Rebex Secure Mail

SMTP, IMAP, EWS, POP3, S/MIME .NET library

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Authentication modes

Username and password 

Password-based authentication is simple:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
// ...

// log in
client.Login(username, password);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
' ...

' log in
client.Login(username, password)
Tip: To protect your credentials, use TLS/SSL.

CRAM-MD5 authentication 

Some servers support CRAM-MD5 authentication mechanism. When communicating over an unencrypted channel, this is more secure than plain-text password authentication.

// create SMTP client instance and connect
// (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3)
var client = new Rebex.Net.Smtp();
client.Connect(hostname, port);

// log in using CRAM-MD5
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.CramMD5);
' create SMTP client instance and connect
' (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3)
Dim client = New Rebex.Net.Smtp()
client.Connect(hostname, port)

' log in using CRAM-MD5
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.CramMD5)

DIGEST-MD5 authentication 

Some servers support DIGEST-MD5 authentication mechanism. When communicating over an unencrypted channel, this is more secure than plain-text password authentication.

// create SMTP client instance and connect
// (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3)
var client = new Rebex.Net.Smtp();
client.Connect(hostname, port);

// log in using DIGEST-MD5
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.DigestMD5);
' create SMTP client instance and connect
' (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3)
Dim client = New Rebex.Net.Smtp()
client.Connect(hostname, port)

' log in using DIGEST-MD5
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.DigestMD5)

APOP authentication 

Some POP3 servers support APOP authentication mechanism. When communicating over an unencrypted channel, this is more secure than plain-text password authentication.

// create POP3 client instance and connect
// ...

// log in using APOP
client.Login(username, password, Pop3Authentication.APop);
' create POP3 client instance and connect
' ...

' log in using APOP
client.Login(username, password, Pop3Authentication.APop)

OAuth 2.0 authentication 

Most cloud-based SMTP, IMAP, POP3 or EWS servers (such as Gmail or Microsoft 365 / Outlook Online) support OAuth 2.0 authentication mechanism.

To log in using OAuth, an application (or its user) authenticates via the service provider's authentication server and receives an access token. Then it connects to the SMTP, IMAP, POP3 or EWS server and authenticates using the obtained token:

// connect to a server
// (applies to Imap, Pop3 and Ews objects as well)
var client = new Rebex.Net.Smtp();
client.Connect("smtp.gmail.com", SslMode.Implicit);

// authenticate using OAuth 2.0 access token
client.Login(userEmail, accessToken, SmtpAuthentication.OAuth20);
' connect to a server
' (applies to Imap, Pop3 and Ews objects as well)
Dim client = New Rebex.Net.Smtp()
client.Connect("smtp.gmail.com", SslMode.Implicit)

' authenticate using OAuth 2.0 access token
client.Login(userEmail, accessToken, SmtpAuthentication.OAuth20)

The process of obtaining the access token is slightly different for each provider and application type. For details, see the following articles:

Client certificate authentication 

Client certificates are an optional way to authenticate the client to the server. This is only possible when connecting/authenticating to a TLS/SSL-capable server. However, most servers still require authentication with a username and password even when client certificate authentication has taken place.

A certificate with an associated private key is needed for client authentication. Set Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler property to an implementation of certificate request handler that is called when the server asks for client certificate.

a) Use the built-in StoreSearch handler, that searches the user's certificate store for a first suitable certificate:

// create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
// ...

// set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = CertificateRequestHandler.StoreSearch;

// connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit);

// authenticate (still needed in many cases)
if (!client.IsAuthenticated)
    client.Login(username, password);
' create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
' ...

' set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = CertificateRequestHandler.StoreSearch

' connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit)

' authenticate (still needed in many cases)
If Not client.IsAuthenticated Then
    client.Login(username, password)
End If

b) Use the built-in PFX-based certificate request handler:

// create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
// ...

// load a certificate chain from a .pfx/.p12 file
CertificateChain certificate = CertificateChain.LoadPfx(@"C:\MyData\MyCertificate.pfx", "password");

// set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = CertificateRequestHandler.CreateRequestHandler(certificate);

// connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit);

// authenticate (still needed in many cases)
if (!client.IsAuthenticated)
    client.Login(username, password);
' create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
' ...

' load a certificate chain from a .pfx/.p12 file
Dim certificate As CertificateChain = CertificateChain.LoadPfx("C:\MyData\MyCertificate.pfx", "password")

' set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = CertificateRequestHandler.CreateRequestHandler(certificate)

' connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit)

' authenticate (still needed in many cases)
If Not client.IsAuthenticated Then
    client.Login(username, password)
End If

c) Write a custom handler, for example to load the certificate from a .pfx/.p12 file:

private class MyCertRequestHandler : ICertificateRequestHandler
{
    // This method is called during TLS/SSL negotiation
    // when the server requests client certificate authentication
    public CertificateChain Request(TlsSocket socket, DistinguishedName[] issuers)
    {
        // provide a certificate loaded from a .pfx/.p12 file
        return CertificateChain.LoadPfx(clientCertPath, clientCertPassword);
    }
}
Private Class MyCertRequestHandler
    Implements ICertificateRequestHandler
    ' This method is called during TLS/SSL negotiation
    ' when the server requests client certificate authentication
    Public Function Request(socket As TlsSocket, issuers As DistinguishedName()) As CertificateChain Implements ICertificateRequestHandler.Request
        ' provide a certificate loaded from a .pfx/.p12 file
        Return CertificateChain.LoadPfx(clientCertPath, clientCertPassword)
    End Function
End Class

Don't forget to register the handler:

// create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
// ...

// set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = new MyCertRequestHandler();

// connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit);

// authenticate (still needed in many cases)
if (!client.IsAuthenticated)
    client.Login(username, password);
' create client instance (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3/Ews)
' ...

' set a certificate request handler
client.Settings.SslClientCertificateRequestHandler = New MyCertRequestHandler()

' connect to the server
client.Connect(hostname, SslMode.Explicit)

' authenticate (still needed in many cases)
If Not client.IsAuthenticated Then
    client.Login(username, password)
End If

GSSAPI 

GSSAPI support in Rebex Secure Mail makes it possible to authenticate using Kerberos, NTLM or Negotiate authentication mechanisms, either in single sign-on mode or username/password(/domain)-based mode.

Note: GSSAPI is only supported on Windows platforms.

Single sign-on 

With single sign-on, the current user can authenticate without having to enter his password. Single sign-on is only possible through NTLM or through GSSAPI with Kerberos, NTLM or Negotiate authentication mechanisms on servers that support them. Additionally, both the client and server machines might have to be part of the same domain (or a domain trust has to be established).

Note: Single sign-on is only supported on Windows platforms.

Kerberos authentication 

In IMAP/POP3/SMTP, Kerberos v5 is one of the supported GSSAPI authentication mechanisms.

GSSAPI/Kerberos in single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for Kerberos single sign-on
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Kerberos", null, null, null, null);

// log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for Kerberos single sign-on
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Kerberos", Nothing, Nothing, Nothing, Nothing)

' log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials)

GSSAPI/Kerberos with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for Kerberos authentication
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Kerberos", null, username, password, domain);

// log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for Kerberos authentication
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Kerberos", Nothing, username, password, domain)

' log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials)

In EWS, Kerberos is available using a slightly different API.

EWS and Kerberos in single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Kerberos);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Kerberos)

EWS and Kerberos with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Kerberos
client.Login(username + "@" + domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Kerberos);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Kerberos
client.Login(username & "@" & domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Kerberos)

Note: Kerberos is only supported on Windows platforms. However, it's possible to authenticate Windows-based clients to Unix-based servers using Kerberos.

NTLM authentication 

In IMAP/POP3/SMTP, NTLM is one of the supported GSSAPI authentication mechanisms.

GSSAPI/NTLM in single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for NTLM single sign-on
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Ntlm", null, null, null, null);

// log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for NTLM single sign-on
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Ntlm", Nothing, Nothing, Nothing, Nothing)

' log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials)

GSSAPI/NTLM with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for NTLM authentication
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Ntlm", null, username, password, domain);

// log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for NTLM authentication
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Ntlm", Nothing, username, password, domain)

' log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials)

Alternatively, some servers support a stand-alone NTLM authentication.

(Standalone) NTLM with single sign-on:

// create SMTP client instance and connect
// (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3/Ews)
var client = new Rebex.Net.Smtp();
client.Connect(hostname, port);

// log in using NTLM single sign-on
client.Login(SmtpAuthentication.Ntlm);
' create SMTP client instance and connect
' (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3/Ews)
Dim client = New Rebex.Net.Smtp()
client.Connect(hostname, port)

' log in using NTLM single sign-on
client.Login(SmtpAuthentication.Ntlm)

(Standalone) NTLM with username/password:

// create SMTP client instance and connect
// (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3/Ews)
var client = new Rebex.Net.Smtp();
client.Connect(hostname, port);

// log in using NTLM
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.Ntlm);
' create SMTP client instance and connect
' (same applies for Rebex.Net.Imap/Pop3/Ews)
Dim client = New Rebex.Net.Smtp()
client.Connect(hostname, port)

' log in using NTLM
client.Login(username, password, SmtpAuthentication.Ntlm)

In EWS, NTLM is available using this API as well.

EWS and NTLM single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Ntlm single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Ntlm);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Ntlm single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Ntlm)

EWS and NTLM with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Ntlm
client.Login(username + "@" + domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Ntlm);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Ntlm
client.Login(username & "@" & domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Ntlm)

Note: NTLM is only supported on Windows platforms.

Negotiate authentication 

In IMAP/POP3/SMTP, Negotiate is one of the supported GSSAPI authentication mechanisms.

GSSAPI/Negotiate in single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for Negotiate single sign-on
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Negotiate", null, null, null, null);

// log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for Negotiate single sign-on
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Negotiate", Nothing, Nothing, Nothing, Nothing)

' log in using Kerberos single sign-on
client.Login(credentials)

GSSAPI/Negotiate with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
// ...

// initialize GSSAPI for Negotiate authentication
GssApiProvider credentials = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Negotiate", null, username, password, domain);

// log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Smtp/Imap/Pop3)
' ...

' initialize GSSAPI for Negotiate authentication
Dim credentials As GssApiProvider = Rebex.Net.GssApiProvider.GetSspiProvider(
    "Negotiate", Nothing, username, password, domain)

' log in using Kerberos
client.Login(credentials)

In EWS, Negotiate is available using a slightly different API.

EWS and Negotiate in single sign-on mode:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Negotiate single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Negotiate);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Negotiate single sign-on
client.Login(EwsAuthentication.Negotiate)

EWS and Negotiate with username/password/domain:

// create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
// ...

// log in using Negotiate
client.Login(username + "@" + domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Negotiate);
' create client instance and connect (Rebex.Net.Ews)
' ...

' log in using Negotiate
client.Login(username & "@" & domain, password, EwsAuthentication.Negotiate)
Negotiate authentication mechanism automaticlly chooses whether to use Kerberos or NTLM.

Note: Negotiate is only supported on Windows platforms.

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