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How to View S/Mime attachments in Vista

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have a customer who has a "Hotmail" email address and has received an email with an attachment that is called "smime.p7m". When we click on the attachment, you get a choice of "open" or "save". When we click "open" we get a popup asking about allowing a website to open the email and we say yes, but nothing happens. I can save the file to the local computer, but I can't find a viewer that will let me open it. I did find P7MViewer from Cryptigo, but it doesn't seem to work with Vista. It works on XP, but has no stand alone unistaller and can't be removed through add/remove.
How can I view this file in Vista?
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Question by:Craig
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10 Comments
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 24873108
<<we get a popup asking about allowing a website to open the email>>

You are describing a really scary scenario for potential malware.

I would never recommend that anyone do what you have done. Why not contact the 'Sender' of the attachment and ask them what you need to view the file.

That will not only confirm the authenticity of the attachment, it will give you the solution.
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 24875284
The email is from a relative on a Naval ship and is being sent encrypted through Military servers. I think the website that was being referred to is hotmail's server where the email is currently residing (and by definition the attachment).
Thank you for the pointer, but it doesn't address my question or problem and we have all the appropriate malware protection.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:younghv
ID: 24877577
I really don't need any pointers on Military networks, or applications - or the use of HotMail coming through .mil networks.

My comment "Why not contact the 'Sender' of the attachment and ask them what you need to view the file." is precisely accurate but at this point I will unsubscribe and let someone else work this question.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24910089
According to the experts, your problem is not finding a viewer but rather the email is encrypted
Encrypted e-mail message in which the contents and attachments are enveloped in an smime.p7m file; may require a private key matching the message's public key to open the document.
http://www.fileinfo.com/extension/p7m
younghv is correct, you may have to contact the owner and have them send you the files unencrypted
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Accepted Solution

by:
Craig earned 0 total points
ID: 24910883
Thank you all for the replies, however I have sorted it out on my own.

The Cryptigo software P7MViewer needed to be installed in Vista by right clicking and saying "run as administrator". It will install without "running as administrator", but generates an error when trying to open the smime.p7m file after the install is complete. It works fine if installed as adminitrator.

Merete - the message does not require a private key and says it is not encrypted when viewed in P7MViewer. I agree that an encrypted file would need a private key in order to be opened. I was able to open and read it successfully in Windows XP. I was just having trouble getting it to work in Vista and I have not received any replay form Cryptigo support.

The original sender is not a computer person and she has no idea why it came as an attachment. She has sent many emails to us and only 2 of them have arrived as an smime attachment.

I am going to ask the mods to close and refund points as I sorted it out by myself.
.
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 24911331
Thankyou for the feedback, yes of course run as admin.
Ah Vista once again those UAC.
Glad to see you resolved it.
You can just accept your own comment as the solution craigceg
cheers
Merete

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