Cryptography in E-Mail and Web Services

Cryptography in E-Mail and Web Services

Wasim A. Al-Hamdani (Kentucky State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-783-1.ch004
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Cryptography has been used since ancient times in many different shapes and forms to protect messages from being intercepted. However, since 1976, cryptography started to be part of protected public communication when e-mail became commonly used by the public. Webmail (or Web-based e-mail) is an e-mail service intended to be primarily accessed via a web browser, as opposed to through an e-mail client, such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla‘s Thunderbird Mail. Very popular webmail providers include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and AOL. Web based email has its advantages, especially for people who travel. Email can be collected by simply visiting a website, negating the need for an email client, or to logon from home. Wherever a public terminal with Internet access exists one can check, sends and receive email quickly and easily. Another advantage of web based email is that it provides an alternate address allowing user to reserve his/her ISP address for personal use. If someone would like to subscribe to a newsletter, enter a drawing, register at a website, participate in chats, or send feedback to a site, a web based email address is the perfect answer. It will keep non-personal mail on a server for you to check when you wish, rather than filling up your private email box. Web service is defined as “a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network”. Web services are frequently just Internet application programming interfaces (API) that can be accessed over a network, such as the Internet, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services. Other approaches with nearly the same functionality as web services are Object Management Group‘s (OMG) Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), Microsoft‘s Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) or SUN‘s Java/Remote Method Invocation (RMI). Integrating Encryption with web service could be performing in many ways such as: XML Encryption and XML Signature. In this article we present client and Web-based E-mail, next generation E-mail and secure E-mail, followed by cryptography in web service and the last part is the future of web service security. The article start with the integration of cryptography with E-mail client and web base then the integration of cryptography and web service is presented. At the end of the major two sections: e-mail service and web service there is a general prospect vision of encryption future for e-mail service and web service. This section presents our view for the cryptography integration with the second generation of e-mail and web service.
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Email Encryption Integration

As the e-mail technique used two methods: client and Web-based e-mail; the integration of confidentiality is different depends upon the method is used. Generally the confidentiality with e-mail and the use of encryption are classified into three categories:

  • Client base as in Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

  • Web base as hotmail

  • System base which required infrastructure as PGP

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