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Importance of filename encryption

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syncbackveteran
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Importance of filename encryption

Post by syncbackveteran »

Thank you Micky for your Syncback product that I used for many years and recommended over and over to friends and family.
Now the backup/sync world mostly involve ONLINE backup and it is great to see you have integrated features to backup with many online backup solutions (OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.). Also thank you so much for having made so many features and changes by responding and listening to all your customer questions (many times you implemented a feature the same day when not even planned)!

The LACK of encryption/security on most online backup service is a known fact and critical for most users (or will become soon due to awareness of issues with current solutions). Handling this is a must for any serious backup software that wants to continue to stay meaningful.

I read many threads asking for *FILENAME ENCRYPTION* (supported by 7z or inferior backup solutions similar to yours). In many cases filename encryption is almost as important as file encryption. Precious information can be derived from filenames.

PLEASE kindly consider this as a MUST HAVE feature. Backup = online backup now days (even if some still do local backups) so the lack of such feature is sufficient for even loyal customers to stop using Syncback as their favorite do-all backup solution and start looking at the many other backup solutions on the net.

Thank you so much for considering it!

Sincerely,
a loyal customer

PS:
1/ an integration of 7z (like you did for zip) may be nice feature that would automatically offer filename encryption while offering 7z. It would be greatly appreciated.
2/ In a perfect world, one could imagine also the "folder encryption" feature (by putting path of each file in a 7z/zip container before encrypting it). Thanks Micky again
syncbackveteran
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FILENAME and DIRECTORY ENCRYPTION

Post by syncbackveteran »

Hi Micky,

Please add FILENAME and DIRECTORY ENCRYPTION feature to SyncBackPro to make the software FULLY SECURE.

Some open source software such as CryptSync achieved it using 7z. This is a "must have" feature.

Thank you for considering it and updating us.
cowelln
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by cowelln »

I use CryptSync, and I also use OneDrive for Business.

One thing to watch with OneDrive for Business is that it doesn't support all characters in file and folder names:

https://support.office.com/en-nz/articl ... 39e07630fa

There are some other limitations as well.

OneDrive for Business is about to change, so we'll see what happens!

Nick
Conrad Chung
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by Conrad Chung »

I'm sorry, but encrypting filenames in ZIP containers are not supported. One workaround is to backup your files to a single Zip container and then back that Zip file up to an encrypted Zip file. This may require setting up of two profiles and joining them under a Group so that they run in sequence.

For more info, you can refer to past postings about this matter in our forum, for example, this post:

http://www.2brightsparks.com/bb/viewtop ... =13&t=7874
syncbackveteran
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7z container support (and hence filename encryption)

Post by syncbackveteran »

Thanks Comrad. I understand ZIP is not supporting filename/directory encryption and the solution you propose is only good for offline but not for online that require the entire ZIP file to be reuploaded and each minor change.

In the other hand 7z supports filename encryption.

Could you consider adding 7z container support in SyncBackPro?

This would mean proposing both ZIP and 7z containers and therefore automatically offering the critical filename encryption feature when one selects 7z.

Thank you for your effort to offer a true solution to filename encryption since, as you know, more and more users are going for online and secured solution.I would love to see Syncback offering a complete secure solution for DropBox, OneDrive, etc. People would speak about it...
Conrad Chung
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by Conrad Chung »

I've checked with our Technical Director and we're currently looking into different compression components with regards to filename encryption. However, do keep in mind that implementing such an option is not as easy as it sounds. We can't promise when or if it will be implemented.
syncbackveteran
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base4k to resolve folder/filename encryption path length

Post by syncbackveteran »

Thank you so much Comrad for discussing this issue with the team and brainstorming on the best solution to achieve it.

Yes it is not an easy solution. This is why if well tackled it will be a real improvement and a very important feature for positioning Syncback on top of any cloud storage software (that have limited set of features besides encrypting). It will be hard to compete with such versatile tool such as Syncback.

Also please find *base4k solution* for lengthy filenames that once encrypted almost double in length and can make obsolete a sync job due to either Windows limitation or the cloud storage limitation.
This solution works well and is open source. You might find it interesting.
https://github.com/secomba/base4k

Thank you for looking into it!
mickyj
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by mickyj »

Hi, encrypting just a filename is pointless. It would be very easy to break the encryption as you've only got a limited amount of data to encrypt (and many of the filenames could be shorter than the password). Also, what if you change your password? What if the case of the filename changes? Filename encryption within a compressed file is straightforward, e.g. PKWare Strong Encryption and 7-Zip support encryption of the filename entries, but if you're not putting all your files into one Zip file then it becomes very difficult.

If we were to encrypt the filenames, we wouldn't. It makes more sense to simply give a random filename and then have an encrypted database that maps the random meaningless filename to the actual filename. Also, what about folder names? You may as well just put the file into a folder based on the first two or three characters of its random filename, i.e. the backup folder structure would be flat with files randomly distributed between many folders. Of course when you restore SyncBack needs to map it back to the correct unencrypted folder.

I say all this because you need to keep in mind that once you start encrypting filenames then you're going to have to throw away any meaning given to the folder and file names in the backup (e.g. cloud) location. So the backup wouldn't look anything like the original and you'll need SyncBack to restore it.
syncbackveteran
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by syncbackveteran »

Hi,
You are absolutely correct about the best implementation would be to ::
It makes more sense to simply give a random filename and then have an encrypted database that maps the random meaningless filename to the actual filename. Also, what about folder names? You may as well just put the file into a folder based on the first two or three characters of its random filename, i.e. the backup folder structure would be flat with files randomly distributed between many folders. Of course when you restore SyncBack needs to map it back to the correct unencrypted folder.
Perfect. Your above solution would SOLVE 3 major problems with online backup solution:
1- filename encryption
2- folder encryption
3- 255 characters limitations for path+filename <<< this is a MAJOR issue and many users would use Syncback just for this one! This is a BIG selling point solving current user issue.
(moreover it would solve issues with certain characters not allowed in file and folder names)

Yes, the cloud storage would have no meaning as it would be bunch of random files and folders. This is what would provide security. Yes also you are correct that it means that we would need to use Syncback to restore it (perfectly fine since we would intentionally use this feature to get this security level).
This is the correct design to offer true encryption and remove the limitations of 255 char in all backup solutions like OneDrive etc.

(note: just for curiosity maybe worth looking 3 minutes in boxcryptor solution for filename/folder encryption; there are some info online like here https://github.com/secomba/base4k; but again the mapping solution you propose is certainly the one to implement)

Thanks Micky for your work!
fcrochet
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by fcrochet »

Hi there,
Any idea of wen this multi-feature can be available ?
Thanks in advance for your answer.
Fred
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by Kostas »

fcrochet wrote:Hi there,
Any idea of wen this multi-feature can be available ?
Thanks in advance for your answer.
Fred
Hi,

The suggestion is in our Development team's to-do-list. Since this is a long list, we can’t guarantee if and when these features will be implemented.

Regards,
Kostas
[2bs]
AlwaysBackup
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by AlwaysBackup »

If filename encryption still on the table?

I would also ask that the AES key be used to encrypt the ZIP filename.
mickyj
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by mickyj »

Hi, it is on the list, but we've not started any work on it yet. If you read my post above you'll see we don't plan on encrypting the filenames.
whispy
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by whispy »

mickyj wrote:Hi, it is on the list, but we've not started any work on it yet. If you read my post above you'll see we don't plan on encrypting the filenames.
Can you please be more specific what is on your list? If not encrypting filenames, then at least obfuscating them? This is a necessity for any modern software that is backing up to the cloud. Thanks so much for all your hard work!
mickyj
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Re: Importance of filename encryption

Post by mickyj »

Hi, unfortunately there has been no time to add filename encryption or obfuscation and it's not going to be added any time soon (even if we started today it would take some time as it's not a simple feature to add). I'm sure that's not what you want to hear but I'm just being honest. We appreciate it's important to some people.
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