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    Fri, 22 May 2009


    /Admin/email/misc: Securing Your E-mail Server

    I used this excellent tutorial[1] for most of the basic server setup (which is still in progress....) What follows are some supplementary security-related notes.

    My goal is not so much a big server with a lot of users, but rather to provide a highly secure, private e-mail service. I want to set it up so that it is not easy to avoid using encryption in order to read, download, or send e-mail through my server. Therefore my users can have confidence that their communications with my server will be private, and they will not needlessly expose themselves to eavesdropping. (It would be preferred to always insist on encryption, but this is not possible. SMTP, for instance, must accept unencrypted connections from other servers, and there is no way to prevent an e-mail client from behaving like a server and making an unencrypted connection to deliver e-mail to an account that is local to the server, as this does not constitute relaying and does not require authentication.)

    This server uses a postfix[2] e-mail server, a dovecot[3] imap server, prayer[6] for webmail, and a MySQL[4] database backend containing user account data.

    The security steps I have taken so far:

    Here[5] is a good resource for e-mail client configuration. For my sylpheed e-mail client, I use the following settings:

    [1] http://workaround.org/articles/ispmail-etch/ (Note: I keep a local copy of this howto (hidden) which can be resurrected if the source disappears.)
    [2] http://www.postfix.org/
    [3] http://www.dovecot.org/
    [4] http://dev.mysql.com/
    [5] http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/cs/emailsecure/
    [6] http://www-uxsup.csx.cam.ac.uk/~dpc22/prayer/

    posted at: 03:35 | path: /Admin/email/misc | permanent link to this entry