Security Corner

Apr 16 2010   2:56PM GMT

Software for Secure Computing: dsCrypt

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

I found this nifty little encryption utility on Gizmo’s Freeware Reviews site and immediately fell in love with it. It’s lightweight (25K), fast and easy to use. Double click the single executable and a small box appears (see below). Click the “Mode” menu item to select encryption or decryption. Drag-and-drop files, even multiple selections, from Windows Explorer on dsCrypt’s window, or use the “Open” command to browse and select files.

Unlike some encryption tools, dsCrypt overwrites original files, does not create any temporary files, and erases the data and password memory allocation after use; any possible paging/swap file leftovers are nullified. It does not save your password in any form.

Another feature I like is the Secure PassPad. It employs a mouse operated, graphical keypad, which directly communicates with the application. Here’s the full list of features from the website:

- extensively tested and widely accepted algorithm
- BruteHalt® and exceptional resistance to brute-force password search
- inherent resistance to brute-force key search
- Secure PassPad® and immunity to keylogger-infested environments
- disclosed implementation and source code
- secure use of system resources
- verified data and file processing
- efficient user interface and operation
- speedy performance
- really small executable file
- self-contained and dependency-free
- installation-and-pollution-free
- freeware status and unrestricted distribution

I’m using dsCrypt to keep sensitive information on my thumb drive secure.

There is one drawback, however: If you send a dsCrypt-encrypted file to someone else, they’ll need dsCrypt on their end to decrypt it. When I need to send a single file to someone else, I use AxCrypt to make a self contained package.

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