Your feedback required: Recovery of database files

There are quite a few users affected by these 2 issues:

  • Change to SkyDrive authentication breaks the synchronization and user has unsynchronized changes.
  • Or synchronization not working for some reason.

I’ll need to provide user a way to get the database file out of their phone. Emailing the database is certainly an option, but the SDK doesn’t provide a way for 7Pass to attach the database file to an email, thus, it’s not possible directly.

I’ve then looked into encoding the database file as text to send as email. I have no clue how much data can the SDK handle (I’ve got bad feedback regarding 10MB DB file limit, imagine > 10MB binary encoded to text) or possible cases when filters on the mail server may screw up the encoding.

The most straightforward approach that I can find is to use a file sharing service. In case you really need to get your database out of 7Pass and have no alternative, you can choose to allow 7Pass to upload your database file to a cloud service and provide you with an URL to download to your preferred device. This approach does comes with concerns though:

  1. With the controversial over NSA spying, I have no faith in any provider, so this approach is doomed from the very beginning.
  2. I’d prefer to use a 3rd party service that already have proven track record of honouring user’s privacy and anonymous. I don’t know of any yet, so your input is greatly appreciated.
  3. The alternative is to deploy an Azure service that I have control, so it’s designed for 7Pass, which should be easier. However, by “having control”, it also raise concern of users whether I will collect their database files. This is a valid concern and I myself greatly try to avoid this. Moreover, I have no clue how to make sure Microsoft won’t keep a backup of your database file.

My bottom of my heart, I’d suggest the users with unsycnhronized changes try to manually synchronize the database, rather having to take this hard approach.

Users, please voice your feedback in comment section of this post.

PS: FYI, the planned 7Pass version for WP8 will use a different approach of synchronization, so this only applies to current version of 7Pass, meaning it’s only a temporary service.

 

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46 thoughts on “Your feedback required: Recovery of database files

  1. David A says:

    I vote to ignore this issue and devote the time to working on the 7Pass version for WP8.

    Thanks again for 7Pass!

  2. ma123@arcor.de says:

    Ich bin mit der DAV Synchronisation sehr zufrieden. Dadurch kann man sich den Anbieter und den Ort der Speicherung selbst aussuchen und ist nicht auf Skydrive angewiesen.

    Gruß, Tias

  3. DAV is great, specialy, if i own this myself on my own WebSpace. But maybe, it is possible to attach the Database to a simple E-Mail and send this Mail to m y normal Mailaccount?

  4. Can you use the Skydrive API to dump a database copy straight into a folder in Skydrive? (And another vote for the native Windows Phone 8 version please)

  5. I think there are two issues here albeit closely related: syncing and db recovery

    For recovery then it depends on whether 7Pass is the primary client being used. If so this becomes very important.

    If the use of 7Pass is to enable reading and editing of a centrally located KeyPass db as one of several clients across different platforms then the ability to synchronize is vital. Else the 7Pass local db is readonly to all intents and purposes.

    If I choose to create a new entry within 7Pass I expect that to be saved to my master db and available to all my KeePass clients. This implies either saving directly to the master db file or overwriting the master file with the local one. This does imply that there could be issues if changes made elsewhere have not been synchronized into the local 7Pass db. Perhaps when opening a db 7Pass could automatically download the latest version if you have chosen to open from SkyDrive, DropBox etc? Then when changes are made and saved the master db is updated. Something like this would hopefully prevent conflicts arising.

    Anyway I ramble. I am actually a WP8 user so hopefully the new app will resolve these issues. Bring it on!

  6. Kaarel says:

    I’ve a WP8 and havent noticed a corruption issue thank god, I store the file on SkyDrive and use the same file from desktop too. I do think this should be fixed for existing users with the issue.

    On another note the current manual sync is a bit unreliable just because I have to remember to sync before making changes.

    Haven’t been to the source yet but could you store the file locally and have a background sync job? Or at app startup and shutdown?

    For sending the file would it be possible to use the share to another app API if it’s available on WP7.

    For a secure cloud storage check out https://spideroak.com/

    Hope this helps

      • Kaarel says:

        It’s simpler to develop against SkyDrive for sure. Though there was a concern specifically around privacy, which is where a service like SpiderOak has an advantage.

  7. tech-guy says:

    ” I’d suggest the users with unsycnhronized changes try to manually synchronize the database, rather having to take this hard approach.”

    So if you can have a manual backup on your PC, etc. Why compromise security and sync to cloud in the first place?

    I’m all in for a manual backup.

  8. infosec-geek says:

    Cloud export / sync would make a lot of sense, why not also use the same for synchronizing with desktop KeePass. There is another spideroak like secure cloud provider elfcloud.fi, based in Finland and therefore not US/NSA legislation affected.

  9. Derek says:

    I love 7Pass and use it every day on WP8. I vote you stick with SkyDrive and DropBox and give the user the option of manual or automatic sync per password database.

  10. A. Nony Moose says:

    If you’re concerned about someone collecting your database files, email is the worst way to go. Server-to-server email is almost never encrypted, there’s no way to force it to be end-to-end, and even if it was, the message is decrypted on each of the intermediate servers. Face it, the NSA has all your emails.
    The only solution is to use good client-side encryption that you trust.
    Is there any reason KeePass encryption (which is, obviously, client-side) is less trustworthy than, say, PGP?

  11. Ian says:

    Great app thanks. Just started using with WP8 and looks fine. Maybe it’s a dumb comment about syncing but what’s wrong with manual sync through a USB cable?

  12. Aleksi says:

    Why not option to choose local folder for keepass file? Then you got all cloud syncs work. I’m using secure younited cloud and its not yet supported in 7pass.

  13. I also agree to focus on a WP8 version.

    To solve the issue of a local db it could be helpful if there is away to simply export/copy entries from a local db to a (also attached) db which is saved to a cloud storage provider.

    I also agree with with some people, that WebDAV at least for me is already a secure solution, as I can use my own server to store db files. That also can be done on a Rasperry which is running at home.

    Just to mention 3 flaws, where one is security related:
    1. Usage of 2-factor-auth with DropBox and 7pass isn’t working. I have to disable that feature to access my db files. When I enable it again, changes won’t be synced anymore.
    2. Usage of WebDAV is impossible right now, as I’m able to open my db file, but the file is always displayed empty.
    3. TAN’s are unfortunately displayed unordered. Its a tough job to find the correct TAN. Three should be a option to sort passwords in some folders (!) by username.

    HTH & Regards from Munich
    René

    • Sebastian Pfohl says:

      Hallo René,

      hast du in letzter Zeit mal WebDAV Sync probiert? Bei mir ist das seit dem letzten Update im Eimer. Ich bekomme ständig conflicted copys auf dem Server. Egal ob ich meinen eigenen Apache, GMX, HiDrive or whatever versuche. Leider hat Van kaum Zeit im Moment an 7Pass zu arbeiten, wäre also super hier in der Region etwas Feedback zu bekommen.

      Grüße aus Unterföhring :-)

    • Unfortunately there are many misspellings in my comment. §(/&§/(“&” damn auto correct ;) Please ignore them.

      @Sebastian: WebDAV sync doesn’t work for me too. Hopefully there will be a fix anytime soon. I don’t want to use DropBox as long as necessary.

      • Sebastian Pfohl says:

        @René: The same is on SkyDrive and Dropbox for me. I have tried to use the WebDav Interface to SkyDrive but since there is the same Problem with finding conflicts, this is no solution for me.

        My File isnt empty like in your case, but i get conflicted copy. If you need help to get the empty file fixed for WebDAV, you could send me a mail my name at pfohlnet.de

      • Yeah, thats valid for Skydrive too. True. But AFAIK there is a no plugin for KeePass to store a database file on Skydrive?!

        For Dropbox its working at the moment for me. I try to resync before every usage on the phone, what seems to work (at least for now ;).

      • Hi Sebastian, there is no native plugin for Skydrive, but I think I will try the Webdav way for syncing my containers. I don’t like the idea with Skydrive desktop, as I need a additional software and syncing is done via a external app which always can lead to strange behaviors.

      • Yes you are right. But i sync more with SkyDrive as only my KeePass DB. At the time of writing this, is use 3 Sources for my KeePass DB. First i save to my local “Documents” Folder in my Profile, and i have two Triggers in KeePass. On Sync with every “Save Operation” to my local SkyDrive Folder (which syncs to SkyDrive either with Microsoft Client on XP/Vista/Win7 or with SyncDriver in WIndows 8.1) and a second Trigger to Sync at the same Event to a free Strato HiDrive Account via WebDAV. On Windows Phone i can access Strato and SkyDrive.

        Additionaly i have made a Button in the Buttonbar of KeePass Desktop with the same Triggers. So i can call the Triggers manualy. If you need the Triggers as XML, i can insert them here.

      • If i didnt change anything on the Phone, it works and i have no conflicted copies. The conflicted copies are only there, when i sync on the Phone, change a afterwards a entry on the Phone and resync again.

  14. Carlo says:

    Hi Sebastian,
    I’m a WP8 user and I’m using your 7Pass app as primary password manager; my passwords database is saved on SkyDrive.
    Actually I’ve a lot of passwords stored in 7Pass app only and I’m unable to recover them.
    In case you’ll develop a WP8 version will it be distributed as a 7Pass app update?
    I mean, my password database will be accessible by the new app and I’ll recover the sync functionality with SkyDrive?

      • Carlo says:

        The sync is broken; I mean every time I tap on synchronize/update I have a “Error downloading your database. Please make sure that the URL is correct” error.

    • Hello Van, good to see you. I think he means, he has put his Passwords in the Database stored directly on the Phone, maybe the Demodatabase. So there is no way, to save this DB to a external Source for Backup purpose.

      @Carlos: I’m not the developer of this great App :-) Do you use the Demodatabase or a SkyDrive Database? If you use the later one, you could long Tab on the Database in 7Pass and choose “Sync”. Then your SkyDrive Database is synced from your Phone SkyDrive. From there you can copy the DB to a Desktop PC and use KeePass 2 (www.keepass.info) to open the DB. If you use the Demodatabase, then I know actually no way to export your DB to a external source.

      @Van: I hope for Update of 7Pass to solve my and other users Issue with the Sync and Conflicted Copy Problem. Since im still must using my old WP7.x Phone, I would love to see a Update for the WP7 Version, rather than a new WP8 version.

      • Carlo says:

        Hi Sebastian, sorry for my late reply; I subscribed to receive e-mail notification, but I din’r receive the one related to your post.
        If I long tap my database file (a SkyDrive database) after a while I get the error message “Error downloading your database. Please make sure that the URL is correct”. So my modifications to local file are not in sync with SkyDrive. Is there a way to get the local database file out of the application?

  15. GrosLap says:

    Bonjour Van,
    J’utilise 7Pass avec mon Samsung ATIV’S sous Windows Phone 8.
    Ma database est stockée sur Dropbox et j’ai activé l’authentification en 2 étapes avec Microsoft Authenticator.
    Il y a un bug qui ne permet pas l’écriture du code de sécurité suffisament rapidement !
    Voici les détails des manipulations :
    1/ Clic sur + pour ajouter la database
    2/ Clic sur Dropbox
    3/ Affichage écran Dropbox
    4/ Ecriture de User + Pass
    5/ Clic sur Connexion
    6/ Affichage de l’écran du code de sécurité
    7/ Clic sur la touche Windows pour changer d’application
    8/ Démarrage de l’application Authenticator
    9/ Lecture du code de sécurité pour Dropbox
    10/ clic sur la touche <- (retour) pour retourner vers 7Pass
    11/ Affichage de l'écran du code de sécurité pendant quelques secondes
    12/ Rechargement automatique de l'écran Dropbox = Problème
    13/ Nouvelle écriture de User + Pass
    14/ Clic sur connexion
    15/ Affichage de l'écran du code de sécurité
    16/ Ecriture du code de sécurité
    Mais ce code est valide 30 secondes seulement, et la manipulation nécessite beaucoup plus de 30 secondes.
    Il est impossible de lire et écrire le code de sécurité avec un temps inférieur à 30 secondes car il faut écrire 2 fois le User + Pass.
    Pourriez-vous tester et confirmer si une modification du code de l'application 7Pass peut améliorer ce fonctionnement.
    Vous pouvez me répondre en Anglais.
    Merci par avance pour vos informations.
    Cordialement
    GrosLap

  16. Bob Kellum says:

    I use Dropbox for my DB storage, and this has worked well for me. I use two-factor authentication with a password and a key file. I have the key file on all my devices, so that allows me to open the Dropbox DB anywhere I am.
    I’ve just downloaded 7pass, as I have a new windows phone. I’m really hoping to keep this password arrangement, but I need to include my local Key File. Keeping THAT on Dropbox defeats the purpose.

    • 7Pass Remake currently in development will be able to solve the problem for you. You can open the KDBX file from OneDrive or DropBox, or any other source, and pick up the keyfile from another source, such as your SD card.

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