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Symantec File Share Encryption changes the Modified Date attribute on files

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Article ID: 162170

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File Share Encryption Powered by PGP Technology

Issue/Introduction

Symantec File Share Encryption changes the Modified Date attribute on files.  In some cases, it may be necessary to preserve the Modified Date file attribute.

Cause

Symantec File Share Encryption encrypts files and folders, and as it does, adds header information to the files in order to perform the necessary encryption\decryption routines.  As encryption\decryption takes place on files, the Modified Date gets changed to the current encryption\decryption timestamp.  This is by design.

Resolution

In order to preserve the Modified Date during encryption\decryption routines, the --preserve argument can be used, which will preserve certain file attributes, such as the Modified Date.  Although this is possible, it must be performed via the command line, as is shown in the following examples:

In this example, if the name of a file is called "testfile.txt", and the name of the key is "SYMC-User" the following command would be used to preserve the Modified Date using PGPnetshare.exe:

C:\Program Files (x86)\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>pgpnetshare.exe --encrypt C:\testfile.txt --recipient 0xDE6E39A8 --signer 0xDE6E39A8 --passphrase password --preserve

Encrypting [C:\testfile.txt] with  access list [SYMC-User (ADM)]
Info: Preserving last modified time [C:\filename-or-folder]
Finished.


Attempting to decrypt this same file to preserve the attributes would also need to be done via the command line interface using the --preserve argument as follows:

C:\Program Files (x86)\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>pgpnetshare.exe --decrypt C:\testfile.txt --passphrase password --preserve
Decrypting [C:\testfile.txt]
Info: Preserving last modified time [C:\testfile.txt]
Finished.



Encrypting folders also uses this same encryption\decryption method. 

In the following example, the folder is called "testfolder", and the key is "SYMC-User" for encryption and decryption:

C:\Program Files (x86)\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>pgpnetshare.exe --encrypt C:\C:\testfolder\ --recipient 0xDE6E39A8 --signer 0xDE6E39A8 --passphrase password --preserve
Encrypting [C:\testfolder\] with access list [SYMC-User (ADM)]
Info: Preserving last modified time [C:\testfolder]


Attempting to decrypt will also use this argument:

C:\Program Files (x86)\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>pgpnetshare.exe --decrypt C:\testfolder --passphrase password --preserve

Decrypting [C:\testfolder\]
Info: Preserving last modified time [C:\testfolder]

Info: Preserving last modified time [C:\testfolder]
Finished.


After following these steps, the Modified Date will be preserved.