Best free encryption method?

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Johnny, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Johnny

    Johnny Guest


    I need to open, edit and save a text (.txt) file on my hard drive
    several times a day, and that file contains secret information.

    What's the easiest free method of encrypting it (and, of course,
    decrypting it each time)?


    Johnny, Nov 14, 2004
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  2. Johnny

    Mike Guest

    Use a floppy disk?

    But watch out for those temporary files and swap files etc....
    Mike, Nov 14, 2004
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  3. Johnny

    Sue Doo Nym Guest

    Try pgp 6.5.8ckt and the conventional encrypt option. Or gpg (you will need gpg
    shell if you use Windows.)
    Sue Doo Nym, Nov 14, 2004
  4. Check out Blowfish Advanced CS - it has a 'work with' feature that
    automatically re-encrypts a file when it's closed.

    Stephen Howard, Nov 15, 2004
  5. Johnny

    Johnny Guest


    Your answer, the simplest one, turned ou to be the best. The txt file
    in question now opens only on drive A:, the floppy drive, which I shove
    the disk into only when I need it. What a great solution.

    BUt now I have a follow-up question. What did you mean by "watch out
    for those temporay files and swap files etc...."?

    Thanks again.

    Johnny, Nov 16, 2004
  6. Johnny

    Luke MacNeil Guest

    Windows XP EFS not good enough?
    Luke MacNeil, Nov 18, 2004
  7. Johnny

    Johnny Guest

    Luke, I don't know what Window XP EFS is.

    Also, do you know what Mike meant by "watch out for those temporary
    files and swap files, etc"?

    Johnny, Nov 18, 2004
  8. Johnny

    tcpsyn Guest

    I think Mike was trying to say if you have sensitive information that
    you are storing on an encrypted floppy, to make sure that you dispose
    of any temporary files that are created that could hold your
    information in plaintext.

    Windows XP introduced EFS, Encrypted File System.. If you right click
    on a folder and go to its properties, you can chose to either encrypt
    or compress a folder. Then the only user that can decrypt the file is
    the one whos SID encrypted it, or an encryption agent (Administrator).

    Heres a tutorial.

    tcpsyn, Dec 13, 2004
  9. Johnny

    nemo outis Guest


    EFS works. But there are serious "lurks" for the unwary.

    Putting aside for the moment the (by no means trivial) question
    of backdoors and the NSA, the problems with EFS include:

    1. It is not an OTF (on the fly) encryption scheme. Instead
    it extracts encrypted files as plaintext versions onto the HD and
    later erases them when the (possibly modified) plaintext version
    is reencrypted. These deleted-but-not-scrubbed extracted
    plaintext versions are a major headache requiring scrubbing, etc.

    Also, if an unencrypted (plaintext) file is used in, say,
    Microsoft Word, there are significant dangers of additional
    plaintext leakage paths (e.g., ~.tmp files, etc.)

    2. You must take **special measures** to ensure that the
    decrypting keys have been removed from the HD. The default is to
    **keep** them on the HD (using a pretty weak protection scheme)
    for administrative purposes.

    In short, EFS can work moderately well, but managing it properly
    is not obvious or straightforward and therein lies the danger.

    nemo outis, Dec 14, 2004
  10. Johnny

    winged Guest

    Well put. I gotta find a secret...
    winged, Dec 14, 2004
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