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Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
reply to OZO

Re: AceMoney - be careful with v4.20+ data file

Wow. Very interesting. Thank you for bringing this up to let people know.

What if a user does use a password? I always password protect my file. I'm guessing that it is not hard to crack but I figure why not. If using a password does the same thing happen?

I ask because you said that you did not password protect your file and I'm wondering if that somehow causes the file to behave differently.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

said by Sentinel:

What if a user does use a password? I always password protect my file. I'm guessing that it is not hard to crack but I figure why not. If using a password does the same thing happen?

I hope using password (even 1 character long) will help to mitigate the design problem. The option says "Permit access by multiple users". But what it actually means is "Don't associate data file with program installation" and it should come with many warnings, that you may easily loose all your data if you don't set it on. But if you set it - the password is required.

Access to personal data file should never be linked to program installation, its location, your computer or anything else... New format of data file makes it completely useless (dangerous, despite the fact, that you make backups regularly) without setting a password.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
OZO,
In order to test this theory would a good test be to install AceMoney on a different PC and then copy over my file on a USB stick and try to read it? Or restore a back up copy?

Boricua65,
I also live with people I trust and no one goes through my things. I'm just a security minded person. I lock my car in the garage Why make things easy for a thief? If a thing has a lock I just lock it. Just personal preference.


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
I just tried the test above and no good! Even if you do use a password you cannot open a file created on one machine on any other machine unless you check that box in the password options to allow multiple users.

After reading the help file it seems that this is a feature to make sure that, in the event the file is stolen, your file cannot be read on any machine other than the machine that created the file. Not a bad idea security wise but it does create a big problem back-up wise if one is not aware of this security feature. It essentially makes back-ups useless.

I am changing the setting now and trying it to see if, with box checked, it will allow me to open the file on another PC.


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2

1 recommendation

I just checked the box, created the same password and it did not work. I checked the box created a new different password and it did work. I was able to open the file on another PC with proper password.

OZO, you are a life saver. This would have been a nightmare had I not read this. I am planning on doing a clean install of Windows on this PC and I would not have been able to restore my file. Thank you.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
You're welcome, Sentinel See Profile! And thank you for checking and confirming that it works now.

Locking financial or any kind of important data to program installation is a very bad idea. I know it from my personal experience. Long time ago I was obsessed with similar idea, when I was writing copy protection software, that locks data to particular drive controller, using assembler and low level direct interface protocols. I've eaten a lot of craws then... and got to a strict conclusion, that it's always dangerous and it will always bite you in the butt, rather then helping you in any way. I think developers of AceMoney will have that experience too, when users will discover how dangerous it is to keep that misleading option unchecked.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Sentinel
Premium
join:2001-02-07
Florida
kudos:2
Agreed. One of those things that sounds good on paper but...
At the very least they should do a much better job of explaining that option. The way it reads it made me think that the file was going to be shared, which I did not want.

They should relabel it to "allow file to be open on multiple computers" and pop-up a warning window if you don't check it that warns you that if you don't check that box you will only be able to open that file on that particular PC and user profile.

All my old back-ups are useless. I have to make new back-up files.