iPhone / iPad Applications
IP Reference
Brush Pass
Super Quiz: Original
iOS Application Support
About us

Big Brother watching you?  Maybe your IT guys are a little too curious about what files you’re moving over their network?  Just paranoid?  How would you like to transfer files the way spies do?  Brush Pass lets you transfer files without any user intervention.  Just pre-configure your Brush Pass settings and Brush Pass does the rest when its running and in range of other Brush Pass peers.

Brush Pass is a file transfer program that works over Bluetooth.  This means that it never touches your iPhone carrier’s network, your IT Ethernet, or Starbuck’s Wi-Fi.  It’s a peer-to-peer connection between you and your files’ destination.

Also, this is a “read-only” file transfer.  You cannot delete a file on someone else’s device.  You cannot request a file.  The Spy you connect to will offer files to your Brush Pass device, then your device will request files from that list if it can’t find the identical file in your local database.  A file is considered identical if the size and the MD5 hash match.

Due to some instabilities in the Bluetooth implementation, there may be some errors when using the app.  Restarting the app will restart the file transfers from the failure point, they will not start over from the beginning.

Set up your ID on your device.  This is a name (whatever name you wish to use) and an ID that is unique to you.  Use the Generate ID button to create this ID as this creates a 128-bit random Hex string which pretty much guarantees uniqueness.
Turn on the “Accept Leaks” switch to accept "leaked" documents. This means that you will accept Documents from spies that you may or may not have configured on your device.  Other Spies leak these documents, and you can choose to accept or ignore them with this switch.

This is also the screen to make backups of your Spies and Agencies database.  Back this up because if you lose your spy or agency info, you will have to either manually re-enter the info exactly as it was or re-create it from scratch.  This means that none of your file transfers will work until you re-sync your keys with your other spies.

Once you and your Spy (someone else running Brush Pass) have your identities set, you can create a new Spy.  By default the name will be “Unknown Spy”, but when you both press Exchange Keys, your devices will trade identity information and create a private key that authenticates any sessions that the two of you will ever have.  This private key is different for every spy pair.   If you don’t use the Exchange Keys button, you can manually enter the information, but that information must match EXACTLY or the application will think an impostor is trying to connect when you attempt to exchange files.  Impostors are ignored, so you’ll just not exchange  (except Leaked) Documents.

Now that you have an identity, and a configured Spy, you can create optional groups called Agencies.  Agencies are groupings of Spies that will all have access to the same document.  This is just a convenience for you if you, for example, want to distribute a Document to everybody in English 101.  Create the Agency called English 101 and add whatever Spies to that Agency you wish.  A hat next to any item means that this item has been added.

If you create the group called Everyone (case sensitive), all of your spies will be automatically added to that group and cannot be removed.  This is handy for sending a file to everybody without leaking it publicly.

The Documents are synchronized from iTunes, added from your photo library, or taken with your camera.  Once you have a document, you can view the document by tapping on it in the documents list, or you can tap the detail button and see details about the file itself.  There are two buttons in the detail screen that allow you to assign the document to Spies, Agencies, or both.   When you assign a document to a Spy, that means that this Spy is allowed to download that document.  If you assign a document to an Agency, that means that ANY Spy that you have added to that Agency is allowed to download the document.   You can also designate a document to be Leaked.  This means that ANYBODY using Brush Pass will have access to that file.

Documents in the Document List that appear in red are incomplete files.  For whatever reason, the document transfer was interrupted.   If you restart the Connection Service process with the original sender (or anyone else with that file who has given you access), the transfer will pick up from where it left off.

Documents in the Document List that appear in green are new files.  You have received them from another Spy but have not viewed the details or the preview.

When you assign an Agency to a Document, the Document will display the familiar black hat.   However, when you assign a Document to a Spy, and that Spy already has access to that Document through their Agency membership, the displayed hat will have a blue background.  If you assign the Document to the Spy, the hat will change to a white background and the Spy will have access to the document regardless of whether or not you remove the Agency's access.

When you’re all set up, from the Control tab you can start the Connection Service.  The connection service has to run in the foreground to ensure the stability of the files and the connections.  Do NOT try to lock the screen or close the screen with the home button.  This will disconnect and close the Connection Service.  You can set an Idle Timer on the Control tab that will allow the Connection Service to run for a specific amount of idle time.  Connection Service will run until all files are transferred then start ticking down the idle timer.  If a new Spy connects during this time, the idle timer will reset and begin counting down after the transfer is complete.

If a file fails to transfer, it will resume when you reset the Connection Service.  The entire file is not re-transmitted, but rather, the sender will begin sending from the point of the receiver’s failure.

Current Connections is the number of Brush Pass sessions that are actively transferring files.  Queued Connections are the number of Brush Pass peers waiting to transfer files to/from your device.   Due to limitations of Bluetooth, the number of active peers is limited to 3 (you and 2 peers).  When the file transfer is complete for an active peer, they are disconnected and the next queued peer is activated.  Once all the peers are dequeued and disconnected, the Idle timer will start counting down to automatically end the Connection Service session.