Forums Community Offline decryption

This topic contains 24 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Svante 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #5004 Reply

    Paul Reed

    I believe another user – Ziwdon, in this post raised the same concern.

    Paul

    #5005 Reply

    Lucas

    Paul, the answer’s simple: even if AxCrypt shut down you can still use the software without needing a verification code.

    Svante has previously stated that you do not need to use a real email address.

    “The first time you start AxCrypt a real email address is required. Click help for more information” – If you’re off line when starting the first time, the only requirement is an email address that looks real, i.e. has the correct form. There’s no requirement to be online at any time to use AxCrypt.

    Obviously you should a copy of the latest AxCrypt version backed up in the cloud somewhere for additional assurance although there are plenty of copies floating about on the internet.

    #5006 Reply

    Paul Reed

    Aah, the emphasis is ‘offline’.
    So if you you are ‘online’, it’s obligatory to await the 6 digit code from AxCrypt’s servers, BUT…
    If we switch-off wifi (so offline), the program recognizes this and allows decryption WITHOUT having to enter a 6 digit code.

    Very clever! and worth remembering.

    I’m very reassured by this, and have just recovered all of my test data successfully without using AxCrypt’s servers, or even the internet. Great!

    Thank You

    #5007 Reply

    Lucas

    Yes, presumably this behaviour is intentional because otherwise it’d be counter intuitive for new or inexperienced years.

    I think the GUI could be improved by the addition of a comment, in the box you took a screenshot of, stating that if there is no internet access then any email address can be used providing it conforms with the generally accepted syntax (e.g. username@domain.com)

    There should be no problem with decrypting your data if AxCrypt cease business because the software is fairly robust but it’s always best to check and would have saved you a lot of heartache if you’d done the same with the now defunct Cloudfogger.

    It’s always worth burning a copy of AxCrypt to DVD and USB as well as uploading it to your cloud storage provider should you ever need a copy of the software in an emergency and this website is down.

    #5008 Reply

    Paul Reed

    ….then any email address can be used providing it conforms with the generally accepted syntax..

    Although works OK, using random email addresses doesn’t sound like a professional solution. Wouldn’t it be better to have a ‘offline’ checkbox?
    I don’t think users should be encouraged to use random email addresses, what when the network is restored? Although not a security concern, it’s not an easy route back to restoring your correct email address.

    Paul

    #5009 Reply

    Lucas

    Maybe a checkbox would be a better option but it’d need careful explaining.

    The whole point of AxCrypt v2 is to encourage online use (i.e. username and password sent to a central service). Absent AxCrypt closing down there should be no reason to not enter a real email address when prompted.

    Main thing is that the service is redundant: that is, you can access your files whether AxCrypt servers are online or offline.

    #5010 Reply

    Paul Reed

    Main thing is that the service is redundant: that is, you can access your files whether AxCrypt servers are online or offline.

    Totally agree, that was my concern, but I’m pretty confident now about recovering data via AxCript should the worst happen.

    Paul

    #5012 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Hi Paul,

    Trust, but verify, right?

    AxCrypt (the client) will fallback to offline mode even during first time registration if our servers are unavailable, for whatever reason (no Internet, we’re out of business, we’re under attack etc).

    So, if this happens, we’ll generate an AxCrypt ID (the key pair) offline, and at the first opportunity (if ever) we’ll synchronize with the server and update the key pair at both ends. If our servers are never reached, it all works without them. You just need to know the password used to encrypt older files. If it’s different from the one you set during the offline registration, you’ll be prompted for the file password.

    Here are a few screen shots from AxCrypt being installed from scratch on a computer where the DNS name resolution was modified so that ‘account.axcrypt.net’ (our server) went to empty space – i.e. the same effect as if our servers are down and non-responsive. The same thing happens if DNS cannot resolve the name at all, or if the connection is blocked by a firewall, or if your computer just does not have Internet connectivity.

    After entering an email in the dialog you show (that just has to ‘look’ like an email), you come directly here, no prompt for verification code:

    After entering the email, you come directly here.

    Then, after setting a password, we’ll generate a 4096-bit RSA key pair locally. This takes time.:

    Finally, after signing in, it’s as usual – but you’re offline. Check the title bar.

    Now all works as normal, except you’re offline and your key pair is locally generated. But you can still open any file as long as you know the password originally used. As mentioned – the key pair is used for convenience and for the key sharing feature, when you share encrypted files with other recipients.

    As mentioned, as long as you have the software and know the password, you do not need our servers to even exist on the Internet, much less any Internet connection at all in order to continue to use AxCrypt.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Svante.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Svante.
    #5017 Reply

    Paul Reed

    Thanks Svante, I did the same exercise last night, and reached the same conclusion, all worked exactly as you have described, and I successfully recovered all of my test data.

    You’ve convinced a sceptic!!

    Paul

    #5018 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Great to hear Paul,

    A final comment on a question posed by you and others about why we ask for an email adress even in offline mode.

    There are several reasons for this:

    1) Our assumption is that the state of offline is mostly temporary. Once we’re online again, we’ll use the email to attempt to synchronize with the server.

    2) We will support several AxCrypt users under one Windows Login (or under one iOS / Android user etc) in the future. In this case we need some kind of ‘user name’ to separate them, and it just seems reasonable to use the same type of identifier we use for normal online operation. It’s also easy for people to remember and recognize, and requires no ‘invention’ by you. If we asked you to “chose a user name”, many would be confused by that instead. And, we still have 1) above.

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