Friday, October 06, 2006
ESR on password encryption in fetchmail
A Few More Lessons from Fetchmail:
Another lesson is about security by obscurity. Some fetchmail users asked me to change the software to store passwords encrypted in the rc file, so snoopers wouldn't be able to casually see them.
I didn't do it, because this doesn't actually add protection. Anyone who's acquired permissions to read your rc file will be able to run fetchmail as you anyway—and if it's your password they're after, they'd be able to rip the necessary decoder out of the fetchmail code itself to get it.
All .fetchmailrc password encryption would have done is give a false sense of security to people who don't think very hard.