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Author Topic: where are the private stored on Electrum and Jaxx (Debian) ?  (Read 517 times)
matt313
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November 06, 2017, 10:41:08 AM
 #1

Hi!
I'm using Debian Linux. I've installed Electrum for BTC and Jaxx for altcoins.

I have some security questions.

Electrum stores a "default_wallet" text file on /home/user/.electrum
I read this file (which is a clear plain text) but I've understand it well. Is the private key here? Is the key encrypted and how?

With Jaxx, I haven't found where are the private keys on my hard disk. Jaxx is only asking a 4-digits pin code.
Where are the private keys stored? Is it really secure if my private keys are encrypted with a simple pin code? Huh
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pooya87
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November 07, 2017, 04:53:54 AM
 #2

in Electrum, yes private keys are stored in your wallet file in a "JSON with formatting" format. different wallet types may contain different JSON keys. for example if you have a normal wallet with seed you will have
Code:
"keystore": {
        "seed":....
        "type":....
        "xprv": ....
        "xpub":...

in an HD wallet like electrum you don't need individual private keys, you have a "master key" which is the seed or the xprv line.

and if it is an imported wallet with imported private keys you will have
Code:
keystore": {
        "keypairs": {...
which will contain your key pairs.

in both cases if you have encrypted your wallet fully, you can not see the JSON format at all. if it is only key  encryption you will see the JSON but in front of the keys or seed or xprv (the sensitive information) you will see a base64 string which is the encrypted version of each one.


i have never used JAXX so i don't know how it stores everything.

matt313
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November 19, 2017, 10:13:04 PM
 #3

Thanks pooya87 !

I haven't found "xprv", "xpub" (neither "keypairs").

In the electrum wallet, I see :

    "keystore": {
        "mpk": "", <-- 128 hexadecimal numbers
        "seed": "",  <-- 88 alphanumerical caracters
        "type": "old"
    }


Is this seed able to generate the private key from the Master Public Key ? (btw, what is the mathematical link between the private key and the 12-words seed?)

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November 20, 2017, 05:41:56 AM
 #4

the "mpk" is your "master public key", you can use that to get all your addresses only (no private key). it is used for offline-online pair wallet where you create a wallet offline which has private keys and another with your mpk online which only has addresses.

your seed is a base64 string because it is encrypted, if you remove the encryption from your wallet you will see a set of words which are the only things you need to backup and you will be able to restore your wallet using these words.
the type is saying old because you are probably using an old version of Electrum (anything before 2.0) or your wallet/seed was created with an old version and because of that you are seeing 12 words instead of the new 13

you can read more about Electrum Seeds on the wiki here: http://docs.electrum.org/en/latest/seedphrase.html

matt313
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November 21, 2017, 06:29:22 AM
 #5

Thanks a lot for those links and informations. I understand quite better how it works...

Quote
in both cases if you have encrypted your wallet fully, you can not see the JSON format at all. if it is only key  encryption you will see the JSON but in front of the keys or seed or xprv (the sensitive information) you will see a base64 string which is the encrypted version of each one.

The file default_wallet is currently stored in plain text. Do I have to secure it more? What's the use of the electrum's password?

Quote
your seed is a base64 string because it is encrypted, if you remove the encryption from your wallet you will see a set of words which are the only things you need to backup and you will be able to restore your wallet using these words.

Is it just encoded in base64 or both encoded and encrypted? (base64 is not an encryption protocol). And if encrypted, is the line "seed": "...", the result of the encryption of the set of the words with my electrum password?

On the software, I did Wallet > Export my private keys.

Then, Electrum generate 32 lines like that :

"19RMXtXmXFuF2wgYigLRZswN9Jcw60qdt3" "5H45CGM8rMjxEXxiPuD5BDxh9ZxSdrM4q9qM6wiuGBdioGYMqGW" (those are not mine ^^)

(https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Wallet_import_format)

Does it mean that the set of 12 words is able to generate multiple private keys?
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November 21, 2017, 11:19:10 AM
 #6

The file default_wallet is currently stored in plain text. Do I have to secure it more? What's the use of the electrum's password?
Plaintext just means that your wallet file is not encrypted. However, an Electrum wallet can have THREE states:

1. Unencrypted file, unencrypted data - EVERYTHING is in plain text (including private keys/seed)
2. Unencrypted file, private keys/seed encrypted - File is in plain text, but important data like private keys/seed is encrypted using wallet password
3. Encrypted file, encrypted data - Entire file AND important data contained with in are both encrypted using wallet password.


Quote
Is it just encoded in base64 or both encoded and encrypted? (base64 is not an encryption protocol). And if encrypted, is the line "seed": "...", the result of the encryption of the set of the words with my electrum password?
If you have a wallet password set, then the private keys (and seed) WILL be encrypted... the file itself is only encrypted if you tick the "encrypt file" box when setting a password.


Quote
On the software, I did Wallet > Export my private keys.

Then, Electrum generate 32 lines like that :

"19RMXtXmXFuF2wgYigLRZswN9Jcw60qdt3" "5H45CGM8rMjxEXxiPuD5BDxh9ZxSdrM4q9qM6wiuGBdioGYMqGW" (those are not mine ^^)

(https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Wallet_import_format)

Does it mean that the set of 12 words is able to generate multiple private keys?
Yes, if you have 12 words, you have an "HD" wallet... these are designed to generate an "infinite" number of private keys from the seed that is able to be restored from your 12 words... The same 12 words will always generate the same list of private keys.

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