I’ve often wanted a way to have access to emergency-use passwords. When I as a database administrator, I didn’t need God-level permissions on my servers for everyday work, I only needed those in dire circumstances such as server failure. Since there wasn’t a good way to ensure I that I could fix stuff during emergencies, I just got God-level permissions. This isn’t the best idea, however. The more people with those permissions, the bigger the risk. In the end, it’s better to have everyday, low-risk permissions but a way to “break the glass” and get root/admin privileges during a crisis.
That’s where my new service Secrets Escrow comes in. It’s like an escrow service for secrets. We securely store your secret. You setup recipients who can access that secret. When and if they do, we send you an email saying that the secret has been accessed.
When I was building this service, I realized that security is a big issue. Obviously, Secrets Escrow uses modern SSL/TLS (even if you try to access our app with an unsecure connection, you can’t), password hashes/salting, antiforgery methods, etc. The other feature is that you can encrypt your secret inside your web browser with a password, so we won’t even be able to see your secret. You give the client-side password directly to your recipients and when a crisis occurs, they can decrypt the secret (again, in their web browsers).
You can also take matters into your own hands. You can use your own encryption software and put the encrypted message in Secrets Escrow. You could split up the secret and let us keep half and your recipients the other half. It’s up to you how in-depth you want to get.
Check it out Secrets Escrow. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. My email is noel herrick at gmail.com, no spaces.