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Encryption

 
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mountainwaterfall
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: Encryption Reply with quote

I was disappointed that OO does not offer the option of encrypting files. I was hoping to encrypt my writer file before sending it as an email attachment.
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Dale
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO this is a good thing. You are better off using purpose-built encryption software from a source that you trust than an add-on to a program written for some other purpose. Some of the problems with add-ons are:

  • They are not (necessarily) written by people with sound cryptographic knowledge and experience.
  • They are not adequately tested
  • Responding to changes in the state of the art is problematic: If it is discovered that the cryptography used by CryptoOffice is trivially broken, what priority is placed on fixing the problem?

On the other hand, good encryption software has the following advantages:
  • It's written by people who know about cryptography, and how to break encryption systems
  • It has been tested by cryptographers and the major flaws have been eliminated
  • The algorithms have been subject to peer review and found to be sound
  • When (not if) methods are found to break the encryption, that is addressed as a matter of urgency (it is, after all, the only reason the software is out there).
  • It can be used to encrypt any files, not just your CryptoOffice docs.

Mind you, I have the same thoughts about digital signature.

PGP and Password Safe are both availble to download and use free of charge. Password Safe has the added advantage of giving you an encrypted database for all your passwords.
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jrkrideau
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Encryption Reply with quote

mountainwaterfall wrote:
I was disappointed that OO does not offer the option of encrypting files. I was hoping to encrypt my writer file before sending it as an email attachment.


I agree with Dale. I had a quick google and found these:
http://www.passwordrecoverytools.com/
http://www.elcomsoft.com/aopr.html
http://www.intelore.com/outlook-password-recovery.php

I would not trust an office software package to have that good of protection though it might stop anyone except those who really wanted to see what was in the file.
Very Happy
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Currently using Windows 7 & OOo 3.4.0 and Ubuntu 12.04 & LibreOffice 3.5.2.2
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mountainwaterfall
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:29 am    Post subject: Encryption Reply with quote

Thank you Dale for recommending PGP and Password Safe. I will download them onto my computer to use when I am using my computer. I travel alot and don't pack a printer in my suitcase. When I copy my OOo files onto my USB memory stick and use a public computer to print them out (hotel's, library's, kinkos', office supply store's), their computer won't have PGP or Password Safe. Would I be able to open the files to print them?

My abuser cyberstalks me and repeatedly infects my computer with trojans. Could web bugs and trojans on my computer read my PGP or Password Safe files on my computer?

thank you.
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Dale
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Encryption Reply with quote

mountainwaterfall wrote:
...their computer won't have PGP or Password Safe. Would I be able to open the files to print them?
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: PGP is (effectively) open source. The code for the free versions is available to anyone who wants to look at it. There might be some other utility around that will read PGP encrypted files. You would have to carry your Private Key(s) with you.

Quote:
Could web bugs and trojans on my computer read my PGP or Password Safe files on my computer?
Possible but not terribly likely. It is more likely that they will recover the password to your key files, less likely but possible they will recover the keys themselves. This is actually one of the documented weaknesses of PGP (it's in the PGP documentation). Password Safe and probably all other encryption software are equally affected.

This article http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0101.html#11 describes how the FBI used a keyboard sniffer to by-pass PGP encryption in an investigation.
Here is an article on another PGP vulnerability http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0009.html
You should also be aware of "...a Minnesota Appeals Court ruling that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent...." http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/06/more_on_encrypt.html (don't panic - read the article first)

Pls do not take my comments as authoratative. I know next to nothing about cryptography and certainly can not break or even analyse the simplest systems.
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