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The general information on ASL Crypto Manager
The ASL Crypto Manager Program is intended for encrypting separate files or groups of files. An RC4 algorithm is used for the encrypting. It is a block-encryption algorithm with a session key, i.e. the same key is used both for encrypting, and for decrypting of the data. The length of the key can be 5 up to 24 symbols. The key for encrypting in the program is called password. ASL Crypto Manager provides reliable protection of data against unauthorized access. The encryption algorithm used in the program is attack-proof against any possible kinds of hacking: after all the long-term efforts of researchers, there wasn’t revealed an effective way of attacking it. The program can be used both by organizations for commercial secrets protecting and by individuals for keeping the personal information private.
Working with the program
Keys (passwords) with the length of 5 up to 24 symbols are used for files encrypting (the recommended length of the password in use should be 9 or more symbols). The password can be any alphanumeric sequence of Latin symbols. The same password, which had been used for encrypting, is applied for decrypting. ASL Crypto Manager encrypts files changing their source name for "name. extension" + ”.cmf”, thus, for example, the file test.txt after encrypting will receive the name test.txt.cmf. After the installation of ASL Crypto Manager, the files with extension *.cmf will be associated to ASL Crypto Manager and they can’t be read without decrypting.
Encryption of files
To encrypt files, add them to the list in the program, using the contextual right-click menu and the option «Add» or "Add" button. Then, press the «Set password» button in the program window or use the «Set password» option of the «Edit» menu. In the opening dialog box enter the password twice. Then press "Encrypt" button or «File»->«Encrypt». As soon as the encrypting process begins, the progress is displayed in the central part of the main program window. After completion of the encrypting, the program will issue an appropriate message.
Decryption of files
To decrypt files, add them to the list in the program, using the contextual right-click menu and the option «Add» or "Add" button. Then, press the «Set password» button in the program window or use the «Set password» option of the «Edit» menu. In the opening dialog box enter the password twice. Then press "Decrypt" button or «File»->«Decrypt». As soon as the decrypting process begins, the progress is displayed in the central part of the main program window. After completion of the decrypting, the program will issue an appropriate message. If an invalid password is entered for decrypting of the file(s), the program will inform about it and leave the file(s) encrypted. ASL Crypto Manager program doesn’t allow adding of encrypted and unencrypted files at the same time. Be careful! If you forget the key, used for the encrypting of your information, even we won’t be able to decrypt the information.
Passwords for encrypting
We recommend you the careful studying of the information stated below, regarding the rules of creation for file encryption passwords. As it was already mentioned, the encryption algorithm, being used by the program, is attack-proof against hacking. Therefore, the only possible way for violators to decrypt your data is searching among all existing combinations for passwords. The program utilizes passwords with length up to 24 symbols; the usage of any symbols is permitted: lower case and upper case Latin symbols, and digits. It is obvious, that brute force searching of all possible variations involves enormous computing resources and is impossible to perform with a present-day personal computer. At the same time, the general mistake of users is to apply the meaningful words for the passwords, i.e. the words, which can be found in the dictionaries. Using of such words reduces the diversity of potential passwords some sequences higher: there are no more than 100 000 words in a dictionary usually which makes it possible to search for all combinations in the dictionary with the common personal computer even. And any hacker begins his procedure of brute force searching for the password with using a dictionary. Therefore, the highest possible protection is ensured only by using of the passwords, consisting of a randomized set of characters.
Examples of passwords:
table - an insecure key as it is appears in the dictionary and can be picked.
vd374npz - a secure key as the randomized sequence of symbols is used.
We recommend you to use the keys with length of 9 and more symbols - the longer is the used key, the more difficult it is to pick it up. Minimal recommended key length is 5 symbols; 24 maximum. There is also a number of so-called "weak" keys which are not recommended for use. For example, some weak keys are «11111111» or «qqqqqqqq». One more problem of data security, with using of encryption programs, is the possibility to intercept the key during its input. The utilities, which register all the keys pressed on the keyboard, are called key loggers. ASL Crypto Manager allows to be protected against such programs by means of entering the password from the onscreen keyboard, built in the program. As the keys on the keyboard are not pressed in this case, it is impossible to intercept them.
The algorithm of encrypting RC4
The RC4 is one of the most popular and widespread encryption algorithms; it has been developed by IBM Company and approved by the US government as the national standard. The RC4 algorithm is used in many cryptographic systems. It is a block-encryption algorithm with a session key, i.e. the same key is used both for encrypting, and for decrypting of the data. The information for encrypting is processed in 256-bit blocks, and each block is modified during the iterative procedure, including 16 cycles, by means of the key. After all the long-term efforts of researchers, there wasn’t revealed an effective way of attacking RC4. An obvious method of attack is the full brute force searching of all possible keys involves enormous computing resources. At the present time, the algorithm is considered to be attack-proof against hacking.
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