My New Phone

I got a new phone! I had an old iPhone 3G for eons and decided to get a new Android phone. I chose that because I wanted the same platform for my phone as my (Kindle Fire) tablet.  So now I have a new Galaxy SIII and I need to configure it. Of course, I added lots of apps I had on my iPhone such as Google Voice, ustream, Skype and Google Translate. I also added the all-important Starbucks app so I could check my card balance and use my phone to buy coffee.

On a more security related note – and this is a cybersecurity blog, after all – I added “Wifi Analyzer”, Password Safe and KeePass Droid. The first of those is a tools to see what Wi-Fi access points are around along with their channels and signal strengths.  It also shows me what types of encryption the APs use, to which one I am connected and what IP I was assigned. Its easy to use and helps me when setting up access points and when seeing what security methods are enabled on what APs when I am away from my office.

Choosing a password app is another matter. I downloaded two and I am still deciding which to use. I currently use Password Safe on my desktop and laptop PCs. I’ve used it for years since I first read an article by its original creator, Bruce Schneier. Since there is an Android app, I thought I’d check it out. It turns out that it needs a memory card to work properly and I haven’t ordered a new one, yet. Until I do I can’t really test that app.

So I downloaded KeePass for my desktop PC and KeePass Droid for my phone. Setting it up was easy apart from one little glitch I need to resolve. The first thing I did was to download the installer from The installation was a normal install. Since the program is open source, I just needed to accept the license and configure the app. Before I imported my existing passwords, I needed to create and name a database. I stuck it on Dropbox to make it easier to access from my phone.

Once I installed KeePass, I needed to get my contacts from Password Safe.  All I had to do was supply the password and export the data to an XML file. Password Safe warned me that this was insecure as that would put the passwords on my computer in cleartext. I agreed knowing that I’d have to wipe those files later (such as Eraser or File Shredder). After that I clicked on File->Import in Keepass, specified that I was importing from Password Safe’s XML and gave the file name. My contacts appeared in the proper group and I was done. I saved the file into Dropbox.

The Android app was easy to set up as well. I navigated the database location in Dropbox, clicked on the file and KeePass asked for the password. My passwords all showed up. This migration was very easy. Now I need to import my Firefox passwords.

So, what cross-platform tools are you using to manage your passwords? Have you found a particularly good shortcut? I’d love to add reader suggestions to Course 468, so let us know in the comments below.

John McDermott

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