Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CrashPlan Release 5.7.08

New data password!
You now have the option to secure your data with a separate password from your account password. Be careful! If you ever forget your data password, your entire backup is useless. There is nothing we can do to help.

Speaking of passwords, how do we handle them?
Explanation for regular folks- We never transmit your password to us or store your passwords in our database. If someone ever "hacked" us, they would not know what your password is. Nobody at Code 42 can figure out what your password is.

Explanation for security nuts- We secure hash (SHA-1) & salt passwords on the desktop. This is your "password" and that is what's encrypted and sent to our data center and stored with your account. We're immune to rainbow table attacks due to mutating password given, unique salt, and repeatedly hashing the sha-1 hash.

New file exclusion option
There are now three ways to keep files from being backed up:
1. Don't select them. Most people get this without reading a manual.
2. Exclude files ending with something. This is pretty easy too. .mp3 if you don't want to do music, and so on.
3. Regular expressions. This requires a bit of technical know how. Buy a [root] beer for your favorite nerd to turn this feature on. The entire path for any file in backup set is sent through regex to allow you to exclude it. We plan on giving a few examples online, for now, here is one that excludes any folder called "Podcasts" regardless of where it is: .*/Podcasts/.*

FileVault on OS X

We supported FileVault on 10.4, but it was a bit tricky to set up. New in this release is support for FileVault on OS X 10.5. You must log in as the FileVault user and install CrashPlan using the new advanced option to "run as user". Due to the way FileVault works, backups can only occur when you're logged in as that user.

And many other changes
Below is a list of bug fixes and minor changes for those who like to know everything. We've organized it by component and feature. No detail is too small for our release list!

CrashPlan Central Changes
• Account password security upgrades - passwords are hashed using SHA-1 and salted at PRO Client before being sent to PRO Server. There is never a time PRO Server knows a user's password
• Master license ID is now included in emails when evaluating our business product

CrashPlan Backup Engine
• Archive - Improved exclusion of CrashPlan archives from backup regardless of location
• Archive - Enhanced the way we store data blocks during backup and restore. This will allow us to more easily add features down the road. Also added some additional information to help in disaster recovery.
• Archive - Better recovery from archives that have been severely damaged
• Archive - Support new private data password option
• Restore - When restoring to another volume, that volume is used as the temporary holding point as data is received to avoid copying the file later. This speeds things up if you're restoring directly to a USB disk.
• Restore - Now avoids applying meta data to containing folder when restoring to locations other than original
• Compression - If for some reason compression fails to truly compress data, throw away results and store data in original state to avoid decompression on restore
• Encryption - When upgrading from basic to PRO version, encryption key is now upgraded automatically from 128bit to 448bit
• Disk - When a new destination is selected, it is now run through a battery of tests before allowing backup data to be stored there
• Synchronization - Better handling of timeouts in high latency environments
• Backup - Identified rare stalling point that was non-fatal but could affect performance, a few computers may notice increased speed while backing up

CrashPlan Desktop
• Login - More descriptive login failure messages to help users who forget their password
• Settings:Advanced- You may now use regular expressions to define excludes
• Settings:Advanced - You can now specify how often to verify incoming backups from other clients
• Settings:Network - You can now disable incoming backup listener on a client in settings/network
• Settings:Network - Public and Private IP addresses have more user friendly display
• Settings:General - No practical limits on retention policies. You can now retain from 1 day to 90 years or if you prefer, forever.
• Friends - Now friends can let friends restore their data "on-site"
• Friends - Fixed situation where friends settings could repaint after a few seconds
• Friends - Fixed situation where inviting a friend from friend screen could sometimes show a blank screen
• Friends:Backup Location - This is now used as a "default". When your friend's new computers back up to you, they'll store data in this location. You can change any computer's backup location later by clicking on the computer name in the "Backup Source" panel
• Backup:Selection - Fixed minor display issue with backup file selection
• Backup:Source - you may now manage various aspects of an incoming backup to a PRO Client by selecting the computer name in the incoming backup portlet
• Backup:Source - Performance enhancements to reduce CPU usage when displaying statistics
• Backup:Destination - Fixed display bug in the detailed destination screen where it could falsely say backup was incomplete when in fact, it was.
• Backup:Destination - shows detailed information about the status of the destination
• Restore - It is now easier to restore to original location
• Restore - Duplicate directories removed when browsing
• Restore - One the job is complete, you can now jump directory to where it was restored using our link
• Restore - Fixed an ambiguous date / time message in restore panel to clear up possible confusion

• Fixed situation where system tray status would not know name of computer during restore job
• Installer now configures windows firewall correctly for CrashPlan

• Folder shortcuts in restore panel now work
• Spacing adjusted on new account screen
• Many Installer improvements

Mac OS X
• We now use smarter locations for various supporting folders (i.e. the log folder is now where it should be, not buried in the Requires a new installation to take effect.
• New installer option to run as user logged in. This was required to support FileVault on OS X 10.5

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