17 June 2010

Using 2D Bar Codes to store important data

For my personal business cards I have decided to include a 2D bar code (QR Code). Lucky owners of my personal business card can use this QR Code to electronically add my personal details into their smart phone.

Real world usage of QR Codes remained in the area of encoding telephone numbers, names or web links / URLs referring to pages of interesting information.

Until now. A Dutch company called Safeberg provides online backup with professional security features. Safeberg encrypts files and their meta data information using 192 bit AES keys (the AES key used is changed at random intervals). The AES keys are encrypted with the RSA algorithm using a 4096 bit private key. Using such a large key should protect your data against brute force attacks for a long time (at least 30 years).

But when you want to decode your encrypted data, how do you enter the private key? Safeberg gives you the possibility to store your private key in a Trusted Paper Key (TPK). This paper contains a giant 2D Datamatrix bar code in which your private key is encoded. The decryption software uses a scan of the TPK to decode your backup. You can see a sample here. This is the largest Datamatrix code I have ever seen for real world usage!

Look at this video where Safeberg explains in more detail why and how they are doing this.


This video explains what you have to do when you want to restore your data

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