The ultimate disaster recovery plan is not a corporate plan.
This plan is for your family, to help them take over from you, when you’re not able to take up your role in the family. Hopefully, this will only be a temporary situation, but you have to plan for the worse too: your demise.
List all critical tasks you perform for your family. Think about the information a family member needs to take over your tasks. Document this. Communicate this to your family members.
Most of this documentation is private but not confidential. You don’t want an outsider to read it, but it contains no real secrets. You’ll only want to use encryption for the real secrets, and communicate the key and decryption procedure to your family members and/or lawyer (or another trustworthy outsider). You don’t have to trust a single person with your key if you don’t want to, you can split it over several persons, like Cory Doctorow did.
When you open my Virtual Will page, it will detect that it contains no encrypted content, and display the following dialog:
Use this dialog to create and encrypt your message.
Copy all html code from the encrypt textbox, and save it as an html file. This html file is identical to the original, but it also contains your message encrypted with AES.
Provide this document to your family members, together with the (partial) key. For example, you could burn it to a CD-ROM and use autorun to open the page automatically.
To decrypt it, open the html file:
and enter the password:
You can also use a Virtual Will page with ciphertext to create a new page or update your will: type encrypt in the password field, and you’ll see the encryption fields appear.
- Chris’ implementation doesn’t use a standard key derivation algorithm (and is limited to first 32 characters of the password)
- the ciphertext is not compatible with the openssl format
- it works with many browsers on different operating systems, but not on my S60 Nokia
- get the enter key to work correctly
I’ll improve these limitations if my software proves to be useful.
Of course, you can use this html page to encrypt anything and then pass it along, it doesn’t have to be a disaster recovery plan.