After thinking about this for a while, I see that we need to consider the attacker scenario.
- User exposes password (like password re-use, etc)
- Machine/network is breached
- Destructive malware/ransomware
If we use the keyfile approach, as duplicacy, we can only really cover (1).
If the machine is breached, they can easily recover the real passphrase, and changing the keyfile passphrase is no going to prevent anything.
Malware/ransomware can effectively kill the keyfile and make backups useless.
Yes, but is it “enough” to simply change the keyfile passphrase? I think it can give a false sense of security if your real key is compromised and you simply change the passphrase on the keyfile, because the attacker might have the contents of the keyfile when you discover that the passphrase is compromised.
In this scheme, the
dlist files would be encrypted with the user supplied passphrase, and all others with a session key? This makes it easy to determine what key to apply (just look at the file extension). If we do not store the encryption key locally (should we?) then we need to fetch a single dlist file before being able to start a backup.
This would cover (1) and make it a bit more robust against (3). And I think this can be implemented without many issues, except for supporting existing backups where the user supplied passphrase is used to encrypt everything.
I guess we could make the simple approach where we support a list of potential passphrases (should be a short one, less than 5 items) and then just try with each one until we succeed. Then we grab the passphrase from a dlist file (if it has one) and adds the user supplied passphrase to the list and then just attempt to decrypt.
When changing the passphrase we would need to re-encrypt all
dlist files. The problem here is that we can be interrupted and end up with some files using one passphrase and others using the new passphrase. It is a bit messy, but we could mark the database as being in “re-encrypt mode” to avoid other things happening. Then we can continue with the user supplying both the old and the new passphrase, and use the same approach with a list to detect if the
dlist is already re-encrypted or not.
It still does not solve (2), which I think can only be solved with a re-encryption of all files. We could add new encryption keys to the
dlist file, such that it knows how to decrypt old files, but uses a different passphrase for encrypting new volumes. It is a bit dangerous, as we need to ensure that we only remove old keys when there are no old volumes depending on it.