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From Jay Zamboni <>
Subject Re: Handling encryption keys in a disconnected environment
Date Wed, 09 Nov 2011 23:49:24 GMT
Thanks Jim

I need to research the use of certificates more.  We can have the concept
of an admin user that gets each client device loaded with a certificate
prior to it’s usage.  Clearly we want this to be as hassle free as
possible, but our clients would share our security concerns so we can hope
they will forgive some of the installation complexities.

<<You should NEVER transmit a private key across the internet. Exposing any
kind of private key

<<material into the web client is just not a good idea.

We considered passing the private key, but it would be passed encrypted
with the users password and via SSL.  We could use a public/private key
solution as described here:

This makes things more secure as far as writing data, but doesn’t really
help with the security of reading the data.

>>I'd also advise against using any JS-crypto solution, as the algorithms
can be compromised via

>>a XSS scripting attack unless your client can sandbox and secure the
algorithms somehow.

I have considered using a JS-crypto but isolating it to the show and update
functions so that it is running in couch instead of the browser.  I have
also considered doing it in erlang as described here:

However, I don’t know erlang and worry about the learning curve.

Thanks for the link and the information on keygen.  I’ll see if I can come
up with something better with this information.  I'll be looking at Jens
idea of a PhoneGap app using some keychain API as well.


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