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[liberationtech] FOE - feed over email

Rebecca MacKinnon rebecca.mackinnon at
Sun Mar 13 19:29:14 PDT 2011

Hi there. A query was posted to the list about this a couple months ago. Listmember Steve Weis responded: 
Glancing through the code, I don't see any circumvention. It relies on
using a mail provider that supports SSL. That is optional and must be
configured by the end user (see below).

If a user does not configure FOE to use an SSL email provider,
everything will be sent in the clear. That is easy to filter and could
put end users receiving verboten material at risk.

Worse, there is no authentication of message payloads from the server.
I think I can spoof a message with a malicious payload that will be
written to disk in the client's RSS catalog (see link below).

This is somewhat moot because it is Windows-only, requires installing
a client, and no binaries are available for download. That's probably
a good thing.

A couple issues from a cursory look at the code:
1. SSL is not required. Someone using this who didn't explicitly use
an email provider supporting SSL will be trivial to track:
2. There is no authentication of messages from the server. This could
put clients at risk since they will be saving untrusted content to
3. I suspect the server DB code is vulnerable to SQL injection attack,
although input might be getting properly sanitized by C#'s SqlClient.
I will bet a beer that someone can find an exploit:

Background links:

On Mar 13, 2011, at 10:04 PM, Katrin Verclas wrote:

> Hi, list -- came across this project:  
> It claims to: FOE (Feed Over Email) is a new tool that allows users to receive RSS feeds from foreign websites without the need to find a working proxy server or install any proxy software.
> Technically, FOE is built on top of SMTP and work on most email servers as long as the user has access to POP3 and SMTP.
> Have not checked it out and it's late but wonder whether anyone has tested/checked out?  
> Katrin Verclas
> katrin at
> skype/twitter: katrinskaya
> (347) 281-7191
> A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact
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