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The World NEXT ends 

One of the things that's annoyed me is that even if both sides support STARTTLS, you can't easily tell if any given email has been transferred securely.

It looks like some big names (but not IBM) have picked up this banner recently and
put in a draft to the IETF to address this:

This means that STARTTLS connections are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, where a hacker in a position to intercept the traffic could present the email sender with any certificate, even a self-signed one, and it will be accepted, allowing for the traffic to be decrypted. Furthermore, STARTTLS connections are vulnerable to so-called encryption downgrade attacks, where the encryption is simply removed.

The newly proposed SMTP Strict Transport Security (SMTP STS) addresses both of those issues. It gives email providers the means to inform connecting clients that TLS is available and should be used. It also tells them how the presented certificate should be validated and what should happen if a TLS connection cannot be safely negotiated.

These SMTP STS policies are defined through special DNS records added to the email server's domain name. The protocol provides mechanisms for clients to automatically validate these policies and to report back on any failures.


The Register

IETF group proposes better SMTP hardening to secure email. At last


Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others publish new email security standard

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman March 22nd, 2016 08:43:17 PM


To be in the top 1% of the US, you have to make more than $380,000.

To be in the top 1% of the WORLD, you have to make more than $47,000.

Welcome to the top 1%.

Go here to see where you rank in the world:

Image:Perspective - Welcome to the top 1%

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman January 30th, 2015 08:38:44 AM

IBM (IBM.N) dismissed on Monday a Forbes magazine report claiming the technology firm is preparing to cut about 26 percent of its workforce, which would represent its biggest-ever layoffs.

IBM is cutting jobs, as disclosed in its latest earnings report last week, but those reductions will affect "several thousand" employees, a "small fraction" of what Forbes reported, according to an emailed statement from IBM to Reuters. Forbes had said as many as 112,000 employees could be laid off. -
Reuters (full story)

Cringely follow up with this article:

So what's the truth about these job cuts? Well we'll know this week because I hear the notices are already in transit to be delivered on Wednesday. (I originally wrote in the mail but then realized IBM would condemn me if they are coming by FedEx, instead.)

I think IBM is dissembling, fixating on the term 110,000 layoffs, which by the way I never used. Like my young sons who never hit each other but instead push, slap, graze, or brush, IBM is playing word games to obscure the truth.

Full Cringely post

This makes the rest of the week mighty interesting.

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman January 27th, 2015 01:09:23 PM

Image:Trying to work out what was missing from the ConnectED 2015 OGS

Comments (1)
Craig Wiseman January 27th, 2015 07:57:49 AM

There's no one driving the bus.
This has been pretty clear for years, but made even clearer by the dissolution of the Lotus brand.

Who "owns" and drives development for Connections, Portal, Sametime, Notes, Domino, etc.? The entire group of "social" products seems to be on autopilot. Who pushes them and markets them? If you are not in the IBM blackhole, it's impenetrable. And why would anyone not already sucked in care?
Image:Three points that Lotusphere, er, Connect, er, ConnectED 2015 should refute

OK, what we really mean is that we value you[r renewals] as customers.

Virtually all the products in the Social area are in "milk the customer" mode.
There's no
Much requested basic
maintenance and upkeep is not done.
It's OK if things are
left broken as long as customers pay up.
Image:Three points that Lotusphere, er, Connect, er, ConnectED 2015 should refute

We don't care what you want, it's all about I (BM).

Cringely has a
good article about what's about to happen within IBM, go read it and the comments
For many years, when IBM was at its best, it found out what the customer needed and then produced hardware, software, and services to fill the need.
Now, it is hard to say what IBM is about, but it's certainly not about the people and companies that pay it money.

Image:Three points that Lotusphere, er, Connect, er, ConnectED 2015 should refute

Comments (3)
Craig Wiseman January 25th, 2015 11:58:03 AM

A worthy read, particularly the comments:

IBM's reorg-from-Hell launches next week
IBM's big layoff-cum-reorganization called Project Chrome kicks-off next week when 26 percent of IBM employees will get calls from their managers followed by thick envelopes on their doorsteps.  By the end of February all 26 percent will be gone. I'm told this has been in the planning for months and I first heard about it back in November. This biggest reorganization in IBM history is going to be a nightmare for everyone and at first I expected it to be a failure for IBM management, too.
But then I thought further and I think I’ve figured it out…

Comments (7)
Craig Wiseman January 23rd, 2015 10:57:17 AM

After much worrying non-communication, IBM came out with the initial POODLE for SSL patch and then the POODLE for TLS patch.

These were timely and clean fixes - thank you IBM for these.

I've included an email to IBM support regarding the fact that the POODLE SSL/TLS fixes break Domino as an internet-facing SMTP host... a role it Domino has served for many many organizations since the Notes Server R4 days.

If you are an IBM Domino customer, please call IBM support and open a PMR on this issue. Ask them to add the PMR to SPR LMES9QRUZY this will end weight to this issue and may sway development to actual fix this fundamental issue.
 (PMR = "Problem Management Record" | SPR = "Software Problem Report")

Image:Domino customer? Please call IBM support help get SMTP TLS/SSL fixed

Comments (9)
Craig Wiseman January 16th, 2015 12:56:27 PM

After much worrying non-communication, IBM came out with the initial POODLE for SSL patch and then the POODLE for TLS patch.

These were timely and clean fixes - thank you IBM for these.

However, we've noticed an issue with the impact these fixes have on SMTP traffic.

The issue is that the POODLE fixes completely drop support for
SSLv2, which on one level is fine - SSLv2 is insecure. But there's a more subtle issue caused by completely dropping SSLv2 support:
According to various SSL/TLS RFCs (rfc
2246)(rfc6176), the opening HELLO may be received even it it's SSLv2 and then a re-negotiate process must be run to upgrade the communication to an agreed, higher level.

Why is this a problem? Because there are a LARGE number of SMTP hosts that try to connect with an SSLv2-signed initial connection and Domino shuts them down. And NO mail gets received by Domino
(REMINDER: Domino is a mail server, among its many other roles).

This issue has been
raised and pushed by Mark Gottschalk and others - go read that thread. Historically IBM prided itself on providing robust, secure solutions. We're not seeing that here.

SMTP inbound TLS on Domino is incomplete/broken as currently offered.  It only satisfies a lawyer's interpretation of 'we have given the clients a solution to the problem', and cannot be used for inbound SMTP by organizations in the real world without the risk of rejecting significant legitimate mail.
- Mr. Gottschalk

Wonder what some user is tring to send me? *sigh* I'll never know.

[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23 AM  SMTP Server: ( connected

[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.44 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Received 30 bytes from

[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.44 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Sent 182 bytes to

[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.57 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Received 8 bytes from

[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.57 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Sent 24 bytes to

[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23 AM  SMTP Server: ( disconnected. 0 message[s] received

Comments (2)
Craig Wiseman January 15th, 2015 09:12:21 AM

Mr. Thurrott wrote this a year ago, but it's worth a re-read. From a public perspective, Mr. Ozzie kind of disappeared into Microsoft, but it's clear he had the forethough and intelligence to see what was coming.

Microsoft's history is full of baloney legends, like "The Internet Tidal Wave" memo from Bill Gates that allegedly caused the company to "turn on a dime" and embrace the Internet (and in the process squash Netscape). But a more complete and less hagiographic telling of that history should also include those signs that Microsoft missed, and in this case, those memos that Microsoft completely and utterly ignored.

Ray Ozzie wrote at least two of them. And each is, in its own way, as prophetic and important as that Internet Tidal Wave memo.

Head over and read the whole thing:

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman November 1st, 2014 05:34:09 PM

What these are: GOOD Short time, targeted fixes to immediate issues Domino faces.
This is some good, hard news. Updates on what's going to be done and timelines that work.
Remember, the Poodle exploit is *at this point* proof of concept from Google, so we do have a window of time before it becomes a true issue.

This is a very acceptable approach. As I told support... I'm fine with having a Poodle-resistant solution for Domino 8.5.x and moving to full TLS and HTTP in 9.x.

Planned SHA-2 deliveries for IBM Domino 9.x

How is IBM Domino impacted by the POODLE attack?

What we still need: A commitment and roadmap to full TLS 1.2/1.3 and HTTP v2 support, native in Domino, across all platforms.

IBM is committed to delivering a secure and reliable offering. It is our intention to continue to address general enhancements including security updates as is our general practice in our product development cycles or in our ongoing subscription updates.

Comments (1)
Craig Wiseman October 21st, 2014 10:37:17 AM

What IBM's response to the POODLE SSL v3 attack feels like to its Domino customers:

TOP men are working on it

Comments (6)
Craig Wiseman October 20th, 2014 02:24:50 PM

[Background research: Who was Cassandra?]

IBM announced some pretty bad news today...
IBM's PAYING GlobalFoundries to take its chip making facility off its hands and IBM's given up on its HUGELY vaunted earnings plans.

If you're interested in why this may be, take a gander at what Cringely been saying for a long, long time:

The Decline and Fall of IBM
(italics are mine)

Even on the surface, IBM in early 2014 looks like a troubled company. Sales are flat to down, and earnings are too. More IBM customers are probably unhappy with Big Blue right now than are happy. After years of corporate downsizing, employee morale is at an all-time low. Bonuses and even annual raises are rare. But for all that, IBM is still an enormous multinational corporation with high profits, deep pockets, and grand ambitions for new technical initiatives in cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and artificial intelligence as embodied in the company's Jeopardy game-show-winning Watson technology. Yet for all this, IBM seems to have lost some of its mojo, or at least that's what Wall Street and the business analysts are starting to think.

Just starting to think? The truth is that IBM is in deep trouble and has been since before the Great Recession of 2008. The company has probably been doomed since 2010. It's just that nobody knew it. These are harsh words, I know, and I don't write them lightly. By doomed I mean that IBM has chosen a path that, if unchanged, can only lead to decline, corporate despair, and ultimately insignificance for what was once the mightiest of American businesses.

If I am correct about IBM, whose fault is it?

Full Source

Comments (1)
Craig Wiseman October 20th, 2014 10:02:14 AM

This seems promising. OK, "promising" is way overselling it.
Really, I guess it's not "promising" when the vendor acknowledges something that customers have been asking about for over 8 years.

But that's not the point:

Re: Poodle SSL vulnerability

We are currently working on statements regarding solutions for our clients with concerns around TLS and SHA-2.



David Kern | Resident Paranoid
STSM, Global ICS Security Architect


Resident Paranoid

Comments (2)
Craig Wiseman October 16th, 2014 09:51:56 PM

For over 8 years, there's been post after post, PMR after PMR, IdeaJam idea after idea on upgrade Domino's SSL security in order to keep it current.
(Here's a google search for:
Please upgrade Domino SSL )

While they've been very busy apparently doing nothing about this, IBM's also been very quiet about it, although they have acknowledged that IBM's PAYING CUSTOMERS think it's important (
see here).

Now, we expect to hear something about how to fix this. SOON. It's not like IBM hasn't had time to prepare.

Give me details!

Bill Malchisky covers the actual vulnerability very well, so I'll send you his way for the techy detail:
New SSL3 Exploit: The POODLE Is Here and Lifting Its Leg ( )

See the comments for some mitigation options for Domino. UNTIL IBM FIXES THIS.

Comments (3)
Craig Wiseman October 15th, 2014 07:50:22 AM

What do you say when you have bad news or no news... when you really should be saying something?

One corporate take is to say as little as possible. (and hope the issue goes away, I guess).

I've blurred the name of the source for this comment, because I don't want her (or is it him?) blamed  for my extrapolation.

Related to this issue we have an answer from our colleagues from Level 2 that even the future version 10 does not have the support for it yet - and there is an enhancement request even for that version. The enhancement request for SHA-2 is the most needed one in Domino history. The more customers are requesting it, the more chance there is that IBM will put time and money into fixing it. We added your PMR to this very long list. The software problem report number is SPR # ABAI7SASE6 and APAR #LO46492.

If you haven't yet, please call IBM and open a PMR in support of this SPR/APAR.

C'mon, IBM I want to believe you're going to do the right thing here. and soon.
really. I do.

Comments (8)
Craig Wiseman October 6th, 2014 12:04:11 PM

One of the great things about Notes and Domino has been the iterative growth of features. Well, that was true until about 4 years ago. Lately, a lot has been said about IBM's poor performance in keeping Domino's security stack up to date:

Not that we've heard ANYTHING from IBM on this topic, but that's not the point of this post...

The HTTP/2 protocol is rapidly being developed and accepted.

The standardization effort comes as an answer to the rise of SPDY, an HTTP compatible protocol launched by Google[3] and supported in Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11 and Amazon Silk browsers.

Full detail:

As paying customers of a pretty expensive product, I think we have a fair expectation that we see HTTP/2 support in Domino on the roadmap across all platforms, just as we expect TLS 1.3 and SHA-2+ across all protocols on all platforms.

I have completed the creation of Software Problem Report #ITDL9PMP32 (APAR #LO82258) reporting the issue to the Domino Development team.
I have created Software Problem Report asking that the product be enhanced to do this in a future release.

If you wish, please open PMR in support of this SPR/APAR

Comments (1)
Craig Wiseman October 6th, 2014 07:21:39 AM

There's been a justifiable bit of a hullabaloo about security and IBM Domino (nee Lotus Domino).

The biggest point lately concerning Domino's shameful lack of general support for modern Web security has hinged around Domino's support for only the
SHA1 hash. What's sad about this is that "The first signs of weaknesses in SHA1 appeared (almost) ten years ago. - Qualys Blog". Ten years ago... back when IBM gave the appearance of caring about Domino's future.

Now Google has announced (bolding is mine):

The use of SHA-1 within TLS certificates is no longer sufficiently secure. This is an intent to phase them out (in 2-3 years). In order to make such a phase-out execute smoothly, rather than be an Internet flag day, we will be degrading the experience when these certificates are used in the wild.

Google's full proposal, "Intent to Deprecate: SHA-1 certificates"

ZDnet discussion, "Google accelerates end of SHA-1 support; certificate authorities nervous"

This apparently means that in Google Chrome, your "secure" Domino websites will get a user interface indicator that there's something wrong, or not up to snuff with your site.

Just to remind you, as of 09/11/2014, here's IBM's official stance on SHA2 support:
click to see on IBM's site

When trying to import the root CA, with a key length of 4096 and SHA-256, the following error appears:

"Certificate signature does not match contents."

Is it possible to use a CA with a key length of 4096 and SHA-256 with Domino 8.x or 9.0.x?

Resolving the problem

No, Domino does not support SHA-2; only MD5, SHA-1, and DSA are currently supported. SPR # ABAI7SASE6 (APAR LO48388) has been submitted to Quality Engineering to request support for SHA-2 in future releases.

IMPORTANT: This SHA1 discussion is only a small piece of this issue.
Traditionally, Lotus, then IBM has been a good steward and added new features and security to Domino as things evolved. Before v4.6, Domino didn't even have a web server (actually, it was called the Notes server before v4.6), and SMTP was originally a separate piece that hooked into the Notes server. LDAP, POP3, XML, RSS, etc... all were added and melded into the product over time. We need TLS 1.2+, DKIM, DMARC, etc.

Very simply and clearly, it's time for IBM to continue this process and add full TLS 1.3 support for all Domino services (HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, LDAP, IMAP, etc) on all platforms.

Otherwise, better hope Rose has some room on the plank for you.

Titantic hitting the iceberg

Comments (4)
Craig Wiseman September 11th, 2014 11:25:15 AM

I posted about this here in 2011. Other good folks have been posting about this as well, here, here, here, here, etc.

Simply put, Domino needs proper, modern TLS 1.3 support across all protocols, including SMTP, LDAP, HTTP, POP, IMAP, etc.
What kind of shocks me is that there's any discussion about making this happen. If I had a product in this situation, the only meetings I'd be having is about WHEN the enhancements will be finished.

IBM is all about security, except... when it isn't?

and, please... let's not hear anyone at IBM say, "We've not head that our customers want this."

What can be done?
+ Call in to IBM support and get them to create a PMR and add it to
Apparently "APAR LO67453 SPR #YDEN8RNH22 for Enhancement " has disappeared.

+ Comment here at what used to be

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman August 25th, 2014 11:51:58 AM

Here's a subtle thing for IT folks. This check box was added in the very latest Java release.
See anything useful about it?

Java Control Panel

Comments (0)
Craig Wiseman August 21st, 2014 05:13:14 PM
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