Error 48: File encryption error



Error 48 is a FASP error that refers to problems with encrypted file transfers. Specifically, this error points to issues with file transfers that are encrypted with passphrases (also termed Content Protection).

Transfers encrypted with a passphrase remain encrypted at the destination, and require the passphrase to be entered in order to decrypt it.

Examples of this error

Most commonly, this error appears when a passphrase for a transfer isn’t properly configured, which is more likely to occur when transferring via the command line with ascp. The error can also be seen in the transfer log file.


When transferring via the command line, this error can appear when trying to encrypt the transfer with a passphrase. For example, below is a command with the encryption option set, and the resulting error message:

# ascp --file-crypt=encrypt my_file janedoe@
ascp: File encryption needs a passphrase in environment variable ASPERA_SCP_FILEPASS, exiting.

Log file

Below is an example of this error as it can be recorded in the logs. The aspera-scp-transfer.log file records helpful information for each attempted transfer, labelled by the date and time attempted. For a reference of the location of this log file on your system, please see this article (Where are the Client or Server logs located?).

2015-09-21 17:01:36 [2adc-000027f4] ERR File encryption needs a passphrase in environment variable 
2015-09-21 17:01:36 [2adc-000029d4] LOG FASP Session Start uuid=03e556c6-ca4d-47b2-a3ae-3854f06f03b6 op=send
status=failed errcode=48 errstr="File encryption/decryption error, e.g. corrupt file"


In order to transfer files that remain encrypted at the destination, a passphrase must be specified. When transferring via the command line with ascp, the passphrase is set in an environment variable. Neglecting to do so will cause this error to occur.

The environment variable to set is ASPERA_SCP_FILEPASS. You can set this to your desired passphrase for the transfer with the following command:

Linux, Mac OS X
export ASPERA_SCP_FILEPASS=passphrase

set ASPERA_SCP_FILEPASS=passphrase
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