NEWS - August 09, 2013
by Carol~ - 8/9/13 10:52 AM
Secure webmail service Lavabit suspends operation, citing legal issues
If you're interested in webmail security, you've probably heard of Lavabit.
It's a boutique webmail provider based in Texas, USA.
Lavabit differs from the big cloud email players, such as outlook.com and Gmail, by using encryption a bit differently.
It uses public key cryptography not only when you view your messages in your browser (that's the https:// part in the URL), but also when it stores your messages on its servers.
⇒ Public key cryptography, secretly invented by the British in the early 1970s under the mildly confusing moniker of NSE (non-secret encryption), uses two keys, not one, to secure your data. Anyone can lock a file for you to read later, using your public key. You may publish this key openly. But only you can unlock the file, using your private key. As the name implies, this is the one you keep to yourself.
What that means is that the contents of your messages aren't just encrypted on Lavabit's disks so that they are protected from abuse if someone steals the servers.
Continued : http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/08/09/lavabit-suspends-operation-citing-legal-issues/
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