Solved Critical encryption flaw! (Was Explained)

Discussion in 'Join' started by Ryonez, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Ryonez

    Ryonez New Member

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    Hey, you(joaomgcd) responded to the review on the play store I did. I'd like to start by thanking you for that!

    But, even with the information given, my original assessment still stands. Normally I'd start here, but I was (and still am) reinstalling my OS, so I couldn't go into to much detail. For reference, I'll copy the review and your reply here.
    ====================================================
    Critical encryption flaw! Even with a encryption key set on mobile, it was storing data on gdrive in PLAIN TEXT. I only discovered this when reinstalling my OS and found that join on Chrome was receiving sms without being given a key. When I went to look, there was months worth of unencrypted information. This also has affect clipboard pushes. I have sent passwords(non important ones) though join, and now I'm feeling... Extremely non confident of this software.


    Developer response:
    Hi there. Thanks for the review, but it's not an encryption flaw, it's actually by design. Check here: https://joaoapps.com/hrf_faq/what-data-does-join-encrypt-when-encryption-is-enabled/

    Hope this clarifies it.
    =====================================================

    I still stand by my words, the encryption does not work, anywhere.

    My phone has an encryption key set. My computer has not been given it yet. Despite that, I received an sms that my desktop displayed. That's when I started looking into it.

    I found that no information, anywhere, was being encrypted. SMS content, clipboard content, nothing.
    Looking into Google drive with some worry, I found to my horror that everything was in plain text.

    This "by design" response is also pretty horrible. I'm aware that Google encrypt data on their storage.
    But you telling your customers that it is encrypted the way you have is extremely misleading.

    Anyone with your login data, be it via your access credentials or an app with drive authorization that is connected to your google account, has access to that data in it's plain text form!

    And that is why I set an encryption key on Join, so I didn't need to worry about other apps possibly looking at it.
    I revoked Join's access to drive last night. I'm about to retry and see if it'll work properly this time. But considering that it failed on my phone( and it must have failed on chrome if it was able to read things with a given key at the time), I'm not sure how much I trust this app right now.

    I look forward to your repose and thoughts on this.
     
  2. Ryonez

    Ryonez New Member

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    After a long time, I finally got the clipboard encrypted, though I have no clue how.

    SMS and Contact information is still unencrypted. I have no idea what to do about that as that from the sounds of it is a design flaw.
     
  3. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi there. Thanks for writing :)
    Hope I can clear this out properly.
    Encryption is Join is meant to protect your data from my server, not from Google and their services. Google already has access to all the data that Join has access to so I didn't see a point in hiding data from Google.
    But I clearly tell costumers that Join doesn't encrypt files it sends to Google Drive in the FAQ I linked to. Can you clarify where it's misleading exactly? Thanks
    Again, I don't mean to protect Join's data from anyone that has your login data. If your account is compromised that way I think the person will have access to much more than Google drive, correct? They will have access to your whole Google account, including emails, contacts, google drive, search history, etc.
    About other apps that connect to Google Drive, they will only be able to access Join's folder if they have full access to Google Drive, which apps don't usually do. But I admit I didn't think about this use case before.
    Again, just to reiterate, the reason encryption was introduced is because people didn't trust their data to go through my server. It was never meant to protect your data from Google.

    I'm going to be implementing a different way of storing your SMS files in the future where all the files are kept in a special hidden app-only storage of Google Drive and won't even show up in your Google Drive files list at all. Do you think that would work for you?
    Thanks for your feedback!
     
  4. Sarc

    Sarc New Member

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    I don't think people will read the FAQ about how encryption works. The setting description in the app seems to imply that it will make your data safe. I assume that the data would be encrypted during transport, which is why I would want to encrypt it. The option should clarify this instead of putting it in the FAQ since it may not be a question a user immediately thinks to ask.
     
  5. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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    Ok, I can add a note about it in the in-app screen. Thanks!
     
  6. Ryonez

    Ryonez New Member

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    Wow, thank you so much for the detailed reply. You've hit at every point I've made, which is so great >.<
    So, I wasn't so aware that anything went through your servers, that isn't mentioned in the faq page you linked before, and I didn't really look beyond that at the time. It's been a long time since I've looked at you software, so if I did know before I've forgotten sadly.

    The bit I personally find misleading is how you say that google drive itself is encrypted. While the data is stored saved, anything with authorization to access those files can see them in it's plain text form. But the way the wording is that the file is encrypted that only the user can see it. For someone who knows nothing about data security, they would not necessarily know this. Mind you, they probably wouldn't look at encryption in the first place.

    In regard to app access, I hadn't realized that the restrictions could be that restricted. Looking at what apps have access to what, I can see what you are about there. Though there are a few services that have complete access for a few things I need.

    The "special hidden app-only storage of Google Drive" sounds great, and would work very well. It would only allow your app access to that data, which would prevent any concerns about that.

    I do also agree with Sarc, saying how the encryption works in the settings screen for it would be of use to many people.
     
  7. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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  8. dupsatou

    dupsatou New Member

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    So I actually found this thread for the same reason. I had setup an encryption password and my understanding from the FAQ gave me the impression that my SMS was going to be encrypted end-to-end by the password. I understand the explanation and my instinct is that its even acceptable as my main concern for encrypt SMS was in fact the data passing through your system. But since it doesn't I think it's okay. For some reason it feels like the description/FAQ leave this a little misleading though. Just wanted to add that feedback. Thanks!
     
  9. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you for the feedback :) Do you have a suggestion how it could be better phrased?
     
  10. Shanness

    Shanness New Member

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    I just realised that google has access to my unencrypted push history and SMS's, and found this thread. I agree this is concerning.. Currently they say they won't use private drive files for marketing, but I don't trust them not to change this in the future..
    I'd be much more comfortable knowing it was all encrypted..
     
  11. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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    But if they want Google can already access your push history and SMS on the phone itself, right?...
     
  12. KG23

    KG23 New Member

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  13. joaomgcd

    joaomgcd Administrator Staff Member

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    That info is already there in the part about Google Drive...
     
  14. Ryonez

    Ryonez New Member

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    Hadn't realized this was still open, closing as it was explained, and the dev took steps to change how they did some stuff to make it more secure. Thank you!
     

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