News from the Simpleum-Lab - Development status of synchronization
SimpleumSafe 2.0 will support the synchronization of Safes between different devices. Today we would like to report on the current state of development.
Interview with the development:
Question: What is the synchronization?
Answer: In the end, the synchronization enables the same data of a Safe to be stored on different devices without the user having to worry about which data must be transferred.
Question: What devices are supported by the synchronization?
Answer: We support Mac with MacOS El Capitan (10.11) and iPhone / iPad with iOS 9
Question: i.e. Safes can be synced from a Mac to an iPhone?
Answer: Yes, in both directions. In addition, Safes can be synchronized from Mac to Mac and also from iOS to iOS. Thus, e.g. a Safe can be synchronized from an iPhone to an iPad or from a Mac at work to a Mac at home.
Question: How are the Safes transferred?
Answer: We offer several types of transfer. There is the transfer via iCloud. The iCloud is available to every buyer of an iPhone / iPad / Mac and is now familiar to most users.
Question: If I do not want the data to be transmitted over the Internet, are there other possibilities?
Answer: It is possible to perform a wireless synchronization. This is where Apple’s Multipeer protocol is used. If you can use AirDrop with your devices, you can also use this type of synchronization. For this purpose the devices are connected with Bluetooth and Wifi and the Safes are synchronized. The transmission of the data does not take place over the Internet.
For a Mac to Mac synchronization, we provide another type. Here, simply a folder accessible by two Macs, e.g. a network drive (NAS). In this way, synchronization is possible without the Internet. We have even developed so far that synchronization via a flash drive is possible. Thus, no wishes for safe transmission, even for high-security requirements, should be left.
Question: Is synchronization over the Internet secure?
Answer: Each Safe is encrypted and consists of three main types of data. First, the meta data (this is an encrypted database that contains information such as file name, file size, …). Secondly, the encrypted data files (they contain the data of the individual files in encrypted form). Third, the key file (it contains the encryption keys). Everything is encrypted with AES-256.
The data files are transmitted in their encrypted form. The sync protocol (which knows what data has been changed) is also transmitted encrypted. Thus, we have an end-to-end encryption. Everything can only be decrypted, if one knows the Safe password and has the key file.
To increase security even further, we do not directly transfer the key file.
For example, a Safe from a Mac is transferred to an iPhone for the first time, then SimpleumSafe creates a synchronization configuration as an encrypted QR code. This QR code is then photographed and evaluated by the iPhone. Afterwards the input of the Safe password is necessary and the Safe can be created and synchronized on the iPhone.
This additional security function protects the synchronization data from attackers. Even if they know the password and managed to steal the data from the cloud, they still lack the key file.
Question: How long is synchronization in development?
Answer: With the start of the development of SimpleumSafe it was already clear that one day there should be a synchronization. We first released the Mac version a year ago. Half a year later the iOS version. At the beginning of 2017, we started developing the synchronization.
Question: Why does the development of synchronization take so long?
Answer: Secure and robust synchronization is one of the most difficult development areas. Unfortunately, there are also no comprehensive ready-made solutions. Especially when it comes to encrypted synchronization.
We also wanted that users can perform the iCloud and a direct device-to-device synchronization.
We chose decentral asynchronous synchronization. It is considered the non-plus ultra and has the highest robustness. It also does not require any intelligent servers.
Question: When will SimpleumSafe 2.0 be on the market?
Answer: We can not say that yet. We have just set a very great milestone. SimpleumSafe 2.0 is now in the alpha phase. This means that the synchronization in the core is finished.
Now we will handle all exception and possible errors, complete the user interface and the translations. Then test again, test, test …
If we find the alpha version to be good, we will launch a beta test, which is also available to our customers.
If this is completed to the satisfaction of our customers and our quality assurance, SimpleumSafe 2.0 comes on the market.
Question: Does SimpleumSafe 2.0 cost extra money for SimpleumSafe 1 customers?
Answer: No, SimpleumSafe 2.0 is a free update