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Digital Encryption - A Guide For Securing Your Data...

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posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 10:07 AM
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This is a thread about digitally securing any sensitive data you may have.

It's quite complicated, but I've managed to get my head around it after a day of self-education, trial and error.

I'll provide links and explain as best as I can in the form of a rough tutorial.

Light Encryption

There's the easy encryption first off. Very good against casual 'intruders' who may of stolen your data / laptop / PC etc.

This is on windows XP, Vista and W7.

Windows Vista

Ok, firstly right click on a folder, then click 'add to archive' (I know it's totally weird to use this but it's a secure encryption method).

A box will pop up.
There are two things to focus on, the rest is just irrelevant for the most part.

These are-

Archive Format.
For this you can use the default RAR or go for ZIP. If you don't have WinRAR then use ZIP.
The second thing is:
Look for is the 'Advanced' Tab.

Click on it.

Now you will see 'Set Password' Click on this.

The next bit is important, you need to set the password. How strong you make is up to you. Longer is better, numbers inserted are good, as are lower and upper case letters.

You will see two check boxes. One is to show what password you are typing in.

The other is more important it will say 'Encrypt Filenames' This is important.
IF you do not check this box then you'll basically be leaving your folder open, the contents (files etc) inside it will be securely encrypted via the password you've entered, BUT the files will be exposed for people to see how many there are, what the file names, what type of files etc.
IF you check the box the folder is encrypted as well so that anyone trying to open that will have to enter a password.

This is one of the easy ways to encrypt.

Here's a guide for Windows XP users. It's a lot more straightforward imo.





posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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This is taking Digital Encryption to the next level, in fact it's pretty much taking it as high as is currently possible.

Medium - Encryption

Use BitLocker, I don't have much experience in this method / utility but it's pretty tough for most cases AFAIK.

Ultra-High Encryption

This is what 1st World Governments and state security use to ensure top security.
Now it's a bit more complicated, but if you want no-compromises and absolute [B]'Titan Encryption'[/B] this is the one to go for.

It's so sophisticated that it actually has a 'panic room' / 'Decoy Password' feature for if you're being tortured for the password you can give then the secondary password and it will open up an area, but leaves the 'real' primary area untouched (as you need another password and technique to access that) and hidden.

This is what I use and there's NOTHING illegal about protecting your documents and files using these methods.
However it may be that if you've got images, video and other kinds of things a government decrees as 'illegal' you're walking a tightrope...
This is what AFAIK Wikileaks use for the insurance file that has (so far) resisted all forms of decryption attacks etc.

This guide is long and fairly complex, I advise people to get the kettle on, light up a cigarette and have your eyes wide for this


First of all you need encryption methods/protocols that uses the following algorithms.

Algorithms

AES (Very High level of encryption, US Government standard for top secret), quite old now as a standalone but still rock solid (developed 1996). 256 Key Size (Bits)

Serpent (Indie-development Encryption also comparable to AES) 256 Key Size (Bits)

Two Fish (Indie development Encryption also comparable to AES) 256 Key Size (Bits)


AES-Twofish: DUAL ENCRYPTION 512 Key Size (Bits)

AES-Serpent-Two Fish: Arguably stronger than AES alone) 768 Key Size (Bits) TRIPLE ENCYPHER!

There's other combinations using them in two or three sequence but you get the picture.


Directions


Download True Crypt 6.3 this uses the above algorithms...

Here:

www.truecrypt.org...

(Mods this isn't my website but it is relevant to the thread)

Once you've got it installed run the program.

When the screen appears you want to click on the 'Create Volume' Button.

Once you do this a screen will pop-up. You need to now choose from the following:

Encrypt a File Container (Folder)

Encrypt a Partition (use this for USB Drives etc)

Encrypt a system partition or entire HDD.

In most cases it's the bold highlighted one that's best. The other two are more advanced and if you mess it up you could screw up your HDD unless you have a bare-bones system to mess about with first etc.

So click the radio button bit for Encrypt a File Container then click 'Next'

Here you'll get 2 options:

Standard encryption procedure

Or use the 'panic room' encryption with a hidden partition for resisting intrusion via duress.

The latter is more complicated to set-up so for now just do the standard procedure and click the next button.

Now you need to name your folder for encryption. DO NOT USE an existing folder name unless you don't mind it being erased over. (For partition encryption you can 'encrypt over' existing files but not for this procedure).
So ignore the 'Select File' button completely.

Now type in what you'd like to call your folder to be created via the encryption process.

Click next.

This is the real deal now. You get to choose your encryption protocols.

Encryption Algorithm

AES is the standard in Citadel-like toughness, but you can go over that level if you want by choosing AES - Two Fish - etc.

Hash Algorithm

Less important but still relative. Basically as far as I can fathom, when you come to generate the 'key' that the password you set will blast into tiny pieces of the puzzle this is how it will 'Generate' it.

There are three of these to choose from but all are pretty much equal if you follow the guide.

Click next.

Volume Size


You now need to specify how large your 'vault' of encryption is going to be. Only you can answer this.
If you're dumping videos, loads of high res pictures for secure storage you'll want gigabytes of data as opposed to megabytes.

Click next when you've done this.

PASSWORD SETTING


Ok, now we're onto the final steps.

Choose a password. DO NOT CHOOSE anything less than 20 digits, mix and match upper and lower case, numbers etc.
A password can be 'brute forced' using a hackers utility if you don't make it 20 digits or above.
Some even recommend using as many as 50 to 64 digits which will make it impossible for even a supercomputer to crack open!


Confirm the password - You may be thinking 'How do I remember such a titan password?'
Best way is to securely save them in a separate encrypted file that's hidden on a dongle, ideally have the password fragmented / jumbled so that only you know it if that gets hacked.
Alternatively make it a rolling, flowing sentence you can recall from memory that's not in any famous books etc.
Or do both.

You will see an option for 'keyfiles' this is a system to augment your password with a file that acts as a 'key' as well!
It's overkill but good if you want to be lazy. IE use a short password and use a keyfile (only you know) to open the encryption folder. The file you can basically move into a certain path/folder and as long as it's there it'll be all you need to open your encrypted files.

Some people even leave the password blank and using a keyfile alone. But this isn't recommended. The downside is if someone steals your PC and you've not moved the key file out of the 'keyhole' it's next to useless etc.


So you've entered the password, confirmed it.
Now click next!

This is the final screen, it's where you generate the cipher via mouse movement. So give it a good spin, a buzz and a swirl

This will randomize the hell out of it for via the hash algorithms keys you've pre-selected.

Finally Click the 'format' button once you've blitzed your mouse about!

That's it done! It'll ask you for if you want to do another. Exit from it and go back to the main menu on TC.
Now you want to look at your files.

Click 'Select File' and it'll open up your explorer, find the file you named it as and click open.

Now it will appear on the partition screen.

You now need to 'Mount' the file using the 'mount' button.
'Mount' basically means you'll be opening the 'citadel doors' for working on the folder, looking inside, putting files in, taking them out etc.

Click the mount button!

It will prompt you for the password. I hope you can remember it, otherwise nothings getting inside


Assuming all is well and you enter it correctly you will see the folder appear above on the partition listings above.

The 'Citadel Doors' are now while the folder is 'Mounted'!!!! Remember this.

This will tell you important information about the encryption methods, name of the file etc.

All you need to do now is double click the where the folder listing has appeared and you are good to go, it will take you inside the folder.
You have now learned and practised the ways of ultra-secure file encryption


Above all else, you need to remember to 'Unmount' the folder when you've finished using it. Otherwise it's wide open for anyone to access in the even of theft etc...
It cannot be overstated how easy this is for people to forget, especially with dongles which they pull out of the laptop/pc and haven't clicked the 'unmount' button first. Guess what? The files is totally unlocked (for someone using truecrypt.

I hope this hasn't fried too many brain cells. It's not easy to understand at first. But once you've run it a few times it gets easier.

There's a good guide I learned to do this from here, the sounds not that great but he's a decent enough instructor for this.

I may of made a few minor errors and below is an expert link I spoke about:


edit on 11-12-2010 by WatchRider because: Video Correction



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 10:43 AM
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Thanks..I will check it out. I was on ATS yesterday and my computer was attacked. It makes me wonder about this site. I clicked on the Japanese UFO thread and bam, Norton's blocked 18 trojan horses. I wanted to make a thread on ATS and computer viruses.
edit on 11-12-2010 by liejunkie01 because: chech to check



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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S+F,

Good thread, especially for those unfamiliar with the in built security features of the Windows line of operating systems, however I'd just like to make two points:

i.) The police/government can make you hand over your encryption keys is they have reasonable suspicion

ii.) Nothing stored on a computer is safe

Cheers,



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by Death_Kron
S+F,

Good thread, especially for those unfamiliar with the in built security features of the Windows line of operating systems, however I'd just like to make two points:

i.) The police/government can make you hand over your encryption keys is they have reasonable suspicion

ii.) Nothing stored on a computer is safe

Cheers,


1. They can in all cases except where you've installed the panic-room / inner keep feature. This is IMPOSSIBLE to spot and is used by corporate guru's to prevent industrial theft etc.

You don't have to hand anything over without consent.



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by WatchRider
1. They can in all cases except where you've installed the panic-room / inner keep feature. This is IMPOSSIBLE to spot and is used by corporate guru's to prevent industrial theft etc.

You don't have to hand anything over without consent.


It can't be impossible to spot though if your making a thread about it



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by WatchRider
 


Dude very nice. Thanks for this. S&F



posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by Death_Kron

Originally posted by WatchRider
1. They can in all cases except where you've installed the panic-room / inner keep feature. This is IMPOSSIBLE to spot and is used by corporate guru's to prevent industrial theft etc.

You don't have to hand anything over without consent.


It can't be impossible to spot though if your making a thread about it


LOL.
I meant that from the originator of encryption POV


Operation Satyagraha

Some Brazilian banker dude was being squeezed for his encryption key by the ptb.
He'd used True Crypt and basically refused to divulge his liberty to them.
Get this, the Brazillian authorities were getting nowhere so they brought in the FBI...
After 12 months....
The FBI still couldn't crack it!


Source: en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by WatchRider
 


Guys:

I read somewhere that Symantec Corp has purchased PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) earlier this year.

If so, there is probably a backdoor that they will install, or be able to create that allows the new version to read the old version's encrypted files without too much hassle.

Truecrypt is open source so the code is avalable to be downloaded and tinckered with. I wonder if that allows someone to create a backdoor also?

-E2



posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 02:10 PM
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For easy encryption in Linux, open a terminal and type this: $ gpg -c filename. (-c : Encrypt with symmetric cipher)
enter and confirm password. Thats it.
To decrypt open a terminal and type in: $ gpg filename.gpg
Enter password.

Easy peasy!



posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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Just a heads up from a UK perspective.

Refusing to give a password for an encrypted file / area of your disk if asked to do so by the police is actually a crime in the UK and you can be imprisoned for 5 years for it
link

Unbelievable I know



posted on Dec, 12 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
Just a heads up from a UK perspective.

Refusing to give a password for an encrypted file / area of your disk if asked to do so by the police is actually a crime in the UK and you can be imprisoned for 5 years for it
link

Unbelievable I know


Hang on the 2000 Act that New Labour Government passed was only 2 years!
Where has it suddenly jumped up to 5 years from? That's either bs or we've got a serious problem...
Edit :Ok, just checked the link, that 5 years is for terrorism offences.
Usually those of an 'asian' profile and certain religion are the targets there. Bad thing to say, but that's how the ptb in the UK work it so far...
edit on 12-12-2010 by WatchRider because: Addition



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:47 AM
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Thanks for this very informative thread, but when i try the first type of encryption in the video for my Windows XP when i select the advanced tab after right clicking on the folder it doesnt give me the option to encrypt the folder like it is showed in the video. I was wondering if anyone could help, thank you.



posted on Dec, 25 2010 @ 07:01 AM
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Originally posted by ConspiracySquid7
Thanks for this very informative thread, but when i try the first type of encryption in the video for my Windows XP when i select the advanced tab after right clicking on the folder it doesnt give me the option to encrypt the folder like it is showed in the video. I was wondering if anyone could help, thank you.


Interesting, what version of XP is it?



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 08:22 PM
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Um I'm pretty sure it's the same version that is shown in the first YouTube demonstration video. Sorry, I'm not that familiar with what version I have I just thought their is just one Windows XP and that's the version i have. Hope this helps a little.


Edit: I did some research and currently have the Home Edition of Windows XP
edit on 12//30/1010 by ConspiracySquid7 because: I found out the type of Windows XP I have and edited the post to put the information in.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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reply to post by WatchRider
 


Version 7.0a is now available from truecrypt. Thanks for the post.



posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:53 PM
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I stand by truecrypt myself. No one will access my files but me, ever.



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