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PGP 9.9.1 for Mac disables Mail bundles in Leopard

:: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 @ 11:16:53 pm

:: Tags: , , ,

I just reinstalled PGP Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) on my MacBook Pro 17″ running Mac OS 10.5.8. I’m not using it to encrypt my entire drive, but I used to use it to encrypt entire backup volumes so the data on them cannot be used if the drive itself is stolen (when traveling, mostly).

I’m embarrassed to be a FileVault user, but I don’t see any other way to have certain parts of my disk remain fast, while keeping other parts encrypted (and slow). One additional requirement is seamless access; using TrueCrypt wasn’t really an option because I’d have to mount the volume every time I wanted to access it (which is almost all the time, since I want my mail and all non-media files to be encrypted). I’m lazy.

And so, I settled with FileVault, which has actually been working just fine. On my striped Intel SSD setup, I don’t even notice it.

But it isn’t just my machine that needs to be encrypted; backups need to be encrypted as well. I travel with backup drives, and they are much more easily stolen than computers are.

When I back up my machine to an external drive using SuperDuper, the resulting backup is still encrypted because it backs up the files that live on my drive, as opposed to a solution that backs up files that are currently available to the OS. As a result, my FileVault-encrypted files are not accessible on my backup drive unless I boot Mac OS and log in. But since I’m paranoid that FileVault may fail and eat my data, I also use CrashPlan to backup non-image, non-video files to a server. CrashPlan is cool because it does these remote backups even when I am away traveling, and all backups are encrypted.

So why do I need PGP WDE, then?

I’m not sure. I guess I originally used it so that I could stay compatible with friends. I also used to use it to encrypt backup drives in case they are stolen… but then I decided that I could just use DiskUtil to create encrypted disk images and backup to them. I use GPG as a replacement for PGP for general encryption, and use Sente’s GPG mail bundle for Mail.app integration.

I think I just talked myself into uninstalling PGP WDE.

ANYWAY, the point of this post was to write that when you install PGP, it disables Mail.app bundles. When you launch Mail, it will notify you that bundles have been disabled. Here’s how to get them back:

  1. Disable PGP’s Messaging Security (uncheck “Secure Email” in Preferences -> Messaging)
  2. Go to ~/Library/Mail and rename “Bundles (disabled)” back to “Bundles”
  3. Run “defaults write com.apple.mail EnableBundles 1″ in Terminal

There you go. I’m going to go uninstall PGP WDE now. :)

| San Francisco, CA | link | trackback | Aug 19, 2009 23:16:53
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