Amahi Anywhere Security

jaybea
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:24 am

Amahi Anywhere Security

Postby jaybea » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:57 am

It is great to see the Amahi Anywhere app for Android working. I have had a quick play, and it works very well.

My main concern is security. The app gives access to all shares on the HDA, including those belonging to individual users that would otherwise not be accessible to other users. This seems to leave a big hole in the security of the HDA and the files stored there, as someone with the credentials for my Amahi account, details of which I have to trust to the Amahi servers, could install the Android or Apple app and have access to everything on my HDA.

Secondly, there is no security on the app itself, so if someone can gain access to the device they have my files. There is no way, from the HDA, of limiting access other than uninstalling Amahi Anywhere (unless there is a config file that I can edit - I have not looked yet).

I think there are two things needed here:

1. The ability to authorise (and de-authorise) devices from the HDA itself. If I install the Android/Apple app, I must also also have access to the HDA to initially authorise access from that device.

2. Some security on the app, such as an access password or pin, perhaps like Dropbox or Evernote which will delete the login credentials if I get the pin wrong 3 times.

I think it would also be useful to have some way of limiting what shares the app can access, for example just shares that are accessible to all users, and require supplementary login to shares that are accessible to specific users using their credentials.

Good as the app is, I am uninstalling Amahi Anywhere from my HDA because of the security risks.

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cpg
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Re: Amahi Anywhere Security

Postby cpg » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:30 pm

Good, actionable feedback. Thanks for that. A few notes:

You can logout by going to the settings. That should at least help some.

You can control what shares do not show in the mobile apps by making them invisible (i.e. unclick "visible") in your HDA Setup > Shares area for that share.

One possibility would be an option for idle logout. If the app is idle for 3 minutes, 15 minutes, one hour, the app logs out automatically. There would be an option for "no idle logout" which is the current behavior. Is that something that would suit you?

The app is meant for admin users only at the moment and not the non-admin users, so this is a feature we want to implement, however, it's not there yet and it's good to hear people want it. That means the app is being actively used. We are looking at ways to, as you said, "authorize" devices in the HDA.

Also, you can also file bugs in the Android app bug tracker.

Can you comment on the above as to how suitable things are for you? We have limited resources, especially time and developers, so we really need to focus laser-like on what we need to do to get user satisfaction and adoption.
My HDA: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz on MSI board, 8GB RAM, 1TBx2+3TBx1

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cpg
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Re: Amahi Anywhere Security

Postby cpg » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:46 pm

Added a bug to track the automatic logout option. Please chime in if you think this will make the app usable to you.
My HDA: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz on MSI board, 8GB RAM, 1TBx2+3TBx1

jaybea
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:24 am

Re: Amahi Anywhere Security

Postby jaybea » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:31 pm

You can control what shares do not show in the mobile apps by making them invisible (i.e. unclick "visible") in your HDA Setup > Shares area for that share.
That is useful to know. I thought that it related to the visibility of shares on the network. Perhaps there needs to be an explanation of what the visibility applies to in the HDA Shares UI.
One possibility would be an option for idle logout. If the app is idle for 3 minutes, 15 minutes, one hour, the app logs out automatically. There would be an option for "no idle logout" which is the current behavior. Is that something that would suit you?
That would be an improvement. I use a long secure password, so re-entering it is a pain , which is why the PIN code works well with Dropbox and Evernote for the same reason.
The app is meant for admin users only at the moment and not the non-admin users, so this is a feature we want to implement, however, it's not there yet and it's good to hear people want it. That means the app is being actively used. We are looking at ways to, as you said, "authorize" devices in the HDA.
I think the app needs to decide what it wants to be. It if is for Admin users and gives access to all visible shares on the HDA, I would want more security, including a password that is set and securely stored on the HDA and not on the Amahi Website, and I would also want to be able to authorise individual device access on the HDA before they have access. If the app is to enable user access to their own and group shares, then it needs to be more like VPN, requiring their login credentials and restricting them to shares that they have access to. I think the user-friendly UI works well, but I think it works better as a tool for users and not for admin, for which I would prefer to use SSH or VPN.
Can you comment on the above as to how suitable things are for you? We have limited resources, especially time and developers, so we really need to focus laser-like on what we need to do to get user satisfaction and adoption.
For me, the key thing is access security and my priority would be using credentials of HDA users and not the Amahi account credentials. I think that it is currently too big a risk considering what data the HDA could contain. I have uninstalled Amahi Anywhere again, at least until I have a chance to test it some more.

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