Dropbox gives me the option to open files with an external program, such as QuickOffice. BoxCrypt seems to only allow you to open files using the default viewer. Does the paid version allow opening files with external programs? Will a future version? If so, ETA to release?
IOS Open In...(30 posts) (10 voices)
I upgraded and surprisingly, this does not work. This is really unfortunate as it limits the file types I can open. It would be extremely useful if users could use the "Open In..." function not only to get files into my secure folder, but back out as well... Just my 2 cents.
That's really strange because I'm able to open things in an external program using Boxcryptor on my iPad. I've got a PDF from my Boxcryptor share open in Good Reader right now in fact. Obviously once it's opened in the external program it's no longer encrypted. I have not tried editing something and then saving it back to Boxcryptor yet.
I unlocked the corporate version, which might make a difference?
It would be cool if BoxCryptor would attempt to open a file as text even if it doesn't understand the file extension. For example, I was trying to view some C# source code (file extension .cs), and BoxCryptor said "Unable to view file, This file type cannot be viewed". However, if I rename that same file to .txt, it opens fine in BoxCryptor.
BoxCryptor (Free and Unlimited) previews files using the built-in document preview feature of iOS. That means, you can open and preview all files supported by your iOS device. When you preview a file, you always have the option to export the file to other apps if they support this file type using the "Open in..." feature:
1) When previewing a file, tap the "Open in..." icon - a box with an arrow in the upper right corner.
2) Choose "Open in..."
3) Select the app which you want to use to open the file
4) When a file gets exported, the other app receives the plaintext file
Hope I could help,
Thanks Robert. What you say may be true in that iOS doesn't have built-in document preview for *.cs files, but it can be worked around.
For example, I tested a *.cpp file and *.cs file in Dropbox in the unencrypted area, and the iPad Dropbox client was properly able to open both files (note, the .cs file has a byte order mark of 0xEF, 0xBB, 0xBF meaning it's a UTF-8 file).
In BoxCryptor iPad app, the *.cpp file opens, but the *.cs file does not open. As such, there is no way to Open In... for the .cs file.
may i push this topic as I don't think it was fully answered yet. One question was whether it is intended to allow exports from Boxcryptor to other apps. For example, I have presentations and MindMaps in my Boxcryptor folders. It would be great if I could download them in boxcryptor and select Keynote or iThoughts to view them. Of course they would not be encrypted any longer and I could not store them back into the folder. But having access on the iPad to all of my files (as long as any app on the iPad can handle them) would be a great benefit.
So - is there something on the roadmap?
yes, we're having some kind of "export" feature on our roadmap so that you can use the BoxCryptor app also to view files which are not supported by Apple's default file previewer.
This is about the encryption/decryption process that I am expecting to work, but that is not, between my encrypted files in Dropbox and BoxCryptor in my iPhone 4 (iOS 5.1). I am currently using EncFS 1.7.4 http://webdiary.com/2011/11/25/dropsec/
and it is doing its thing from my desktop. File names and contents are encrypted in DB as expected. But I am disappointed that I am not getting an "Open In" for any of them in DB. But that may be ok since the encrypted filenames are also visible in BoxCryptor. But, alas, I cannot view them there either. I was honestly expecting BoxCryptor to decrypt them and make them viewable on command. I am receiving "Unable to view file, This file type cannot be viewed". Are my understanding and expectations off? Or maybe I am missing a step or two?
Is the aforementioned version of EncFS supported by BoxCryptor or not? Today I upgraded my BoxCryptor from free to Personal (USD 7.99). If we can't get this to work then it's useless to me and I will request a refund. Just waiting for clarification. Appreciate it.
This from BoxCryptor's own knowledge base
Right now, BoxCryptor can mount EncFS encrypted volumes with the following configurations:
EncFS version >= 1.7
Cipher algorithm: AES
Plaintext or Stream encrypted filenames
No filename initialization vector chaining
No per-file initialization vectors
No external IV chaining
No block MAC headers
No per-block random bytes
More testing confirms that the standalone EncFS solution for Mac OS X Lion above and BoxCryptor's solution for iOS 5.1 do not talk to one another and are one-sided/one-dimensional. In the middle stands Dropbox which is the not-yet-so-neutral repository of anything digital. So, if I use the Mac solution and mount my file system, sure, every folder and file I throw in there gets encrypted (and names scrambled) and instantly synced to DB too. An immediate level of security at DB's level. But this approach causes the show to stop in both DB and BC's iOS apps because the files are rendered useless in both; neither app is capable of handling them. In other words, I was expecting to at a minimum be given the option to "Open In BoxCryptor" while in DB's iOS app in order for BC's iOS app to decrypt for me ... but no. This failing (as it did), I was then expecting to grab the encrypted files (scrambled folder and file names are all visible) through BC's iOS app for decryption and viewing there. But again, this was not to be.
(Makes me wonder now what would happen if I turned ON the file name scrambling in my BC app settings --- will the app be able to handle the files with garbled names from my standalone app?).
Conversely, I can upload my UNencrypted files to DB, to my pre-assigned BoxCryptor source folder. Then from the DB iOS app I have to "Open In BoxCryptor" file after file after file (not to mention having to toggle back and forth and back and forth between apps) until everything gets uploaded/encrypted to/by BC and synced back to DB. Sure enough, thereafter they will show up encrypted in DB and without the folder or file names getting scrambled (since I turned that off in my BC settings). And I can happily view them too in my BC iOS app (that is, file types that are supported). But do notice the security hole in here: suppose someone loads a number of unencrypted files to his/her DB/BC folder, but cannot get to them right away through his/her iOS app to encrypt them. In any event, as I stated earlier, my standalone solution for Mac (unsupported, yes) cannot see what I did in iOS even though both point to the same repository in DB (when I mount my File System nothing lives in there - this is, of course, an enhancement for the developers of that app). So for now, it's either one or the other but not both. And here I was under the impression that I was all set to perform a smooth encryption/decryption roundtrip. But indeed it appears that it'll be a bumpy road for a while. If someone has further input and insight into this, I am all ears. Thanks all.
No idea what could've changed wrt. EncFS on Lion. But I've just verified that the current BoxCryptor (on both Android 2.3.5 and iOS 5.1) can talk to Snow Leopard EncFS - on condition that the EncFS-protected directory conforms to (if the following parameters are different in EncFS, BoxCryptor is unable to open the directory):
Cipher algorithm: AES
Stream encrypted filenames
No filename initialization vector chaining
No per-file initialization vectors
No external IV chaining
No block MAC headers
No per-block random bytes
To set these parameters you select "x" (Expert) option when you create the directory, and then answer the questions appropriately.
@Robert: would it be possible to:
- add support for the above capabilities that reduce performance but increase security?
- add something like "Properties Advanced", where the user could select the above parameters?
P.S. It's so nice to have BoxCryptor on the mobile platforms (iOS and Android), and compatible with EncFS (which adds Linux and Mac OS X)! Thank you!!
Not sure if this has been noted or reported before but there is a BUG in BoxCryptor's iOS app (don't know if in Android too). Yesterday I commented in this forum:
"Conversely, I can upload my UNencrypted files to DB, to my pre-assigned BoxCryptor source folder. Then from the DB iOS app I have to "Open In BoxCryptor" file after file after file (not to mention having to toggle back and forth and back and forth between apps) until everything gets uploaded/encrypted to/by BC and synced back to DB. Sure enough, thereafter they will show up encrypted in DB and without the folder or file names getting scrambled (since I turned that off in my BC settings)."
Doing the exercise described above works ONLY if I create an encrypted folder thru the BoxCryptor iOS app in plaintext, that is, with Advance->Filename Encryption disabled (OFF). Only then will the folder structure (that I uploaded to Dropbox, with UNencrypted files) display in the aforementioned BoxCryptor encrypted folder. This allows me to properly organize my files as I encrypt one by one thru the Dropbox app->Open in BoxCryptor. But if I create an encrypted folder in BC's iOS with Advance->Filename Encryption enabled (ON), the folder structure is not made available in the BC iOS folder. I could surely throw all my files in that folder but I lose my ability to organize them.
Am I missing something? Is it possible to treat folders differently from files? That is, to always retain folder names in plaintext? [This is also a recommendation, if it is possible to develop an algorithm, for the developer of the standalone EncFS app I am using on my Mac OS X Lion.]
Thanks to anyone who can clarify.
@GeeBee, of course it's up to the product developers to give you the official answer. But as for myself - I don't understand:
- what you're trying to accomplish,
- how you created BoxCryptor folder/directory (from what platform and with what options),
- whether on iOS you use free version (that allows only 3 uploads and 2 levels of directory hierarchy, becoming read-only after that).
Again, file exchange between EncFS v1.7.4 on Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) and BoxCryptor v1.0.2 on iOS v5.1 worked perfectly for me. On iOS I "Open In" files from other apps in BoxCryptor. On Mac I simply copy them to the EncFS directory. Since BoxCryptor doesn't even need to communicate with Mac, I don't see how the OS difference (my Snow Leopard vs. your Lion) can affect anything. Therefore I suspect a pilot error, and ask again whether the encrypted directory was created by BoxCryptor or by EncFS on Mac - and if later, whether all the other options were set as specified in the postings above (including mine). If they were - then it's a mystery to me. If they were not - try creating one following those options to the letter and see if it eliminates your problem.
@mouse07410, the encrypted directory was created thru my BoxCryptor iOS app v 1.0.2. My device is running on iOS 5.1. And I have also already upgraded from free to Unlimited Personal. All that said, what I am trying to accomplish is to NOT lose my ability, while working in/with the BCryptor app, to organize files into folders on the fly. At present I can organize my files into folders on the fly ONLY when Filename Encryption is set to OFF mode when creating the folder in the app, because then Folders and Filenames are in plaintext. After you create the folder as explained, drop at least one UNENCRYPTED folder containing at least one UNENCRYPTED file of your choice into this same folder in DROPBOX. Then visit your Dropbox iOS app, enter the subfolder containing the file, "Open In BoxCrypt", and see if the file's parent folder displays for you. All things being the same, it shouldn't display, as it did for me. At this point, your only option is to save the file to the root folder previously created in your BoxCrypt app. When you revisit Dropbox, you will notice the newly encrypted file at the root and the original/unencrypted version in its subfolder. This clearly represents a SECURITY problem, especially for the absentminded, plus it introduces another unnecessary layer of file management complexity for the user.
Try it out and let us know what you observe and think. Try it out a second time too with a new encrypted folder, this time with Filename Encryption set to ON mode.
All in all, someone has to come up with an algorithm that will always retain folders in plaintext, regardless of whether Filename Encryption is enabled or disabled. Does this make sense?
in general you have to use the BoxCryptor app to upload files so they are on the fly encrypted and not the Dropbox app. To upload files in iOS you have to open a file with your favorite app and then choose the iOS "Open In" feature. Now you can tap on "BoxCryptor" and then choose the location you want to upload the file.
At the moment it is not possible to create a new folder within the BoxCryptor for iOS app so to create your folder structur you have to use EncFS on Linux/Mac or the native BoxCryptor for Windows software.
So you have tried to set up this structure on your iOS device using the Dropbox app. This did not work (the folders have not been displayed) because BoxCryptor for iOS detects whether the folder has been created using the correct encryption settings with EncFS/BoxCryptor or just put into it with the Dropbox app. So this is not a bug of BoxCryptor for iOS/Android but a security feature.
Now to correctly set up your environment you can use BoxCryptor for iOS to create a new encrypted folder (you can use filename encryption which is recommended). After that you can choose this encrypted folder on your Mac using EncFS. After typing in your password you have access to your decrypted data. Here you can now organize your folder structure. After that all your created folders should appear in the BoxCryptor for iOS app (with the filenames decrypted). If you want you can have a look at your Dropbox app to see that the filenames have been automatically encrypted and are only decrypted within the BoxCryptor for iOS app.
Thank you. I will have to explore your take on this and report later.
I apologize for making a mistake in my logic in my previous post.
I wrote the following about Filename Encryption set to OFF but, rather, it is
the scenario that has played out for me when set to ON:
....."Then visit your Dropbox iOS app, enter the subfolder containing the file, "Open In BoxCrypt", and see if the file's parent folder displays for you. All things being the same, it shouldn't display, as it did for me. At this point, your only option is to save the file to the root folder previously created in your BoxCrypt app. When you revisit Dropbox, you will notice the newly encrypted file at the root and the original/unencrypted version in its subfolder. This clearly represents a SECURITY problem, especially for the absentminded, plus it introduces another unnecessary layer of file management complexity for the user" ...
A clarification: I did not create the folder structure in Dropbox iOS (there is no functionality for this there). What I did was create the encrypted folder in BoxCryptor iOS with Filename Encryption = OFF, since the BoxCryptor iOS app gives me the option. I then created a regular subfolder on my desktop (but NOT in my standalone EncFS app on my Mac OS X) and threw a random file into this subfolder (both unencrypted, of course). After this I dragged and dropped the subfolder (with the file in it) to Dropbox in Finder (it can also be done thru Dropbox's web interface). I then visited my Dropbox iOS app -> encrypted folder (previously created in BoxCryptor iOS) -> subfolder -> file -> Open in BoxCryptor. After launching the BoxCryptor iOS, the file gets encrypted and synced as such to Dropbox just fine and the BoxCryptor iOS sees the subfolder and allows me to save it in there just fine. Revisiting Dropbox iOS reveals the file in encrypted form. So this is a good thing. With Filename Encryption = OFF BoxCryptor iOS is giving me the ability to encrypt/decrypt and organize on the fly. Again, good. But with Filename Encryption = ON, I lose the ability to organize files on the fly in a scenario like the one described above. In addition, with FNE = ON, the original unencrypted file is retained in the Dropbox subfolder, which represents a security risk.
I am bringing all this up because it is clearly a user case that others will likely experience or may have experienced. Perhaps it is not a BUG as I previously declared but some programming fine-tuning may need to happen, I think.
More cheers. And I will report later once I try the approach you suggested.
Following your suggested approach, I am confirming that, yes, encrypting my subfolder via my standalone EncFS app on my Mac (as opposed to dragging/dropping the unencrypted subfolder directly into Dropbox->BoxCryptor folder in Finder or via Dropbox web interface) will instantaneously render visible the entire folder structure (that is, root folder and subfolder(s)) in BoxCryptor iOS thus allowing us to not only encrypt files on the fly but to organize them too.
Still, there's a "problem". Unless the developers of my standalone Mac app do something about it, currently there is no option to encrypt folders and/or files in plaintext. What this means is that if I needed to encrypt multiple folders on my Mac at once, well, I wouldn't know one from the other, would I, as the names are garbled.
I can't wait for the BoxCryptor team to release a solution for Mac OS X. When you do, please bear all this in mind.
Question: is there a programmatical way to always render encrypted folders in plaintext?
Ok, one more iteration and at last feeling I am "getting it".
1. created new folder with FN Encryption = ON in BoxCryptor iOS
2. on my Mac, in Finder, Dropbox, dragged/dropped new folder under a previously created folder with FN Encryption = OFF, also thru the BoxCryptor iOS app (now I wonder, and I will try it soon, what would happen if the older/root folder had FN Encryption = ON? will the foldern name get scrambled?)
3. also in Finder, Dropbox, new folder, dragged/dropped some .txt file into it
4. launched BoxCryptor iOS app and changed source folder to the older one (new folder happily visible in plaintext, and .txt file shows encrypted)
5. launched Dropbox iOS app, navigated new folder, opened .txt file and shows unencrypted
6. invoked "Open in BoxCryptor" on the .txt file and happily saved/overwrote it in desired (new) folder
7. while still in BoxCryptor iOS, opened .txt file and reads in plain text
8. back in Dropbox iOS, and .txt file reads encrypted
Will take it for another spin soon with at least two folders, each with FN Enc = ON
One final iteration from me and sorry to report that this time the test failed to pass. Or maybe my expectations are still off?
1. created two new folders, each with FN Encryption = ON in BoxCryptor iOS
2. on my Mac, in Finder, Dropbox, dragged/dropped 2nd folder under 1st
3. also in Finder, Dropbox, 2nd folder, dragged/dropped some .txt file into it
4. launched BoxCryptor iOS app and changed source folder to 1st one (2nd folder under it did not render/show)
5. launched Dropbox iOS app, navigated to 2nd folder, opened .txt file and shows unencrypted, as expected
6. invoked "Open in BoxCryptor" on the .txt file and unhappily saved it under 1st folder (because 2nd folder was missing in action)
7. while still in BoxCryptor iOS, 1st folder, opened .txt file (now with filename scrambled) and reads in plain text, as expected
8. back in Dropbox iOS, 1st folder, and same .txt file is encrypted, as expected
9. finally, it is obvious that the original unencrypted .txt file remained unencrypted under 2nd folder, as we know missing-in-action in BoxCryptor iOS.
Insight and clarification are welcome.
If I understood Boris correctly:
- BoxCryptor on iOS does not support creating directories (yet). You can upload and download files to BoxCryptor, but not manage the directory structure. Hopefully/maybe done of the upgrades...
- Placing files directly to Dropbox is a very bad idea, assuming ou want them encrypted/protected.
- The only way for now to organize your files is doing that on the Mac via EncFS.
- It seems to work perfectly for me. My Mac OS X is Snow Leopard, but that can't matter to BoxCryptor as it only sees the actual files.
I don't know what you're expecting, but your example does not make sense to me. I would do the following:
- Start Dropbox application to mount/access the Dropbox directory on Mac.
- Mount EncFS directory in your Dropbox, e.g., encfs ~/Dropbox/raw/ ~/crypt/
- Work with your ~/crypt directory, creating whatever hierarchy ou need there.
- When on iOS, do NOT launch/use Dropbox app, use only BoxCryptor. Download, edit and upload files as you need, using BoxCryptor.
The above - works. What you are trying to do - shouldn't (and probably doesn't).
very nice description. This is how it works.
But organizing files can also be done in BoxCryptor for iOS (open, delete). It is just not yet possible to create folders. This has to be done with EncFS.
You should not upload your files in plain and then encrypt them. This is why you can only work with Filename Encryption Off.
Your in plain created folders are only detected by BoxCryptor because Filename Encryption is off because it does not expect encrypted foldernames. If Filename Encryption is On BoxCryptor expects encrypted foldernames which they are not if you create them with Dropbox.
Your files which you put via Finder into the Dropbox directory are not encrypted because you put them directly into the Dropbox folder. So they are not encrypted and also not shown by BoxCryptor which expects encrypted files. So you always have to use the mounted EncFS directory as mouse described above.
@mouse07410 & @Boris, thank you both.
@mouse07410, I will try out your suggestion sometime soon.
@Boris, perhaps a future release will programmatically alert/warn users about something or other? As you can see, the two or three user-cases I went through are entirely possible, for good or bad, not to say confusing, not just for me but for other users as well. So there is certainly much room for growth and improvement.
@mouse07410, of course my EncFS on my Mac mounts to Dropbox so no issue with that. But it renders folder/filenames encrypted, not in plaintext. Can't do anything with the file in BoxCryptor iOS. I am expecting BoxCryptor iOS to DEcrypt the file for me on command. But no. What am I doing wrong or what could be wrong? Am I still misunderstanding?
Hello. Following up on my last post, any input from anyone on the issue of my encrypted files (via EncFS on Mac) and BoxCryptor iOS app unable/incapable of handling them? As I wrote, I see the encrypted filename in BC iOS app just fine but I am under the expectation that BC iOS will natively DECRYPT the file for me for viewing. Right or wrong? Thanks.
BoxCryptor for iOS decrypts the filenames automatically. So something seems to went wrong.
So it seems you encrypted your files twice. Mouse gave the right description how to use EncFS and BoxCryptor. I recommend you to completely renew your setup and use the method mouse described.
Thank you Boris. Yes something seems to be amiss. I've tried two approaches: creating an unencrypted folder in my Dropbox directly through Finder/Dropbox. Then mounting my EncFS on my Mac and throwing my subfolders with files in there, then unmounting. Folders and files do get encrypted and show likewise in Dropbox. But when I launch BoxCryptor iOS and access that specific folder nothing lives in it, even if I refresh. Then I delete the Dropbox folder I created previously and start anew. This time I created an encrypted folder with the same name in BoxCryptor iOS, establishing my credentials (using the EncFS password, of course). Repeat the exact same steps on my Mac. After relaunching BoxCryptor iOS, again nothing lives in the folder. I am at a loss.
Well, something definitely seems wrong with your setup. Because just now i've done this test (entirely on iOS 5.1 iPad-3:
- Started Dropbox and created a directory named "Crypt".
- Started BoxCryptor and created an encrypted directory "encfs-raw" inside "Crypt" directory.
- Using BoxCryptor, uploaded a file (a photo).
- Exited BoxCryptor. Verified with Dropbox that there is a subdirectory "encfs-raw" inside "Crypt", and the contents of that subdirectory is encrypted (plaintext .encfs6.xml file, and encrypted file with encrypted name for that picture I uploaded).
In your case, perhaps the best is delete and reinstall BoxCryptor, erase all the previous encrypted subdirectories, and start from scratch? Also, if you create your encrypted directories with EncFS on Mac - make sure it's compatible with BoxCryptor (see previous postings in this thread for the details).
If everything works, but you find your files in the directory first when you put them in, and then the directory mysteriously becomes empty - something is badly screwed up, probably in your setup... Or in the level of hierarchical subdirectories you are trying to use... I haven't tried more than 1-2 levels. Don't know what would happen if, e.g., you'd try to go down 15 levels... So try with one level first, and we'll see.
is there a roadmap from which we can determine when Open in ... for iOS will be available for files for which no built-in preview on the device exists?
We don't have a detailed timeline. We're doing our best to have it ready as soon as possible - I expect it to be ready within 2-4 weeks.
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