#382 dB Self Destruct Sequence


I have a request for two destruction sequences.

1. The option for a second password that is a One Time
use Password. Once the one time use password is entered
the users could access the database once only. However,
on the events close, lock or next use the database the
database would destruct.

2. A destruct password. If a certain password was
entered the database would be scrambled permanently.


  • Logged In: NO

    What purpose could these features possibly serve????

  • Logged In: NO

    In regards to these features I can see where this is going.

    Option #1 (practical in many users environments)
    You could give someone the on time use password so they
    can get into the file and get a password out. However to
    improve on this thought I would also have the database open
    with the disable unsafe operations preventing printing,
    copying etc. This would allow someone emergency access to
    the dB. Say you are on vacation and that co-worker just
    needs quick access for a piece of hardware password (i.e.
    router). Fine here is the one time use password that will
    allow them read-only quick access then they are locked out
    from going back in again for a quick snoop of the rest of
    the passwords.

    Also great for plausible deniability I gave you the
    password you opened the password database now what did you
    do to it? What do you mean I gave you the password you
    saw it worked

    Option #2 (Pure paranoia)
    This is easy, again plausible deniability I think the
    password is this and wham the database is destroyed.
    Perfect if you find yourself in a situation of being forced
    to give up your master password. Nothing better than a
    corrupt database.

    Say you keep all of your encrypted file passwords in keepass
    and you are asked by someone (law enforcement, mafia,
    ex-place of work, al qaeda, terrorist, dilbert, ex-wife) to
    give up the password to your password database, you can give
    them the corrupt that database password instead making the
    copy they have trash. This put keepass into the realm of a
    true users security tool that protects the data at all
    costs. Once more the scramble the database password could
    be made easy so that some moron trying to guess your
    passwords will kill the copy of the file they have obtained.

    Some people do have multiple copied of the keepass dB and
    keep backups at work on other places they probably should
    not so why not build in a purposeful obsolescence into the
    program. For that matter even a simple warning and reset
    flag to kill a database after a specified time period would
    be nice.

    Again, this is basic to most security token/pass devices.
    For instance GEM security cards self destruct after so many
    invalid attempts. I would not suggest this for keepass but a
    basic (user settable) password that kills the database would
    have the same effect and take longer to get at and prevent a
    denial of service attack while still protecting the
    underlying data.

  • Logged In: NO

    I.E. What the rest of the world is doing with security
    devices... SIMILAR TO THE SMART CARD IDEA ....

    ...some article snips...

    "Smart cards can be programmed to self-destruct when an
    unauthorized party probes it. "

    "He added that the chip in the card is designed to
    self-destruct if tampered with. "It's never been cracked to
    anybody's knowledge," Vanderhoof said."

    "Security One of the primary security risks pertaining to an
    enterprise smart card program stems from lost cards. If a
    card is lost and not reported as such immediately, there is
    potential for an unscrupulous person to find that card and
    use it to gain unauthorized access to enterprise physical or
    digital resources. There are measures that can be taken to
    mitigate this risk, though. First, cards that have a PIN
    require that the cardholder enter the correct PIN to gain
    access to the services on that card. Additionally, some
    cards can be set to self-destruct if the user makes a
    certain number of failed attempts to enter the correct PIN.
    There must also be policies and procedures in place that
    address how to handle the situation when a card is lost. For
    example, administrators should modify accounts to block
    access from cards that have been reported as missing or stolen."

  • Logged In: NO

    Ah yes very much like current security devices i.e. Smart
    Cards that destruct when tampered with... article snip below...

    "smart cards can be programmed to self-destruct when an
    unauthorized party probes it."

  • Michael Scheer
    Michael Scheer

    Logged In: YES

    Keepass is open source. An attacker who knows the
    software would compile the app for his needs. Self
    destruction does not work.

  • Logged In: NO

    I say another wall of defense is still worth it to protect
    all that is behind it.

    Further, as the programming code would be so small compared
    to the weight of the threat it would harden Keepass to those
    idle minds that use commercial software to steal passwords.
    Lord knows that half of security is the-know-how and many
    just DO NOT know and use someone elses solution to gain
    entry rather than making up their own. Thus, open source or
    not having a self-destruct, scramble the dB, stumble upon
    basic password trip-wire or something along these lines
    would thwart those feeble minded.

  • Jason Martin
    Jason Martin

    Logged In: YES

    Any law enforcement attempts to break in to the database
    will be preceeded by a bit-for-bit copy. However, someone
    less versed in security procedures might push you to tell
    them a password which they then enter, not thinking to make
    a DB backup. Destroying the contents of the file upon
    entering the 'distress' password is a pretty neat idea.

    I suppose one could hedge by having the concept of a
    secondary password not known by the owner. IE, Alice asks
    Bob to type in an 'emergency' password which she never looks
    at. When Alice tells mafia man Fred to enter the distress
    password, the database is automatically recoded to only be
    readable by Bob's password. Obviously, Bob should be
    concerned when Alice calls him asking for the password at

  • Jason Martin
    Jason Martin

    Logged In: YES

    I suppose as a further measure, instead of destroying the
    whole databsae, it could replace all the passwords with new
    randomized passwords. Suddenly all of Alice's accounts have
    been disabled...

  • JLJ4774

    Logged In: YES

    I would imagine that implementation of these features would
    bulk up the software... With as many people not using the
    advanced features of keepass I wonder if it would be worth
    the time, effort, and extra coding?