Searching inside encrypted emails

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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:06 pm

Searching inside encrypted emails

Postby ybarsami » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:59 am

Hi everyone,

I have seen that it is possible to use encryption with zimbra, so that we send and receive e-mails that are encrypted, e.g. with PGP :

One of the problems when using encrypted e-mails is that, depending on the e-mail provider, it is not always possible to search through e-mails. With zimbra, if I understood correctly, it is not possible to search inside the *text* of an encrypted message, only in the headers, see: ... ingle=true

"You cannot search for text in the body or attachments of an encrypted message. Only the header information such as sent to or from, date message was sent, or subject can be found in a search."

I looked at some other encrypted e-mail providers. Some of them have already this feature nicely working, some have this feature but could improve its use, and others simply do not have it. See, e.g.: ... your-email ... arch--mail ... abilities/ ... pted-data/

Having this feature in zimbra could be a great idea (maybe search inside *text* of messages, and not attached files first). I am a researcher in computer science (post-doc, Brussels), currently working on an efficient way of providing search inside encrypted e-mails. I developed an API (client side / server side) together with a test suite (in Java) that can be added in an e-mail provider, so that encrypted e-mails can be searched through.

However, I am entirely new to zimbra and do not know how I could bring this feature to the community. If someone is interested and willing to collaborate on such a project, we could discuss a way to integrate this feature into maybe a zimlet. Currently, I developed an API (client side / server side) together with a test suite (in Java) to prove that the idea is working. I know that, however, the real integration of the project inside zimbra could take more time, and that most likely I will not be able to do it alone without someone at least giving me some information about how encryption works in zimbra. The current state of the project can be found on the following github link if you want to have more information about it:

Have a nice day,


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