How Bitlocker Works [Windows] Ever heard that quote about trying to explain how a television works to an ant? I'm not calling you an ant, even though you are hard-working and enjoy the occasional sip of aphid milk. Read More and the degree of security that it gives you. Mind you, there are some Windows Phone 8 apps that will give you some sort of encryption on different file types, although it would be nice to have this functionality native to the phone, like the Android and iPhone. Too bad Microsoft, too bad.
Is the government going to be snooping through the files on your phone? Most likely, no. Should you encrypt the contents of your smartphone anyway? Yes, there are lots of two-legged rats willing to crawl all over your phone for any tidbit that can profit them. Which phone seems to do the best job of encrypting data? Really distant. More of a no-show, really. Is your smartphone encrypted?
Windows Mobile 6 Storage Card Encryption FAQ – Windows Mobile Team Blog
Did you use a third-party application to do it, or just what the phone came with? Has it made it difficult to use your phone at all? Image Credit: Smartphone with Lock via Shutterstock. Explore more about: Smartphone Security , Windows Phone. Your email address will not be published. If you encrypt your device, if someone takes your device will they be able to read text messages, look at your pictures, etc.?
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If they have your password to log on to your phone, then yes, they would be able to read text messages, look at pictures, etc. That's why PIN and password protection is an integral part of encryption and security. So Guy, even after all that encryption, it really doesn't matter much with Put it in the freezer http: So Guy, even after all the encrytion, it really doesn't matter much I have read articles similar to this with regards to encrypted hard drives.
It's a pretty tricky process that requires you to have your hands on the phone. Encryption still provides reasonable security against attacks over a network. If your phone gets stolen, then they have as long as they want to decrypt it. Most phone-stealers won't even bother unless you're a super spy and they are an evil villain. It is very real and very scary that with all this that is going on, but encryption is part of a process to ensure some type of security. One question that I have is this: On an Android phone, if you decide to turn off the encryption for whatever reason , is it a painless process, or do you risk losing the data?
Mainly, I would think that someone would want to turn the encryption off at least on their SD Card if they're transferring everything to a new phone. Patrick, "You can't decrypt your phone except by performing a factory data reset, erasing all your data.
This comes from the Encrypt phone instructions on android phones. But I would assume this is a base android function. Unfortunately Google won't protect your phone from the government if it want to break your encryption, it will just reset your password. Apple is slightly better in that it will just crack your password, but if you've got a sufficiently long passphrase, which means more than 8 characters it will be difficult currently for them to break. Once on your phone you can use something like RedPhone or SecureText to encrypt your actual communication and Obscuracam to obscure pictures.
I'm not paranoid though, I swear. Then again, I'm not all that hard to find online. If you had all the resources that a G20 country has at their disposal, how long do you think it would take for them to break into and decrypt your files? If they really, really wanted to? Maybe a day. The level of security we talk about here would prevent casual tip toeing through your files, if someone with clearance was 'just curious'. Really, that's all most of us need though. A day to crack encryption? Not unless you had a really weak password which honestly is a problem or more powerful computers, which thankfully are constrained by costs.
Encryption does work wonders. You're correct though, most users would do perfectly well to start with the security features you list, I think your tag line referencing PRISM is what makes me sad about Google. Whisper systems were working on something until they were bought by Twitter, but at least they open sourced the programs I listed above and there are still folder level encryption softwares out there.
Great article though. Yep, a day to crack, "If you had all the resources that a G20 country has at their disposal You do realize that communications between countries are monitored, and therefore already cracked, on a daily basis. Really folks, that's all a Coach bag really is. Hey thanks for humoring me here, I must be getting something confused, because everything I've researched on it says the exact opposite. I'd be really interested in getting pointed towards what kind of cracking techniques they could be using. Weak passwords I can see, but how exactly do they break AES or other end to end encryption schemes?
See the links below to see what I'm referring to, maybe we're talking about two entirely different things? Not being snarky, it's 1: This one on password cracking, through known hashes says that longer keys would be really hard: This one talks about a lot of different facets of encryption: And this one saying that someone using Truecrypt was unable to have their hard drive encryption broken by the FBI: I guess there's always the best answer to encryption though: Here's where we encounter a problem and enter a territory that simply isn't documented, or really talked about.
Why would any agency say that they can crack, say, AES quickly and reliably? That would send the private sector reeling. It would send those bad guys that are depending on AES scrambling for something else. If you were a theif and knew the combination to the banks safe, would you tell them? The problem here is that I can't point to a document to confirm this. This was done in days with 21 computers and combined cores working on it. Once the algorithm is developed and tested, time to implement the algorithm goes down dramatically. Then take a look at the kind of data centers the U.
Each additional core and computer drops the time significantly again. Personally, I believe that there are a lot of gov't placed back doors and keys. Of course, no one is going to advertise that fact - that would defeat the purpose. You can edit the filename on disk to change the GUID of a file so that the encryption filter thinks it can decrypt it, but when the file is actually opened the encryption filter won't be able to decrypt it and you'll get an error.
You can call GetFileAttributes. You can also take out the card and put it in another device or card reader. The encrypted files will show up as. MENC files. Once encryption is enabled, all new files on the storage card will be encrypted. Files that already existed on the card stay unencrypted. So if there is a file on the storage card that you know you want to share with someone else, you can create the file on the desktop or create it before enabling encryption. The file will stay unencrypted. If you want to cause an existing file to be encrypted, you can copy it off the storage card and then copy it back again.
Only new files on the storage card are encrypted, so your existing files won't change. Did you create a new file? If you did and you're still not seeing the files as encrypted, it's possible that the encryption filter isn't installed on the storage profile that you're using. This shouldn't happen on any retail WM6 device, but if you're seeing that situation please let me know!
The easiest way in my opinion is to copy all the encrypted files off the card to an attached desktop machine via Activesync. Then copy them back to the card in the new device. My files were encrypted and I lost my phone or hard reset it.
Can Microsoft help me recover the files? You must be logged in to post a comment. It is difficult to recommend a feature like this for widespread adoption when there is really no way for the enterprise to implement any measure of systemic solution for key escrow and recovery. My personal experience with the volume of key recovery requests over time would lead me to believe that implementation of a security schema to protect on-board storage without some measure of protection of the users from themselves is doomed to data loss.
Thanks for the feedback, Wayne. Is it when a device is lost but the card inside it is not? Most of the time in practice with EFS we see situations where the end-point uses encryption to protect files. So far so good. Well now, he is changing PCs or laptops, or even just messing around on the one he has. In a mobile scenario, there is already a small subset users with WM5 that practice good procedure and use system passwords. Said password now forgotten. Device inaccessible. When you extend a PIN-based encryption mechanism to the system, its not very hard to imagine a subset of users with lost PINs and device replacement scenarios who now have a secure and useless miniSD card.
If we could significantly reduce the risk of loss of availibility through either a PIN loss or device loss event, then the encryption becomes something that is far more maintainable at the enterprise level. Coming from a cellphone OEM perspective, I believe the cold-boot destroying the encryption keys is both good, and bad. I can see the good quite easily, however exporting the keys would seem to be something that could have been implemented with some sort of Exchange server solution.
That would only work if we assume the Exchange server is a secure environment, but then again if the Exchange server is compromised all your emails are exposed as well. During traditional troubleshooting from a phone perspective there are many times in which, as an OEM, we request users to do hard-resets Especially on CDMA devices, since they do not have as many phone codes as GSM Devices. Because of the loss of the encryption keys, we will now have to ask the customer, if they are using a Windows Mobile device, if the storage card is encrypted, and if it is, then we will have to tell the customer to copy all the contents onto the device, or disable encryption then recopy all of the data before proceeding with a hard reset.
So anytime a hard reset needs to be done, by advice of IT or the OEM, then there will be several steps involved before actually being able to perform the hard reset without severe data loss I would assume it would be severe since if your encrypting your data, it is very sensitive. Also in some of my testing when viewing the encrypted files on through a USB to microSD card reader I see soemthing else in the filename. The part between the txt and menc is consistent when writing any files during the same period of hard reset. I understand the menc part, whats the other part?
Thanks Jasper, I was wondering if someone would ask that about the file extension. Are you using the "shared folder" feature of the Device Emulator to try out the encryption? When you call GetFileAttributes , it says nothing Changed! Are you sure this has been fixed in WM 6. Just dont use the file system filtering stuffs. Do encryption at the block device driver level is much more simple, reliable and greater. Or you can just do a proxying…. You mention a local wipe to protect data in internal storage. By this, you mean a hard reset, right?
The remote wipe once its been stolen makes a lot more sense. Is this assuming some communications channel from PDA to server is present? Also, your answer for the question of what happens at cold boot really appears to answer the question of what happens on hard reset. Cold boot is what happens any time you put the battery back in, which better not clear the encryption keys.
What I mean by local wipe is that you use the security policy that will wipe the device after a threshold of incorrect PIN entries. Using this limits the number of attempts that the attacker gets. The recovery PIN is generated and escrowed beforehand. If it matches, you get to choose a new device password. By "cold boot", I mean "hard reset".
You can tell if a file is encrypted by calling GetFileAttributes. You cannot call SetFileAttributes to change the state of the file. Removing the battery does not erase the encryption keys, not with the unit I am working with at least. Why is that the with an encrypted file the file size is reported as the same size as an unencrypted file, even though if same files are viewed on a desktop their size differs.
When you read from an encrypted file, the encryption filter decrypts the data and returns the decrypted content. So GetFileSize has to show you the size of the content, not the file. Meanwhile, the desktop is showing you the raw data so you see the underlying file size. Is the local wipe policy a new thing in WM6? I also do not see anything about setting up the recovery PIN. If these aspects are all new to WM6, it would be nice to note that.
If they are in WM5 but just hidden away, then please elaborate on how to configure these items. The rest of the world calls it a cold boot when you power on and warm boot when you reset in any way, soft or hard or nuke or whatever may be applicable to the device. As soon as you mentioned the cold boot thing I realized the dissonance between what I was thinking and the term I was using.
Thank you for the document link. The pertinent part is on pages 14 — However, the information in both insufficient and inaccurate. It states that by the local wipe is an AKU2 addition. The default it to wipe after 7 wrong entries. After 2 wrong entries, a confirmation string is required and an increasing delay before entry attempts is enforced.
I get to try the PIN entry far more than 2 times. At this point, the increasing delay between entries comes into play so after another half dozen or so tries I gave up and gave it the right one to see it still let me into my PDA. Either the local device wipe is simply disabled or the threshold is different, but either way this behavior is significantly different from what that document outlines.
My real interest in local device wipe is executing it myself. The next topic in that document gets right to where I am, an ISV who has made a alternate authentication mechanism in order to use a hard token. I theorized that if it could be triggered remotely from an Exchange server with AKU2, it should be possible to trigger it locally as well as the routine must exist on the local device. The best I could get for an answer was that I should command a format or the local file system. I attempted, but only got errors when telling the file system to format, likely due to it being mounted and running.
I would like to get this working so my real interest is in how to run the local wipe, though it is nice to know how Microsoft does it so we can best inform our clients of their options. The codeword itself is configurable in the registry. I might be getting ahead of current implementations in WM, but perhaps it would be helpful to have more user configurable options, instead of all or nothing encryption as it is now.
For instance on the screen for encryption perhaps you could have the following options show up after checking "Encrypt files on Storage Card". Allow user to browse to a specific folder to encrypt with the option to encrypt sub-folders checked by default. Those directions for the hard reset appear to be a bit dated. The MSDN entry for SetCleanRebootFlag says "When you call this function during a device reset, the OS ignores the contents of the object store and replaces the current data with the default data found in the.
If I remember correctly, when I pursued this a year ago, I tried this method and found that it did nothing on all the WM5 devices I tested on. The previous attempt was centered around the following tidbit I extracted from any Microsoftie "Beginning with Windows Mobile 5, FormatVolume accepts a new flag: As far as I can tell, it is not documented; but it is in publiccommonsdkincfatutil. Thanks for the link over to the Exchange blog. Maybe I can play some tricks there with setting it to 1 attempt before wipe and then faking an entry or some such hackish trick.
None of my clients will ever be connecting their device over the air to an Exchange server. Letting outside connections hit that server is just too much risk for them to accept. I understand the requirement around key archiving, especially when put into the context of EFS-like scenaios. The best practice for devices to sync data with a server or a desktop initially. Using a device itself or the inserted storage card as the only store for data is asking for trouble even without encyption. Best practice for migration from one device to another is to perform an initial sync of data to the device rather then try to keep everything on your storage card.
You get a new device and configure it to sync to those data stores and you are good to go. The 2 scenarios that are really an issue for key archival are: If you send that XML through DmProcessConfigXML via a trusted app, you should see the device immediately reboot and come back up after deleting all data on persistent storage and any storage card. Though it is commercial — it seems to solve the problem of hard reset and administrator password. SecuBox description from the vendor: Does encryption for Windows Mobile only apply to removable storage?
Is there any way to indicate via filter that some portion of the OS partition user store have encryption enabled? The big problem is the fact, that a provider hotline — for example — here in germany, often tells a customer that he must do a hard reset to solve the Problem. And then???? The customer, using the card Encrytion, has lost all his data. The customer say: And there is another thing: It is very stupid and not every customer know which files are cryted or not. After a hardreset it is to late to remember the cryted files….
So Microsoft addes a nice feature, but nobody thought about the consequences with this feature!!!!! So this feature is good to get a lot of trouble at the mobile hotline over the world……. I realise this may not be the best forum to ask this question but here goes. The only issue is that there were a few bugs in the Upgrade and I had to do a Cold Boot, and reset everything. Now from the discussions above that would have wiped the decryption keys from the ROM? If that is so, I take it the data on the card is non usable, as I am trying to restore my original configurations from the last known good backup.
Is there any way to decrypt the files. Before I realize the publish of this content, I have just Hard Reset my device!! All my files on SD card are not able to be read and access! Please help. Would this be a possible work around for hard reset? After a hard reset if they restore it using another card, I am right in thinking that they then should be able to access their card?
So people without access to an OWA policy could preserve their data if they have foresight. Would you tell me how to enable it in Emulator? Encryption will always introduce a few tricky new use models. I appreciate that Microsoft is taking a short at the problem so that we can learn the practical issues. But this sensitive data, since it is important, will be backed up elsewhere.
Preventing access to the data is critical, but losing the data itself is not a big deal. It would be useful if the encryption was applied to only a section of the card -a folder, as in regular Windows. Another issue is convenience of the password. At the moment, the device password gives access to all the data, so it must be long and strong.
But it is annoying entering a long password for every call, or when trying to take a photo quickly. Some applications — such as the camera, voice notes, games- should not need a password because they will not access sensitive information. For less sensitive applications -making a call, looking up contacts- there should be an optional simple password. When the device asks for the password, the user could enter either the device password or the simple password to get access to all or some features. My device was hard rest by accident and obviously the master key was deleted but i have a menc file i want to decrypt.
Is there any way? I have an HTC touch p and never set the encryption on my device or memory card but my files are definitely encrypted…. If they force a PIN lock policy on your device, they probably enforce storage card encryption as well. Run the application first, then open this file from within the application. Sorry fili, those files are lost.
Then you can recopy the files onto your next phone. I do not know why my some of the files became menc files as i did not hard reset my pda phone. Thinking it could be a error of the phone i did a hard reset and now the files are still in menc extension. Is there anyway to convert it back to the normal file it is? Will really appreciate if that is possible as those are very important files to me. Did you apply an OS upgrade or anything like that?
Were the files written in a different phone than the one you are using? I have done a backup of my system because i had to do a cold reset. I had a lot of problems with my gps and a new program I installed in my eten x glofiish. The thing is that when i wanted to restore my file, some restore files till agost 18th are ok but not the one I backed up today. It is encrypted. I tried 10 diferent ways of getting it right allways with the same device….
I had documents and important pictures inside. This solution of encryption in WM6 is a nigthmare for normal users. It is something that when you change of PDA you will not have the posibility to recover, and even you dont know it till happens!!!! I had photos of my children!!! I also selected the encryption feature if there had been some sort of warning when doing so I might have thought twice about it and then needed to do a hard-reset.
However, in my case I cannot even see the files. I recall reading somewhere that only files copied to the card after selecting the encryption feature become encrypted so in theory I should be able to see all my old files? The phone still recognises the fact that the card is full of files if I check the properties but I cannot view them at all.
Please help? Correct, all your old files should still be unencrypted in your case. Do the files show up from a desktop machine? Microsoft must have known this could have happened, and I would have expected a large popup window saying, "If you enable this setting, and your device is hard reset you will NOT be able to access your encrypted files ever again. I was trying to do a review for a new WM6 device and took some screen shots, camera pics etc in the device. I have returned the device back to the manufacturer and I am now ready to post my review.
As I read from the forum above, I am literally screwed with the files and my sponsors are going to chase me out of the forum — because I cant do the review of the device now…. NOW — is there any possibility to recover my data from the SD card which is encrypted — without asking for the device again?? How can I open a picture that I took with my brothers cell on my pc?? I saved it onmy sd card but since its encrypted I cant open it from my desktop: I apparently had the encryption turned on and placed some video files on my device. Same problem as everyone else, had to do a hard reset and now the files are unreadable.
Am i understanding all the above correctly that despite the knowledge of the algorithm used and how the files are stored, there is no way to decipher the key nor break the code to have the file decrypted to be viewed once again??? So surpise, I have a similar problem, lost my files due to a hard reset. But I would like the question answered, if according to above:. If the algorithm is known and you know how the file is stored, can it not be deciphered and therefore decrypt the file with the data in the GUID? To decrypt data you need to know the key as well as the algorithm.
The key is the part that is lost when you lose or wipe the device. I do have a TREO with WM 5 and a Touch with WM 6 and i usually borrow my cellphones to my friends… What will i do if i forget that password since i have been changing it every month? Anyone knows if it exist that universal password key?
There is a solution for the Storage Card Problem. Sprite Backup Version 6. This means that if you create a backup image including the contents of your card you will be able to access all your data after restore. How are you syncing the files? Can the device read the files on the device? Yes, I can open, read and edit the file on the HTC.
Scott — worked round by creating an excel on laptop and syncing it to HTC — I can then work on it and re-sync back to lap top as a readable file. Do you have Office 12 on the desktop?
Is the hash salted? Where is the encrypted AES key stored? We recommend using the local wipe policy to protect the case where the attacker has physical possession of the device and is trying to brute force the password. I perfomed an update today from HTC on a mogul I removed the storage card before the update as once the update was complete the device would be hard reset.
Now when I try to open encrypted files on the storage card, they will not open. I followed the advice of another article and moved the files from the storage card to my desktop and then copied them back to the storage card after I turned off encryption on the device. Now when I try to open the files, an error message pops up stating "cannot load file".
Any suggestions, or am I hosed? It is required that RIT Confidential Information be encrypted in transit and at rest for mobile devices. People have been asking about windows mobile 6. My greatest concern is email. Confidential information is sometimes in the body of email, and not in attachments. Is there any way to store the messaging folder on the SD card encrypted?
Or to answer the bigger question, what happens when you lose a WM6 device if you live in a state with a breach notification law, and you send, receive and store information. The NYS law also says that if the information is encrypted, and the key is acquired, then you still have a breach which follows the pattern set by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley act for financial information at the federal level. This really is our bottom line. I have the same question as the guy BradWood above! Please email fosicious yahoo. There are some unsupported ways to store e-mail attachments on the storage card.
You should be able to track them down if you search the web. For instance, you can use OWA to set the device to be wiped if it is still syncing to exchange. Rendering them useless on any of my other devices. Any suggestions? Scott, I made a hard reset of my pda. I cannot open old files on my storage card obviously cause I encrypted them, what should I do to open them? Also that same question about MENC file.
When i try to open the file error msg appeared and said run the application. But the file can not be seen in deivce. I insert the card into the reader and open it at my PC. Why the file "EncFiltLog. Is there a rule at Microsoft that prohibits you from making your software user friendly or practical, or prevents you from responding to requests for information which would lead to such an outcome?
How do I unencrypt the files to use on my PC? Having files on my storage card encrypted is nice, if not necessary, but its utility is nil if the file is permanently held captive to that one device. You can copy the files off the storage card onto the PC via activesync. If you remove the card from the device and insert it directly into a PC, the files will still be encrypted. Hey scott.. This is one of the most unpublished but extremely important issue for all windown mobile 6. Why have not Microsoft make this a better education or alert to all users? Microsoft, you really disappoint all those loyal supporter!
It broke so I replaced it and swopped the card to the new machine. I never realised that the photos would not be there until I now see they are there but I cant read them. There must be a way to get them back? No, sorry, there is no way to get them back. If the key has been lost, the files can not be decrypted. My phone died and I had to get a new one. I am completely hosed? With windows Mobile 6.
What can you encrypt? All files? Only emails or? I was glad to see the encryption option for content on the SD card. I turned it on. I had to cold reset it according to some other instructions. Now I cannot recover a lot of critical files I stored on my SD card. Hi guys. I had the same issue as many of you concerning hard reset. The Palm manual has some directions, what the impact of turning encryption on really means. But of course, this does not help many of you who lost all SD card data.
I think it would be good if there will be a message on a WM6 device, if you turn on encryption. This would be the way to go in my opinion. Syncing or creating a Backup is always a good idea save early, save often, like IT professionals say. The message in the control panel is quite a bit more explicit in WM6. Is there a way to download all email attachments to storage cards? Like for example just disable the feature for users to enable it or simple remove the file from settings.
As far as i know its an cpl application like the rest? From few days I noticed a strange phenomenon: Automatic encription without activating encription!! Hi, my phone which had storage card encryption swithced on recently died and had to be sent back to provider TMobile. I was advised to keep the storage card and sim and battery. TMobile could not fix the problem and so sent me a new phone as a replacement. Same model, but essentially a differnt phone from the one that performed the encryption.
Is there anyway of recovering the data on the card? Storage card encryption is currently off on the new device once bitten and all that , would I need to switch this on again for the recovery to work? This feature is useless without key escrow and recovery. I learned the hard way when I performed a hard reset of my phone. I lost access to all my files. I assume that the keys are also lost during the upgrade of WM 6 to WM 6.
This is really a major oversight and from here on out, I will recommend to all my clients to not use encryption. What if they have to replace their broken phone with a new one? Guess what, they lost all their files. Now I try to delete files on the main memory or on the card, it says cannot delete access denied , be certain the file is not write protected or not currently in use. I remove the storage card and try to erase a file on the main memory but I get the same problem.
I used to sync perfectly, now I cannot; after I plug the pocket pc to my desktop or laptop, the active sync start running and stop with an error message. Went back to setting to and find the check mark back in the encryption box where I just removed it. I guess it depends what you mean by permanent. Hi, is it possible to modify the encryption key on WM6 and use own keys, properly signed instead of that one used by OS? After I check the checkbox to encrypt files on storage card and copy a file to my Internal flash and clean the persistent store, The file copied is ecrypted.
I have WM6. The data is still there however I am unable to see it. We all know there must be a way to access and you are holding it close to vest. I would like to know how I can retreive my information please. It is amazing that a program like this with such apparent flaws exists on a device that business users hold important information on and can completely disable our work.
From my understanding, you are partly to blame for this and as such I would expect an answer. Not just me but the hundreds of others suffering this same fate. If the key is lost due to hard reset or changing phones, etc. My Treo would regularly have to be hard reset and i just had to hard reset my Samsung 6. This is a huge flaw in my opinion that MS needs to fix. A simple warning screen to back up the encryption key or to not hard reset your phone no matter what would at least help the problem.
I updated the rom in my pda phone from wm6 to 6. One of the last photos I had of my father a few days before he died was one of them. It is not that hard to implement. No reply needed. Once the phone is reset the data is gone but it it would be nice if the user could copy the encrytpion key off for storeage on a laptop or disc or a postit note etc when they turned encrytion on.
The idea of encryption is to keep the file and the key seperate — not making the key inacessable. Hi, I have a Interesting problem. I encrypted the files on my TREO but suddenly my treo is not recognizing the minisd, how can I recover the files on the sd?.
Data and device encryption on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry
I have not hard reset the phone, how can i recover the key and install it on my laptop? We made the message a lot more explicit in WM6.
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In my unofficial opinion the best fix would be for the storage card encryption key to be escrowed to Exchange so it can be restored in roughly the same manner that you can do a PIN reset with Exchange. The feature is off by default. I have suffered the same problem as some of the users here. Why is this happening? Having read so many negative comments about WM6 encryption I thought I should point out that for some most? The process really is seamless and very quick, particularly when compared to other products.
We run Windows Mobile devices in a special kiosk mode so the user cannot access anything other than we permit. There is a huge amount of intellectual property on the SD Cards. WM6 encryption protects this. I just wish it was available for our WM5 devices. I upgraded the software on my t-mobile wing and now its not reading the files on my storage card. I have never checked the encryption option. Can anything can be done to recover these files?