GPGMailSecurity researchers are warning users of PGP/GPG email encryption plugins not to use the software, after critical vulnerabilities were discovered that could potentially be used reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails.

The official advice from security researchers is to disable and/or uninstall the affected software until the vulnerabilities are disclosed and fixes can be issued. In the meantime, users are advised to seek alternative end-to-end encrypted channels such as Signal to send and receive sensitive content.

This short how-to guides users through the steps necessary to remove the popular open-source encryption plugin GPG Tools (GPGMail) from Apple Mail. It requires deleting a "bundle" file used by the app. Users' existing encryption keys are not affected by the procedure and will remain on their hard disk. GPGTools has also since published a temporary workaround that it believes mitigates against similar so-called "Efail" attacks.

How to Uninstall GPG Tools from Apple Mail

  1. Quit Apple Mail if it is running (Mail -> Quit Mail in the menu bar).

  2. Click on the desktop and in the Finder menu bar, select Go -> Go to Folder....
    go to folder menu bar

  3. In the Go to Folder dialog that appears, type /Library/Mail/Bundles and click Go.
    go to mail folder

  4. Delete the GPGMail.mailbundle file by either dragging it to the trash in your dock or by right-clicking (Ctrl-clicking) it and selecting Move to Trash in the contextual dropdown menu. If you don't see the mailbundle file, return to the previous step but type ~/Library/Mail/Bundles in the Go to Folder dialog (note the tilde (~) character denotes your home folder).
    delete mailbundle gpg

  5. Enter your administrator password if prompted to confirm the action.

After following the above steps, the GPG Tools email plugin will be gone from Apple Mail the next time you launch the client.

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
52 months ago
That’s not good. But uninstalling is an overreaction. Wait for a fix.
Agreed. This article seems akin to "Researchers have discovered that seatbelts don't always work - here's how to cut them out of your car" (the dealer will really appreciate that when you take it in for repair). Well, great, when they come up with an updated app, it'll be harder to get it installed. How about just hold off on encrypting things for a bit.
[doublepost=1526316516][/doublepost]
The official advice from security researchers is to disable and/or uninstall the affected software until the vulnerabilities are disclosed and fixes can be issued. In the meantime, users are advised to seek alternative end-to-end encrypted channels ...

This short how-to guides users through the steps necessary to remove the popular open-source encryption plugin GPG Tools (GPGMail) ('https://gpgtools.org') from Apple Mail.
This article seems ill-advised. How about telling people how to temporarily disable the software, rather than rushing through a multi-step process to delete it?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
52 months ago
Removing it seems like overkill, assuming the fix is indeed “coming very soon”. It’s easy to have it off by default (which is how I use it - it’s uncommon for me to need to send an encrypted email, but occasionally the need is there).

It is also unclear whether my encrypted emails are affected since I use plaintext emails by default.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Detektiv-Pinky Avatar
52 months ago
I don't think removing PGP is solving any problem.

If, as the researchers claim, any previously send Email is at risk, removing the software now does not magically makes these Emails secure.

At the moment too little is known to fully understand the problem. Most security problems require certain elements to make an attack successful in the wild. From what I have gathered so far, the attack is successful against MIME-encoded Emails. So changing your Email-settings to send them as 'plain-text' may be far more effective than blindly uninstalling PGP.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Telos101 Avatar
52 months ago
I don't think removing PGP is solving any problem.

If, as the researchers claim, any previously send Email is at risk, removing the software now does not magically makes these Emails secure.
As I understand it, the uninstall advice from EFF seems to be a protective measure for people who expect the encryption to 'just work' in their mail app of choice. At least this way they know their emails aren't secure and can choose a different means of communicating. Signal does seem a good alternative for now.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...