Self Destructing Emails



  • I'm skeptical about these. For all I know about pop3, imap, smtp and filesystems... Ok, it's barely more than nothing, but I still don't believe it.

    The fact that they're advertising it in a page that looks like 1995 doesn't help either.

    This page in particular is priceless. Notice the Macintosh logo.

    Emails sent with this feature will automatically destruct in the time selected by the sender. Sending emails using our Self-Destruct feature allows you to retract the body of your email prior to it being opened by your recipient.

    I can see this happening if the email is in html and there's an iframe pointing to somewhere, but by then I could just've copipasted the whole thing.

    Ensured emails are stored on our server until accessed by your recipient (so they are guaranteed).
    WTF?
    You are able to prevent your recipients from printing or copying your emails using typical means.
    O rly?


  • So what the recipient probably receives is just a link to the message on readnotify's servers (something like "Bob Fudgefucker has sent you a message click here to read it"), and they have the crappy javascript anti print/copy stuff turned on that doesn't work very well but fuck it the sales guy doesn't care, it's just another thing to pitch. 



  • What I've seen done in the past is the “retraction service” rendering the text to an image, then sending an e-mail that uses HTML to remotely embed the image. The service's servers can track GET requests of the image, etc., and the fact it's an image prevents easy copy-and-pasting. The big downside is that any sane e-mail client disables remote image access out of the box. Oh, and the fact it's an fucktastically moronic idea to apply to e-mail in the first place.



  • ALT+PRTSCN anyone ? OCR is so easy to do if you just want the text... Heck, there are websites that do it for you, just upload the image. 



  • 1) Take a screenshot
    2) Paste screenshot in Word
    3) Print screenshot from Word

    No wooden table required.



  • Well, note that it says it can be retracted "prior to being opened by the recipient".  So if you haven't seen it yet, you can't copy-paste.

     

    [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    You are able to prevent your recipients from printing or copying your emails using typical means.
    O rly?[/quote]

    You seem to be missing the second half of these sentences.  Like "using typical means".  It's probably just a link to a remote page that has JS disabled.  Can it be bypassed?  Sure.  Just not with typical means.

     

    Do I think it's kind of silly?  Yeah, but it's not as if they are being blatantly dishonest about it, from what I can tell.  The email can be retracted after it is sent but before it is read (which can be hours or days).  I've never liked these kind of "services" but I've been asked to implement similar features in webmail products I've built.  I was skeptical at first, but a surprising number of customers said it would be a useful feature.  And even after explaining in great detail that it wasn't foolproof and that tech-savvy recipients could bypass it, they still wanted it.  It's useful in many cases, and it seems people who buy into this kind of service are happy with it, even if it isn't useful in all cases.  shrug



  •  My favorite way to grab "protected" images is with the WebDeveloper plugin for Firefox.  Image/View lmage Information brings up a new tab with each image on its own row with dimensions and size.  Works great with things like Amazon's previews.



  •  I usually go the tedious route and use Firebug's right-click, Inspect Element feature then chip away protective/covering elements until I find the actual image.



  • @Mr. DOS said:

    What I've seen done in the past is the “retraction service” rendering the text to an image, then sending an e-mail that uses HTML to remotely embed the image. The service's servers can track GET requests of the image, etc., and the fact it's an image prevents easy copy-and-pasting. The big downside is that any sane e-mail client disables remote image access out of the box. Oh, and the fact it's an fucktastically moronic idea to apply to e-mail in the first place.

    Yah, but they also claim to be able to tell how long someone left the email open, and whether it was forwarded-on-- you can't do either of those with the image trick.

    They must be putting all emails on a web server, and just emailing a link to them.



  • @verisimilidude said:

     My favorite way to grab "protected" images is with the WebDeveloper plugin for Firefox.  Image/View lmage Information brings up a new tab with each image on its own row with dimensions and size.  Works great with things like Amazon's previews.

    If you're already in Firefox, use the Page Info dialog. It's built-in, no need for add-ons. (In fact, from your description, I can't figure what the WebDeveloper plug-in is doing differently than stock Firefox already does...)



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Well, note that it says it can be retracted "prior to being opened by the recipient".  So if you haven't seen it yet, you can't copy-paste.
    We can do that now without any third party. I can send you an email with a .zip attachment full of garbage (or perhaps encrypted). If I decide later I don't want you to receive the email I just say "Delete the email" as you can't do anything with it anyway. If I do want you to read the email, I'll send it again with a valid attachment or perhaps give you the key to open the file (which will contain 1 or more of every character from the ISO8859-1 standard, for security reasons)



  • I use BigString to allow me to 'retract' or 'self-destruct' e-mails, which does indeed work. You can also say 'destroy e-mail after n reads,' with the option of several accompanying animations (like flames, letters dropping down page, etc.) when someone tries to read it for the (n+1)th time.



  • There are ways that would at least make it a royal pain to access information without detailed tracking of its access. Like showing it to you in a scrolling flash widget that loaded information while simultaneously telling the server what page you're reading.

    Yet long before you reach the point where the sender has actual control over the information, you'd reach the point where the recipient is perfectly justified in telling the sender to go fuck himself and chuck it into the bin.



  • @Mr. DOS said:

     I usually go the tedious route and use Firebug's right-click, Inspect Element feature then chip away protective/covering elements until I find the actual image.

     

    I've gone the route of putting a few doman-specific rules in Stylish to set such elements to display:none permanently.

    NewScientist, I'm looking at you. If your devs' idea of article protection is putting up a few overlay divs, then you deserve to be "hacked".

     



  • @Mole said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Well, note that it says it can be retracted "prior to being opened by the recipient".  So if you haven't seen it yet, you can't copy-paste.
    We can do that now without any third party. I can send you an email with a .zip attachment full of garbage (or perhaps encrypted). If I decide later I don't want you to receive the email I just say "Delete the email" as you can't do anything with it anyway. If I do want you to read the email, I'll send it again with a valid attachment or perhaps give you the key to open the file (which will contain 1 or more of every character from the ISO8859-1 standard, for security reasons)

    Or just put the contents on your own web server and include a link in the email, which seems a lot less convoluted and retarded than sending a "fake" email and thena real email.  And, of course, if the second email is the "real" email then it can't be retracted.

     

    But the point is this automates all of that for you so you don't have to come up with goofy, manual processes to retract an email.  I'm not saying it's a brilliant idea, but some people find it useful enough to pay for it and even with all the possible ways to bypass it it is still effective enough for their needs.



  • This.



  •  How come this many websites all process html with no filtering whatsoever? I posted one recently with exactly the same flaw. 



  • @Mole said:

    How come this many websites all process html with no filtering whatsoever?
     

    There exists many idiots.



  •  This reminds me of those CDs they were trying to market some time ago that would get disabled after a few uses. The idea was that you'd rent a movie and you wouldn't have to bring it back. Apparently none of those people had heard of a CD writer. And then internet speeds picked up, torrents got popular, etc, etc and the whole thing died a quiet death



  • @Abdiel said:

    1) Take a screenshot
    2) Paste screenshot in Word
    3) Print screenshot from Word

    No wooden table required.

    Signature worthy.





  • @DOA said:

     This reminds me of those CDs they were trying to market some time ago that would get disabled after a few uses. The idea was that you'd rent a movie and you wouldn't have to bring it back. Apparently none of those people had heard of a CD writer. And then internet speeds picked up, torrents got popular, etc, etc and the whole thing died a quiet death

    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @DOA said:

     This reminds me of those CDs they were trying to market some time ago that would get disabled after a few uses. The idea was that you'd rent a movie and you wouldn't have to bring it back. Apparently none of those people had heard of a CD writer. And then internet speeds picked up, torrents got popular, etc, etc and the whole thing died a quiet death

    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.

    There was another type, Disney was looking into awhile back. It's not like Divx where it requires a special player. The disks had some kind of chemical that broke-down when it was exposed to air or light and make the pits unreadable. Once you unsealed the package you had like 24 hours to watch it, more or less. Other than that, they were perfectly normal DVDs that would play in any player.



  • @dhromed said:

    I've gone the route of putting a few doman-specific rules in Stylish to set such elements to display:none permanently.

    NewScientist, I'm looking at you. If your devs' idea of article protection is putting up a few overlay divs, then you deserve to be "hacked".

     

    I prefer to give the dev(s) the benefit of the doubt and think of it like this:

    PHB says "MAKE OUR WEBSITE UNREADABLE AFTER 3 ARTICLES"

    Developer groans and explain myriad ways why this is stupid, bypassable, annoying, etc. 

    PHB says "DO IT ANYWAY, I R TEH BOSS AND I GET MY WAY OR TANTRUM"

    Developer implements 'protection' easily bypassable by anybody with a grain of sense, of course his Boss is UNABLE TO READ ARTICLES, YESSS, POWERRRR OVER THE PEONS THAT READ MY WEBSITE, BAHAHAHAHA, and thus happy and none-the-wiser. 

    So don't fricking alert them to this situation! I like my articles, damnit. 



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @DOA said:
    This reminds me of those CDs they were trying to market some time ago that would get disabled after a few uses. The idea was that you'd rent a movie and you wouldn't have to bring it back. Apparently none of those people had heard of a CD writer. And then internet speeds picked up, torrents got popular, etc, etc and the whole thing died a quiet death
    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.
    There was another type, Disney was looking into awhile back. It's not like Divx where it requires a special player. The disks had some kind of chemical that broke-down when it was exposed to air or light and make the pits unreadable. Once you unsealed the package you had like 24 hours to watch it, more or less. Other than that, they were perfectly normal DVDs that would play in any player.
    Oh Snap.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.

    There was another type, Disney was looking into awhile back. It's not like Divx where it requires a special player. The disks had some kind of chemical that broke-down when it was exposed to air or light and make the pits unreadable. Once you unsealed the package you had like 24 hours to watch it, more or less. Other than that, they were perfectly normal DVDs that would play in any player.

    Yup, those. Like a wimpy version of the mission briefings in Mission Impossible. 

    Hadn't heard of Divx though, so I googled it. They wanted you to buy a new DVD player just to watch their crippled DVDs?!

     

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA



  • @DOA said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.

    There was another type, Disney was looking into awhile back. It's not like Divx where it requires a special player. The disks had some kind of chemical that broke-down when it was exposed to air or light and make the pits unreadable. Once you unsealed the package you had like 24 hours to watch it, more or less. Other than that, they were perfectly normal DVDs that would play in any player.

    Yup, those. Like a wimpy version of the mission briefings in Mission Impossible. 

    Hadn't heard of Divx though, so I googled it. They wanted you to buy a new DVD player just to watch their crippled DVDs?!

     

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah, Divx was up there with CueCat for "best business plan evar!!"

    The self-destruction DVDs had a chance, if they'd come out when DVDs were new. As is, they weren't available until everybody who wanted to pirate was already pirating and RedBox was destroying what remained of non-Internet rental places.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @DOA said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Divx?  Those couldn't be copied.

    There was another type, Disney was looking into awhile back. It's not like Divx where it requires a special player. The disks had some kind of chemical that broke-down when it was exposed to air or light and make the pits unreadable. Once you unsealed the package you had like 24 hours to watch it, more or less. Other than that, they were perfectly normal DVDs that would play in any player.

    Yup, those. Like a wimpy version of the mission briefings in Mission Impossible. 

    Hadn't heard of Divx though, so I googled it. They wanted you to buy a new DVD player just to watch their crippled DVDs?!

     

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah, Divx was up there with CueCat for "best business plan evar!!"

    The self-destruction DVDs had a chance, if they'd come out when DVDs were new. As is, they weren't available until everybody who wanted to pirate was already pirating and RedBox was destroying what remained of non-Internet rental places.

     



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