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I use Android 11 (LineageOS) and recently noticed, that my phone stopped asking me for a decryption password when booting up, so I tried verifying that my data is still actually encrypted. Settings say so, but after removing all my passwords, pins, fingerprints, etc, the phone asks for no password and just boots straight up. I suspect the encryption password got reset to the "default_password" when updating some time in the past.

Now how can I actually change the encryption key to something else than the standard password (which grants ZERO security at all)? The vdc cryptfs interface does not work like it used to (changepw, verifypw, etc, all don't work), as you can also see on the official Google sources (https://android.googlesource.com/platform/system/vold/+/master/vdc.cpp).

Any encryption experts here? My data is holy to me and I want it actually encrypted...

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    The password prompt in the boot process was only necessary for Full Disk Encryption (FDE). Modern devices use File Based Encryption (FBE). With FBE device boots up to the common lock screen which is at the same time the encryption password dialog.
    – Robert
    Dec 21, 2021 at 11:21
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    as Robert suggested check encryption type. if possible try to access files from TWRP for testing purposes
    – alecxs
    Dec 21, 2021 at 17:35
  • thats worth a try alecxs! Imma do that and report back Dec 24, 2021 at 13:54
  • @Robert thats good to know! Dec 24, 2021 at 13:54
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    Hi, looks like you've found the solution by yourself, which is great! Consider post it as a proper answer since self-answering is not only allowed, but even encouraged!. Thanks!
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 27, 2021 at 14:38

2 Answers 2

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I found the answer in the comments to my question: Appearently, you don't have to put in an "encryption password" when booting up anymore. It was required with FDE (Full Device Encryption), but is not with FBE (File-Based Encryption). I installed a custom recovery and tried to decrypt my data and drum-roll: it works! I can only decrypt data when using my current android-lockscreen password. Thanks a lot!

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after removing all my passwords, pins, fingerprints, etc, the phone asks for no password and just boots straight up.

That is the expected behaviour. Removing your phone's password will remove encryption and so the device will not ask for a decryption password after boot. Simply add a password (even a pattern will work) to re-enable encryption

Edit: looks like I was wrong, see the first comment below :P

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    Note: Device encryption is not removed. It is reset to a hardcoded value.
    – Firelord
    Dec 21, 2021 at 6:57
  • When I put in a new password, I still dont get asked to input my password before android boots. I dont mean the normal android lockscreen, I mean something like an "encryption lockscreen" which comes before android (and before normal android lockscreen). Once android boots up and wants your SIM-Pin, your data is decrypted in the current session and obtainable when going thorugh enough effort. Dec 23, 2021 at 18:23
  • @DennisHackerman No no, what you're assuming is wrong: Android will ask for your password after bootup, i.e. at the lock screen. It is completely normal and all the phones I have do the same. I don't know why it earlier asked for your password at bootup. Edit: I see you're talking about some "SIM-Pin", which is completely irrelevant to your device's encryption
    – NMrocks
    Dec 24, 2021 at 13:53
  • @NMrocks No, I wasn't talking about the SIM-Pin. Solved it anyway, edited the question Dec 27, 2021 at 14:20

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