mime encoding and PGP

I use a nym account. When I test the reply function by sending
myself a letter it works fine when I use uuencode in the out-
going message. When I use mime base 64, I still receive the
message from my nym account, but after I have decrypted it
the content of the letter is still unreadable. Only the message
header seems to be decrypted. I run PGP 2.6.3i and Private
Idaho 2.8b3 on a Windows 95 system. Does someone have an idea
what could be wrong ?

                                thank you, Elmer

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