I’m happy to announce the first update to Espionage! Here’s what’s new:
- FIXED: “Open Helper Log” changed to “Open System Log”. Look for more improvements later.
- FIXED: Attempts to encrypt ~/foo and ~/foo3 work now (thanks Roger!)
- FIXED: [_NSStateMarker filePath] error should no longer happen.
- FIXED: Can no longer uninstall if locked
- IMPROVED: Won’t let user encrypt parent folder of Espionage’s database for safety
- IMPROVED: Updated encryption doc to mention that you can securely delete the original folder using the Finder.
- IMPROVED: more informative logging (don’t worry, we make sure not to log too much)
- IMPROVED: Folder capacity is now at least 10 times the folder size. Automatic resizing coming soon.
- IMPROVED: Espionage now intelligently handles folders that weren’t locked properly
Probably the most noteworthy change is the last one, let’s examine what it means in detail.
In this screencast we show how to encrypt your email using Espionage. Let’s look at the dirty details of what happened there:
- Espionage turned the Mail folder into an encrypted disk image called .Mail.sparseimage
- It then moved the Mail folder into the Trash so that the user could either back it up or securely delete it using the Finder
- In its place another (specially marked) folder was created with the same name and the image was placed inside it.
- The folder is now “locked.”
When the folder is unlocked here’s what happens:
- Espionage moves the image out of the Mail folder into the parent directory and mounts it in /Volumes/EspionageMounts/<some number>
- The “Mail folder” is deleted and a link is created in its place pointing to the mount
- The folder is now “unlocked.”
So. What happens if suddenly the computer crashes, or if you had an unlocked folder on an external drive and unmounted it before re-locking it, or if you backup your computer right now and at some point in the future restore it to this point?
Previously, Espionage would see that it can’t find its specially marked folder (which is how it knows that it can delete the folder to create the link) and would give an error. In 1.1.1, Espionage will try and restore the folder back to its locked state by re-creating the Mail folder, marking it as its own, and moving the image back into it.
Now the only time it will fail in this situation is if there is already a folder called “Mail” there and it isn’t marked as belonging to Espionage. Espionage tries to be very safe with your files, so it won’t delete a folder that doesn’t belong to it. If this happens you’ll get an error that says something along the lines of “Broken encrypted folder detected but folder is not under our control.” You can fix this situation by trashing the folder yourself and re-enabling it in Espionage.
This update should improve Espionage’s stability, and pave the way for exciting new features in future versions, so keep an eye out for those!