IP over SMTP

Way back in the early days of the Intarw3b, not everyone with a computer was surfing around. My first exposure to real use of the ‘net revolved around getting actual work done. At that time, I was a neophyte networking and security goob (today, I’ve advanced to just being an all-around good) and I spent a lot of my work time reading networking and security mailing lists and tracking down tools and documents squirrelled away in the corners of the ‘net.

One of the coolest things I remember reading from those lists was about one of the security gurus who needed some binary files while working at a site without general Internet connectivity but that did have e-mail services. He wrote some scripts to actually implement NFS file transfers over SMTP. I don’t remember the exact details, but I remember that he sent scripts to a co-worker back at his office who installed them as the mail processing scripts for a particular account and then did the same with some other scripts at the worksite. Using these he was able to make the worksite system and his office servers talk as if they had an NFS connection, but using packets 7-bit safe encoded and transferred via SMTP. If that makes no sense to you, it’s OK. I probably have some of the details wrong (it’s been over 10 years since I even read about this), and non-networking folks have no need to understand this. But to really geeky people (especially, if you can imagine it, people more geeky than I), this is really cool use of technology, and worthy of hacking recognition.

So, with all that information, here’s the reason I posted about this. While reading some older web articles I long ago tucked away for later review, I found a link to a Dutch site on which the author has posted a script for doing IP over SMTP. I can’t recall ever being in a situation where I’ve needed this functionality, but it’s really cool that it even exists and someone remembers well enough a time when it was useful that they would post it.

[tags]Script for running IP over SMTP, IP traffic via SMTP encapsulation – useless? But cool[/tags]