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Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:45 am
by Chudleigh
I have Open Office 4.1.2 on windows 10 and am having problems (1) accessing documents which I have created and then filed and (2) when I can access them (after an overnight, for instance), they are encrypted and I am unable to reverse the encryption. The encrypted document is accompanied by a box headed ASCI Filter Options and the option always selected is Windows-125. Changing the options in the box makes no difference. Help would be appreciated!

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:58 am
by robleyd
I assume these are calc files you are talking about.

It sounds more like corrupted documents rather than encryption. Are you saving the documents in native OpenOffice format, or as MS documents?

Are you safely saving documents/shutting down your computer?

RoryOF wrote:To prevent this happening again (or at least minimise the possibility of its recurrence), one should be leisurely in powering off the computer. As computers now cache data, but in software and hardware buffers, to appear to speed up their reaction, one must go through the formal shut down procedure for one's operating system, then wait until all disk activity has ceased before powering off. This only takes a few extra seconds, but even cumulatively, such extra seconds are very much less than the time to recover or rebuild a damaged file. Also, one should observe the USB device removal protocol, again waiting the few seconds until disk activity has ceased after the "you may now safely remove the device" message.


If this is a calc document:

As soon as possible do the following:

Download Recuva or PhotoRec (only one needed) and let it do an in-depth recovery of deleted files on your computer. You may get a file containing some or all of your data (or not). Do this as a first priority; other use of the computer may overwrite any existing but deleted files and prevent their recovery. There is no guarantee that you will recover anything useful.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:30 pm
by RoryOF
You say "and then filed". It is possible that the files have become corrupted in the process of "filing". How did you file these? On a USB device? If so, did you correctly observe the USB removal protocols for your operating system?

The ASCII filter message means that OpenOffice cannot detect the type of the file, usually because it is corrupted. If you could upload a small file to the Forum it could be examined to see if we can diagnose what happened and suggest a fix.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:34 pm
by Chudleigh
Thank you everyone.
1) The documents are saved as MS 97 documents, which is an option Open Office offers and which has always worked to date.
2) After saving the docs, I put the computer to 'sleep' rather than closing down completely.
3) Last night I was unable to open any docs at all that had been created in Open Office. This morning they could all be opened normally except the one I had worked on most recently and that consisted of horizontal dashes cut through with forward slashes (encryption?) A white rectangular icon has now appeared on every Open Office document in every folder on my computer.
4) About 10 minutes ago, I tried again to open the encrypted document - it was fine although it was now an earlier unedited version. My editing of yesterday was gone. I hastily printed it off and created a second copy. When I looked again at my saved docs folder, the second copy had disappeared and the previous, legible, version had reverted to encryption.
5) My filing is done by saving documents to my document folder.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:44 pm
by RoryOF
Being picky: what you are seeing is not encryption, but a file that OpenOffice does not know how to open. Strictly, encryption is the process of saving a file using a password, the body of the file being encoded ("encrypted") using some algorithm keyed to the password.

If your computer was allowed sleep with the file open, it is damaged; as you are using .doc format I fear it is damaged beyond repair.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:30 pm
by Chudleigh
Hi Rory
The computer was not allowed to sleep with the file open - every document gets filed in its folder and all the folders closed down at the end of the day. If I should close down the computer at the end of the day rather than let it sleep, I will certainly take your advice and do that. I forgot to say that this was the second time it had happened - another document "encrypted" about a fortnight ago. I will certainly download Recuva but, as you will see from my earlier reply, Open Office (or the documents I create with it) appears to take on a life of its own. Should I keep docs in the odt format and only convert them to MS when I am sharing them? Why is the .doc format inadvisable? It also seems odd that Open Office was able to recognise my document this morning for long enough to enable me to print it before going back to the unreadable version.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:48 pm
by RoryOF
I'm not a Windows user, except for a very infrequent use of an old Windows to access legacy files. The only suggestion I can make is to allow a little extra time after saving and closing a file before starting a new task. The symptoms you report are typical of a corrupted file; if disk failure or other hardware problems are ruled out it may be that the file construction process is being interrupted, thus causing the problem.

It is best to work in the .odt format and save to other formats only when the file is complete. The .odt format offers slightly more chance of file recovery in the event of corruption.

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:14 pm
by Spheiros
I don't know enough IT to confirm if this still works or not but this is serious protection flaw. Please confirm if this works in openoffice.org 3.2.0


Change extention .ods to .zip
unzip the file in a folder.
Find the document.xml or content.xml file it contains.

Edit this xml file to find something like this:

table:name="*****" table:style-name="ta1" table:protected="true" table:protection-key="wUuUTMMJGNiaa2+yng4cFP6WeFg="

delete the two elements:

table:protected="true" table:protection-key="wUuUTMMJGNiaa2+yng4cFP6WeFg="

copy the modified document.xml in the originel zip file give back the .ods extention to that file That's done: your sheet is no longer protected!

Re: Encryption

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:07 pm
by FJCC
Protecting cells, rather than saving the document with a password, if just intended to protect against accidental changes. The help file says:
These protection features are just switches to prevent accidental action. The features are not intended to provide any secure protection. For example, by exporting a sheet to another file format, a user may be able to surpass the protection features. There is only one secure protection: the password that you can apply when saving an OpenDocument file. A file that has been saved with a password can be opened only with the same password.

I have seen this compared to a childproof package. The intent isn't to limit access to a particular person, just to limit it to people with a certain level of skill.