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Private Cipher V1.2 Frequently Asked Questions.

  • What do I do with ZIP file after it was downloaded?
  • How many files required to run the program?
  • How do I encrypt or decrypt files?
  • Which files can I encrypt or decrypt?
  • How do I send my cipher file?
  • Why do I need a client.exe file?
  • Why bother with CD ROM mailing when 128-bit encryption software available on the market?
  • What if somebody will read the code of your program? Can they decipher the message?
  • What do I do with ZIP file after it was downloaded?

    You will need to extract files from ZIP file. If you do not have WinZIP software - you can download it at WinZIP.Com site.
    Unzip all files in one directory and you are ready to use Private Cipher V1.2 by running file cipher.exe

    How many files required to run the program?

    The whole program is one file - cipher.exe
    All files are:

    • autorun.inf - file to start your application if you write it on CD ROM.
    • cipher.exe - Main program file (full version only).
    • client.exe - program file you send to your party for communications. The same file provided as cipher.exe in evaluation version. In evaluation version it has no key creating functionality).
    • encrypt.ico - Icon file.
    • createkeys.exe - program for batch keys creation (full version only)
    • keys directory directory where your keys are stored. Directory may be omitted and all keys stored in the same directory as a program itself.

    How do I encrypt or decrypt files?

    When you start the program (by clicking on cipher.exe file) first you will need to do is to choose choose the appropriate encryption/decryption key by clicking on "Open Encryption/Decryption Key File" button and selecting the key file (program creates key files in format "key_x.txt" where "x" is a key number).

    To Encrypt click on "Select file to Encrypt" button and select ASCII file to be encrypted
    click on "Encrypt from the screen" button to type your message on the screen without ever creating a file.
    When Encryption key and file or text selected - click on "Encrypt" button and enter the name of the file to be saved as cipher.
    Click on "Click to Start Encryption" button.

    To Decrypt click on "Select file to De-Crypt" button and select a cipher file to be decrypted.
        Please keep in mind that ONLY THE SAME ENCRYPTION KEY will decrypt the cipher!
    When appropriate encryption key and cipher file selected - click on "Decrypt" button.

    Which files can I encrypt or decrypt?

    Only ASCII (TXT that is) files can be encrypted.

    If you have created your text as MS Word file or used any other software that can not create plain text files - you WILL get an encryption error!
    Private Cipher V1.2 designed for plain text and plain text files only and will not encrypt any other files.

    How do I send my cipher file?

    Send it as an attachment by e-mail or by sending file in ASCII format. Do not use text wrapping when exchanging files.

    Why do I need a client.exe file?

    client.exe file is included for your program distribution among people you will be communicating. It has encryption keys creation capabilities.
    You can create different keys for different people so they can not read cipher files if files are not intended for them to read.

    Just create different encryption key files for all your parties, write them on CD ROM along with client.exe file and mail them.

    Why bother with CD ROM mailing when 128-bit encryption software available on the market?

    Good question!
    It's a fact - software you buy or use on the Internet today can not offer 100% protection? There is always a backdoor!
    Private Cipher V1.2 has no backdoors and can not have it by default. If you use your own encryption key, that key can not be used by Private Cipher with different Serial Number to decrypt your cipher file.
    For all we know you can openly transmit your cipher file over any media including Internet.

    There are couple things to consider when using Private Cipher V1.2:

    • Use it on computer that is not connected to any network (just unplug the network cable). When you exit the program - if clears memory registry, so nothing left on the computer if you remove CD ROM.
    • Use different encryption keys to communicate with different parties. Make sure keys are kept on separate CD ROMs for different parties and parties do not have keys other than you sent them along with client.exe file.
    • Do not send cipher.exe and createkeys.exe files to your clients - that way you will always be the only one who can read all the messages.

    What if somebody will read the code of your program? Can they decipher the message?

    Short answer is - No!

    Blowfish cipher algorithm is freely available on the Internet. One can download it for appropriate implementation and build the program.
    We use triple 128-bit encryption keys. Assuming 2 loops can be de-ciphered in the next 400 years - there will be still one more loop to decipher. The problem is - one has to decipher keys backwards, meaning intruder will only know if the key was the right one once he or she completes all three loops of 128-bit each. And that will be a true key for one character only.

    Here some facts about Blowfish algorithm:

    • Block cipher: 64-bit block
    • Variable key length: 32 bits to 448 bits
    • Designed by Bruce Schneier
    • Much faster than DES and IDEA
    • Unpatented and royalty-free
    • No license required
    • Free source code available
    • Block Cipher Speed Comparison:
          18 clock cycles per byte of encryption on a Pentium. 8.3 Megabytes per second on a Pentium 150.
    • Blowfish is a symmetric block cipher that can be used as a drop-in replacement for DES or IDEA. It takes a variable-length key, from 32 bits to 448 bits, making it ideal for both domestic and exportable use. Blowfish was designed in 1993 by Bruce Schneier as a fast, free alternative to existing encryption algorithms. Since then it has been analyzed considerably, and it is slowly gaining acceptance as a strong encryption algorithm. Blowfish is unpatented and license-free, and is available free for all uses.
    • To the best of our knowledge Blowfish algorithm has not yet been broken.
    • Google Search for Blowfish cipher.

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