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Thread: Encryption Software - Windows 8.1

  1. #1
    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Encryption Software - Windows 8.1

    Hello All,

    Anyone can recommend a good encryption software to be used on Windows 8.1 if you don't have professional with Bitlocker.

    Should be able to encrypt the hard drive of the pc and external usb drives.

    And what is the TPM trusted platform module and what does this have to do with encryption and bitlocker?

    Thanks,
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    So I gather that no once uses encryption on there computers?
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    Try TrueCrypt...

    BTW...passwords are now the targets of hackers, not encryption, so hackers will use brute for and rainbow tables etc to access peoples personal stuff..

    Here is an interesting article on how to craft a strong password, encryption is pointless if you have weack password (i.e. recent iCloud hack of J Law et al)..

    http://www.baekdal.com/insights/pass...rity-usability

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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, TrueCrypt has stopped development on the software this year.
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    Your request is a bit vague. Are you trying to encrypt the contents of your hard drive? Are you trying to use end to end encryption for internet browsing? Are you looking for secrecy or anonymity?
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Hello AndyD, thanks for the question. I am looking at Hard Drive encryption of my laptop and for my external storage devices.

    Lots of free software available - just not sure how safe they are - don't want to lose my data

    I had a look at the Symantec Endpoint Encryption Full Disk Edition - Seems to be pricey and has yearly licensing

    Considering upgrading my version of Windows to Pro and using bitlocker - seems abit more cost effective and also integrated.

    Any suggestions?
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Not too sure if a full disc encryption system is an easy task. As far as I can tell such thing needs to integrate very deeply into the operating system. In fact it would need to run nearly inside the file system driver to be of much use, not to mention get any sort of performance.

    I'd imagine one built by MS might have an edge over 3rd party systems, at least performance wise if not anti-crack-wise. If you do go with a 3rd party one, I'd suggest you follow these general rules:
    1. Commercial paid for should only be considered if you know the company or have sufficient examples of good customer relations and service. Simply because someone is selling something doesn't mean it's good (or even not evil). Highest cost isn't necessarily analogous to best product, but extremely cheap can be classed in a similar light to the freeware in point 3 below.
    2. If going for "free" prefer going for open source instead of any other, as long as you can readily see the project isn't dead and that there are a reasonable amount of users it should be decent. Chances that an open source project is malware and has several users is near impossible - since everyone is allowed to see the internal source code such
    3. Other forms of free ware have various catches, e.g. ads popping up every now and then, they might even be malware. So watch out for these, do lots of research on them before even just trying them out.
    4. In any of the 3 above you should do some research. Look through forums on that program, see what sort of issues the users have and if they're being addressed.
    5. In all cases, it's a very good idea test-drive it first. This you should (and in this case MUST) do through a virtual machine. Install a hypervisor such as Ms Virtual PC, Oracle VirtualBox, or one of VMWare's HVs (there are others but on Windows those are the 3 best brands). Then install an operating system into a new "machine" you create inside that HV. This way if the stuff you want to test breaks anything you can recover very easily since it's protected from your real machine.


    Also as Basement Dweller states, encryption of your physical hard drive isn't as much use as having a decent password. If someone steals your laptop, they might not even worry about your data, but if they do a bad password is going to nullify the Rolls Royce of encryption systems. Also such encryption system isn't going to protect you from viruses, sniffers, phising and other malware stealing data off you, such things run inside your operating system and have full access to everything you have.
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    Gold Member Singhms's Avatar
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    Thanks irneb, very useful information.

    In the case of password protection if one was to have an unbreakable password, is it not possible for the person to still access the data on the HDD by say plugging it into another PC and reading the files where as if the drive was encrypted the person would not be able to access the files?

    Thanks,
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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singhms View Post
    Thanks irneb, very useful information.

    In the case of password protection if one was to have an unbreakable password, is it not possible for the person to still access the data on the HDD by say plugging it into another PC and reading the files where as if the drive was encrypted the person would not be able to access the files?

    Thanks,
    You're welcome ... sure if the HDD/SSD isn't encrypted then anyone can remove it from your case and plug it into another computer to read / write its contents.

    The thing I'm trying to explain though ... is a few points you should take note of:
    1. A password can be cracked, any password. Some can be cracked within a few seconds, others may take a day or two, yet others might take a bit longer. The more entropy your password has the better chance it stands of holding against a concerted effort of cracking it. So no matter what you do, such password needs to be as un"guessable" as possible (both for a human as well as a machine) - not too easy to accomplish. Many samples over the last few decades of just how easily crackers have broken into high-security systems because of such password cracking.
    2. The encryption itself isn't fool proof either. By definition it's a double direction encryption, which tends to be more easily cracked than a single direction. But you cannot get away from such else you will only be able to write to the drive and anything you attempt to read would be gibberish.
    3. While the disc is encrypted, you effectively decrypt it while you're logged on. So while your PC/Laptop is running, any mallware sees that same disc like any normal un-encrypted disc. So even if your disc is encrypted you still need to guard separately against phising, virusses, spyware, etc.
    4. Connections (especially wireless) actually has very poor security. Usually several layers of access control AND encryption is needed to have any possibility of stopping anyone from gaining access and/or eavesdropping. Usually most commercial systems are only good enough to stop some person from accidentally obtaining access, not from someone who's actively trying to break in.
    5. It's usually much simpler and effective to physically guard the hardware than to try and stop them from accessing it after they've stolen it. It's like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped. Even the absolute best encryption is not unbreakable (even with the highest entropy password), all that's required is sufficient time to brute force it. And in most cases it's not even just brute forcing as a cracker's only option. Once they've got the physical disc they've got ample time to do whatever they want.
    6. Is your data truly that valuable to someone else? Will they go to such lengths to get at it? Actually the more you force the issue the more you're advertising to such unscrupulous individuals that you've got some extremely valuable info - and thus the more incentive they have to attack you. Actually you find more safety "within the herd" by not being different from the rest, it's always those outside the norm which are hunted first.
    7. Volume incentivises unscrupulous people even more than such attention-seeking-more-security-than-others action. So saving your data onto a cloud (or other common server) is less secure (other issues taken as equal) than keeping it on your personal computing device. If they crack into your computer all they get is your data, if they crack into google drive they get millions of people's data. So the possible profit (for them) of cracking into yours is microscopic in relation to trying to get into a communal store.
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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