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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  PMAPP (1)

NAME

pmapp - insert a verifiable signature into a news article.

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
See Also
Author

SYNOPSIS

pmapp [newsgroups|user] [file]

DESCRIPTION

Pmapp accepts an article from the named file (or standard input if not specified), computes a digital signature from the important part of the contents, and inserts a special header into the article which enables subsequent checking of the signature. The amended article is produced on standard output, suitable for injection into the news system.

The signature is created using the defaults for the user name (and optionally password) built into the script when a newsgroup is specified. This is the most common case for a newsgroup moderator who will use a customised version of the script. These defaults can be overridden with environment variables PMUSER and PMPASSWORD.

In any case, whenever the password is the empty string, a prompt is written to the controlling terminal and a password is read from it.

When a user is specified (by way of an email address containing an "@") this is used to select the signing user, and a password will be requested.

When the signature is being generated for a newsgroup, it is assumed that the newsgroup is moderated and the invoking user is (one of) the moderator(s). The simple case is that there is only one newsgroup specified; an Approved: line is added as well as the X-Auth: line, and the article is ready for posting.

Pmapp goes to some trouble to handle the case of multiple moderated newsgroups in the Newsgroups: line. The first, and probably most important, case, is when a moderator wants to cross-post a FAQ to their own group, as well as news.answers (for example). In this case their approval counts for both groups, so they can insert the Approved: header and post away. Presumably the other groups are not under the contol of the PGP Moose Daemon. The moderator can just go ahead and put in the Approved: header, and save themself and pmapp a lot of time. It will be passed right through.

The other case is harder to get right. This is when the article really is meant to be posted to two (or more) unrelated moderated newsgroups. The approval script checks whether there are any moderated newsgroups left that don’t have X-Auth: headers for them. If there are none left, an Approved: header is inserted and the article gets posted. Otherwise, it issues a warning, and re-orders the newsgroups header with a newsgroup which is moderated but has no X-Auth: line at the start. When the article is posted, the news system will forward it to the moderator of the (new) first moderated group. If all moderators are sensible, and check for moderated newsgroups in this fashion, the mess should sort itself out and the last moderator will go ahead and post it. A warning message to the subsequent moderator NOT to change the article is also inserted.

SEE ALSO

pmcheck(1), pmcanon(1) for a description of the fields which go into the signature calculation, the PGP User’s Manual.

AUTHOR

Greg Rose, RoSecure Software.
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