Ente (Photo Management)

Continuing a discussion at:

Right now I believe we are waiting on a report from vishnukvmd:


there is an update on the audit situation: ente successfully completes a security audit


Thank you faxe!

Hey @jonah, @dngray! Sorry about the delay, we were waiting for the results from our latest audit.

The audit that Fallible had previously performed was a pen test, while this one (performed by Cure53 and Symbolic Software) is a cryptography review + source code audit, which provides a stronger guarantee of our security and privacy posture.

Please find more details here: ente successfully completes a security audit.

If you have any follow up questions, please let me know.

Thanks! :slight_smile:


Yes I have some follow-up questions for you:

Did you ever end up getting a letter of attestation or public report from Fallible, just out of curiosity?

Are you able to determine whether any current users (and/or how many) are affected by ENT-01-001 (i.e. have weak passwords)?

ENT-01-002 is an interesting problem, I think that we would have to include a warning about it on the site because encryption strength is directly tied to password strength, so changing a weak password to a strong password would not increase encryption strength. This is particularly a problem for anyone that might be affected by ENT-01-001 of course. Am I correct in thinking that the only solution in this case would be to create a new ente account and re-upload?

What was Symbolic Software’s role in this? Did they have a separate report?

Overall though, I think ente is coming out of this looking quite good! @dngray you have been testing ente and liked it, right? I’m going to mark this as approved and we can start working on adding it to the site (I am thinking a new photo management providers page), but I’ll also wait for @vishnukvmd’s responses here to determine how exactly we’ll word the listing :slight_smile:

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report from Fallible

Requesting an attestation for a stale pentest required us to have lengthy conversations, which we felt was unnecessary since we had the Cure53 audit lined up. So the truth is, we didn’t try :slight_smile:
That said, we have a good working relationship with Fallible, so if you think an attestation is necessary, we should be able to figure something out.


No, we have no information about user passwords.


The entropy of your encryption keys is unrelated to the strength of your password.

When the blog post mentioned that “strength of our encryption depends on your password”, what we meant was that it is easy to brute-force a weak password. You can increase your account’s security by switching to a stronger password.

More details on how this works is documented here.

Sorry about the confusion, and thanks for pointing this out, we will figure out a way to phrase this better.

Symbolic Software’s role

Cure53 had consulted Dr. Nadim Kobeissi, who runs Symbolic Software to lead this audit. The final document was prepared by both parties, and shared with us under the Cure53 banner.

Dr. Nadim has publicly disclosed Symbolic Software’s participation here.


No worries, it would just be nice to know what Fallible’s conclusion was at that time. I did see Dr. Nadim’s tweet, I just wasn’t sure if that final document was the result of both parties’ work because Symbolic/Nadim was not mentioned in the PDF, so thank you for the clarification.

Am I misunderstanding the ENT-01-001 issue? From the audit report:

Passwords are used to derive the root key material for all ente symmetric encryption keys, and thus, their strength is integral to the confidentiality and integrity guarantees provided by the application’s end-to-end encryption design.

That sentence is what led me to my assumption. I do think that your architecture page does explain it better, so let me make sure I understand this right:

When you register, the client generates a masterKey which is not related to the strength of your password. It also generates a keyEncryptionKey which is related to the strength of your password.

When you change your password, the keyEncryptionKey is updated (improving the encryption there) but the masterKey is not updated (this is ENT-01-002 as I understand it). However, because the masterKey is already strong and unrelated to your password strength, this is not really a big deal.

Does that sound correct?

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I still feel like I was right the first time actually, let me explain…

The encryptedMasterKey is secured with the keyEncryptionKey.

Thus, if you had a weak password (ENT-01-001), you could brute force the keyEncryptionKey to unlock the encryptedMasterKey and obtain the masterKey.

If you later change your password from a weak password to a strong password, the old encryptedMasterKey is not invalidated, because the resulting masterKey is the same (ENT-01-002).

Therefore, if an attacker obtained your weak encryptedMasterKey at some point, your masterKey could still be vulnerable even after a password change. That attacker could hypothetically be you, maybe you store old encryptedMasterKeys on your server, or it could be anyone with access to the user’s email account thanks to ENT-01-003.

Let me know if I am still confused about something. I don’t think I see this as a very realistic attack, I just want to make sure I am interpreting Cure53’s report correctly.

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Yes, that’s correct, we only derive the keyEncryptionKey from the password, and not all keys.

Yes, we also don’t see this as a realistic attack.

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In a nutshell you could say that if someone’s encryptedMasterKey and the corresponding password are both compromised, their current encryption could be vulnerable even after a password change.

Okay, thanks! Sounds good, I just wanted to make sure I had a solid understanding of your architecture.


We were wondering if we can help in any way to unblock the addition of ente.

Would it make sense to not wait for the review of other products? We are concerned that reviews of other products might unnecessarily delay the listing.

~ Neeraj (ente)

Can you send a 128x128 square SVG logo for both dark and light mode?

The other projects don’t have much to do with it, this is just a lower priority change for me at the moment with everything else going on.

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I have attached the logo in the Github PR.

PS: accidentally replied from the alt account earlier.

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Hey, here’s the latest audit report from Fallible: ente.io/reports/Fallible-Audit-Report-19-04-2023.pdf

Thanks for creating the PR, if there’s anything we can do to push things forward, please let us know :pray:


Hey @jonah, folks from our community have been asking about the PG listing. If there’s anything we can do to get the PR merged, please let us know.

To recap, here is our architecture, source code, and results from our cryptography audit.

We would be grateful if you could list us.


Ente user that brought it up internally here - great service and looking forward to seeing it listed.


They’re now a US company, which means they’re now subject to the CLOUD Act.

As a reminder:

The CLOUD Act primarily amends the Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986 to allow federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies via warrant or subpoena to provide requested data stored on servers regardless of whether the data are stored in the U.S. or on foreign soil.


which means they are now subject to the CLOUD Act

I don’t have personal experience with Ente but they are described as “ente is an end-to-end encrypted alternative to Google / Apple Photos, that is equally easy to use.”

Things like the “CLOUD Act” are just what E2E encryption is designed to solve, right? Assuming your data is encrypted on your device with keys that don’t leave your device, the impact of some 3rd party having access to the Ente servers that store your data is limited (whether that be Law Enforcement, Hackers, or Ente employees themselves).


Does this mean that all of these PG recommendations based in the US are also subject to the CLOUD Act?

Apple Mail
Canary Mail
K-9 Mail

Are there any concerns we should have about these products?