Codename not accepted

Tried to login using my existing codename, but SecureDrop says “Sorry, that is not a recognized codename.” That doesn’t make any sense, because it’s always worked before without any problem.

Why is it doing this (not recognizing any of my codenames), and what’s the solution?

Hi Mulder,

Thank you for writing to us. First of all, a note of caution: the fact that you have contacted us on a public forum means that your anonymity is likely compromised. If anonymity is important to your situation, please be aware of this before proceeding any further, and please do not provide any potentially-identifying details or followup to us here in this space.

On to the answer: If a codename is not accessible, and you are 100% sure it the right codename (no typos/memorization errors), there are a few possible explanations. A news organization may have deleted source(s) from their database, or made configuration changes to their SecureDrop and not restored their database from a backup, or restored from a backup taken before a given codename was created.

In all cases, the way to contact this news organization via SecureDrop is to create a new codename.

Do not submit or refer to your old codename in your conversation with the newsroom, since they see a completely different name/identifier for you (and since your codename is a passphrase that should always be kept secret).

I hope this is helpful and I wish you the best.

Rowen
SecureDrop Support team

I did create a new Codename, and it’s not accepted, either. See the attached screen shot.

Hi Mulder,

Really sorry that this is still an ongoing problem. A quick note: the codename is case-sensitive and the whitespaces between words are required, exactly as it is presented to you when you create it. If this does not solve the problem, then there may be a misconfiguration of the specific SecureDrop instance you are trying to access (please do not share the name of the instance in this forum).

If you are able to send this instance a message successfully under a new codename, you may wish to do so, alerting them to this issue.

I’m sorry we can’t be of more assistance–for security and privacy reasons we have no access to information about the operation of any of the SecureDrop instances, so we rely on the instance contacting us for tech support in order to resolve any issues that may arise.

Wish you the best.

Rowen
SecureDrop Support team