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Re: IMAP over an SSH tunnel -- how does it work?

On Wed, 2005-04-06 at 16:31 -0400, Matt Price wrote:
> ssh <me>@localhost -L 9143:<mailbox.server.name>:143 
> then I just point getmail to 
> port = 9143
> server = localhost
> and my mail gets picked up!  But:  I guess I don't really believe that
> the mail is encrypted, since I don't understand how the connection to
> <mailbox.server.name> is encrypted when I don't log in or anything.
> Do other folks understand better how this works?  Or (more to the
> point) whether the packets sent by the mailserver are actually
> encrypted before they reach my local box?  

You're right, your communication to the mail server is NOT, in fact,
being encrypted. What's happening when you do the above is encrypting
any information between your ssh client and the server that it is
connecting to. In this case, localhost. So you're encrypting information
that's going nowhere. (The above would be much more useful if you ran
your own mail server on your home network and wanted to connect to it
securely from a remote location.)

What you're wanting to do is not possible without having a shell account
on your ISP's machine. Though if your ISP doesn't offer secure access to
your mail and WON'T offer secure access to your mail, I'd suggest that
it's time to look for a new ISP. (One that won't be compromised any day
Alex Malinovich
Support Free Software, delete your Windows partition TODAY!
Encrypted mail preferred. You can get my public key from any of the
pgp.net keyservers. Key ID: A6D24837

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