This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Hugh 4 years, 1 month ago.
I have some files encrypted with AxCrypt 2, and all of a sudden the password has stopped working. I haven’t reset the password — that is, I did something that resulted in getting an email asking me to reset the password and select a new one, but I didn’t click on the “reset password” link. I am certain that the password is correct. Does anyone know what happened and whether I can recover the files?
Sorry about that. In case anyone else hits this problem, here’s the solution. I was confusing the login password with the encryption password for the files in question; I’d missed the point that they don’t have to be the same. Somehow or other my login password got changed; I’ve no idea how that happened. I got a new login password, and, once logged in, I could decrypt the files with the original password. If, I now know, a file is encrypted with a different password from the login password, once you’ve successfully logged in and try to open the file, Axcrypt detects that the login password is incorrect and asks for the correct one.
You had mentioned “Somehow or other my login password got changed; I’ve no idea how that happened.” , AxCrypt will not change sign in password automatically. You might be confused with sign in password and file password.
AxCrypt 1.x works with different passwords for each files. That means, we can assign passwords for each encrypting files. But AxCrypt 2.x use a single sign on model where the same password is used to sign in to our servers and to protect your files.
If the file was encrypted with a different password than your sign in password then you have to enter the file password(which was used to encrypt the files) while viewing/decrypting the encrypted file.
For example: AxCrypt will ask the user to enter the password when the file was encrypted by some other AxCrypt accounts’ password or user account’s old password.
Actually, without user request, AxCrypt will not change the user accounts password. So you might be manually changed the account password or confused with the file password.
Anyway, its good to know now everything works well.
Thanks. Yes, I eventually worked out that this was how AxCrypt 2 handles passwords. May I make a couple of observations intended to be helpful?
First observation: when you see your encryption software telling you that you have the wrong password to log in, it tends to freeze your brain: you’re so appalled at the thought that you might have lost all your encrypted material, that it stops you thinking properly.
Second observation: clearly something happened to my account — I did something that I shouldn’t have — to cause it to invalidate the existing password. I’m guessing that I was presented with a dialog box to which I responded inappropriately, causing this to happen. If this happened to me I’m sure it can happen to others.
These two observations add up for me to a suggestion: In the pop-up that appears when you click on the red exclamation mark, why not add a few words saying something like: “Note: your login password isn’t necessarily the same as the password that encrypts your files. Click here for more information.” And the “here” could be a page that explains more or less what you explain above, namely that changing the login password doesn’t affect the password(s) used to encrypt the files. So if the user is confident that they know the encryption password(s) they shouldn’t worry about changing their login password because that doesn’t affect their encrypted files. At the moment, the “help” screens that I’ve seen tend to give the unintentional impression that changing the login password means that you won’t be able to decrypt files that were encrypted before the password change. In other words, the help page needs to make it clear that AxCrypt 2 combines the login and encryption passwords for convenience only. Changing the login password doesn’t affect the passwords used for decrypting the user’s files; all it means is that the user will get asked for the decryption password when they want to open a file.
Just a suggestion, but it would have helped me.
Thanks for your suggestions.
We do have a challenge in communicating to many users just how encryption works, as opposed to a login. In short – why you can’t perform a password reset for encrypted files, but you can do it for the login to the account.
I think you are right that we should make it clear that signing in to the account is for safety (because we then can verify that the user is using the password they think they are using without typos) and convenience (since we then use this password to actually encrypt files with).
It is *always* possible to decrypt files with the original password used at the time of encryption, regardless of the sign in password.
A new issue has been made: https://bitbucket.org/axantum/axcrypt-net/issues/454/add-link-to-new-information-page-about-how .
Thanks, Svante; much appreciated. I think your new issue when implemented will be very helpful to confused souls such as me :)