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Design and Implementation of a Cryptographic Plugin for E-Mail Clients

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Executive Summary

Most applications that use cryptography implement and use only a limited set of cryptographic algorithms. In addition it is not easy to update these applications and extend their provided set of algorithms. This paper concentrates on e-mail clients and discusses a cryptographic plugin with focus on Mozilla Thunderbird. The paper provides a modular framework for exchangeable signature, hash, and encryption algorithms. The paper creates an integration layer between e-mail applications and cipher implementations. With such a layer, both parts can be exchanged freely and independently of each other which is not possible with current solutions because they mostly rely upon a static set of ciphers and hash functions or directly integrate the ciphers into the application code.

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