Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)
Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

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Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

2.2 Sending signed and encrypted email

This video describes how to use the Mailvelope tool to send a signed and encrypted email (these steps are also available in a PDF [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ).

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_cyber_security_vid_1107.mp4
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First, we open Google Chrome, log into our email, and start a new message. Here we're using Gmail. We address it to cybersecurity - mooc @ open . ac . uk. To encrypt the message, we click the notepad icon that appears in the message window. We now see the mailvelope message window where we can type our message.
First, we digitally sign our message by clicking the swirly pen icon in the message window. This brings up a dialogue box, where we select the key we created earlier. This modifies the message to include an encrypted signature block.
We now want to encrypt the signed message so that only the intended recipients can read it. To do this, we click the padlock icon at the top right of the window. Mailvelope shows us a dialogue box where we can select the keys associated with the intended recipients.
In this example, we select the key for cybersecurity - mooc @ open . ac . uk, and click Add, followed by OK. The message is modified again.
The final step is to move the signed and encrypted message back to the web-based email system by clicking Transfer. We can now send the signed and encrypted email.
End transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Please note: Mailvelope has recently updated their interface and there are some changes from what is shown in the video. Instead of a swirly pen symbol, it is necessary to click ‘Sign’ at the bottom of the box, select the key created earlier and then click ‘Transfer’ to return the message to the email window. This hasn’t encrypted it yet though, just signed it.

To encrypt it, the steps are as follows: click the notepad icon again. Instead of the padlock sign shown in the video, click ‘Encrypt’ at the bottom of the box and select the key for ‘’. The message is now ready to be sent.

If you use this tool, you may notice the coloured shape in the top right of the Mailvelope message window, which has a short code in it. Don’t worry if yours isn’t the same as in the video. This is the security token that you can use to verify that the window you’re entering your message into isn’t a fake pretending to be Mailvelope. This code and colour can be set in the ‘Security’ options, under ‘Settings’.

To find out more about Mailvelope’s features or get help with specific problems visit Mailvelope help.

In the last few sections you have explored what is involved in using cryptography to encrypt and sign email communications.

  • What seemed to be the hardest parts of the process?
  • What would you want to improve to make it easier?

You may find it useful to compare your experience with the instructions for one of the other tools mentioned in Section 2, Putting cryptography to use.


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