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My boss posed this problem to me:

  • Encrypted: We need an encrypted database for miscellanious passwords we use at work that are currently only in people's head.
  • Easily accessable: Someone needs to be able to quickly access specific passwords, possibly at hectic moments. This requires any sort of public key management (keeping it on a USB key in a sealed envelope?) to be relatively easy.
  • Access control: The system should have groups of passwords where only specific people have access to specific groups.
  • Recoverability: We need to make sure passwords from one group aren't lost even if the only users with direct access quit or pass away—hence we need some way where (for example) any two members of senior management may override the system (see the treshold link below) and retrieve all the passwords with their key.

The first thing that jumped into my mind was some form of threshold and asymmetric cryptography but I don't want to reinvent the wheel, are there any solutions for this?

Any software should preferrably be free and open-source.

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1 Answer 1


I am a huge fan of KeePasss.

its designed for this sole purpose. Put the key file on a network share, and make regular backups.. the DB file is encrypted, and you can put the client software on your groups PC's.. if you really want to be careful, keep a copy of the master password in a safe deposit offsite, or some other method. (we gave half the password to our President, and half to our HR Director)

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I don't think there is access control in KeePass. Another problem is database synchronization: if there is local files, what happens when two users modify database at the same time? If it is in network drive, then first user opening it locks it. –  Olli Feb 12 '11 at 12:37

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