Chapter 4f. Encrypted email with Icedove and Enigmail
Due to the complexity of the software in the past, one of the most underutilized forms of
protection for users is email encryption. However, with the use of Icedove (the Debian Project's
email client) and Enigmail (a graphical front-end for using the GnuPG [“GPG”] encryption
program), taking advantage of encrypted email is now much easier. This is not the same as online
services that promise “encrypted email” in transit or storage such as Lavabit. Those types of
systems can still be broken by an attacker if the system cooperates. Rather, the email encryption
discussed here involves direct end-to-end encryption that can only be read by the intended recipient
and, thus, is much more secure.
Be aware that e-mail is a very insecure system by design when it comes to privacy and
anonymity and, thus, must be used with great discipline and caution. For example, even if you
encrypt all of the email that you send to a recipient, if they reply to your email and don't encrypt it,
then they have just sent an email that contains their message, and likely a quote of the one you
typed, which can be viewed by numerous different attackers. Furthermore, the names of email
recipients and the subject line of your email cannot be encrypted and, thus, are always viewable to
an attacker. Additionally, there are a number of different types of metadata that can be harvested
from email, depending on how it is used. Therefore, please be careful if you use email to engage
in sensitive communications.
With that out of the way, let's proceed.
1. First, open a Konsole session. Double-click on the Konsole icon on your Desktop.
2. Next, change to your Downloads directory. Type “cd Downloads” and press “enter.”