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Looking for encryption software that protects reading, not writing


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#1 slipd

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:13 AM

Hi,

 

I'm using Windows 7 x64 and looking for a program, preferably freeware, that'll password protect and encrypt a folder.  Ideally, I'd like it to prompt me for a password if I ever try to open and look inside the folder, but never ask me for a password if I just want to drag and drop a file into that folder without opening it.  So the folder's always password-protected and encrypted, and I can add stuff to it whenever I want without the hassle of entering the password every time.


Edited by slipd, 25 September 2015 - 11:50 AM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:56 AM

Instead of password protecting a folder I would use a container file using Veracrypt. Give it the encryption algorithm you want.  You can combine encryption algorithms. Give it a strong password that you can write down and store in a safe place, preferably with another offsite. When you start Veracrypt you select the file to mount as a virtual drive and provide the password. The container file will act as another drive you can copy to or from. When you unmount the container file it becomes encrypted. I would backup this container file to another media such as a USB flash or external drive.

 

https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Beginner%27s%20Tutorial

 

Edit: You would need to provide the password again if you unmount the container and want to mount it again.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 September 2015 - 11:58 AM.


#3 slipd

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 01:06 PM

Thanks JohnC_21.  I've tried Veracrypt, but rather than having to mount the container and enter a password in order to add files to the container, I'd prefer a program that'd allow me to add files to the encrypted container without entering a password.  Also don't like how I have to remember to unmount the container when I'm done adding files to it -- if I forget, the container can be opened without any password prompt until I manually unmount or restart the computer.  

 

Currently I'm using Safehouse Explorer, which asks for a password when opening the encrypted container, and automatically password-protects the container when I close it, which's great.  But in order to add files to the encrypted container, I have to open the container, enter the password, transfer the files, and close the container.  Instead, I'd like to be able to just drag and drop or copy/paste new files into the container without having to open it, enter the password, and close it.


Edited by slipd, 25 September 2015 - 01:23 PM.


#4 RolandJS

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 01:18 PM

  Very likely, the only easy thing to use is something that works like SuperKey [a Borland product] from long long long ago [when Fred Flinestone used Windows 3.1 - WFW 3.11].  Once superkey was TSR'd [shoveled into memory], a particular hot key sequence was established, key strokes of what one wanted to be done upfront; then a 2nd hot key sequence was needed to close up what was started earlier.    In short, you very likely need a present-day product that functions like SuperKey did way way long ago.


Edited by RolandJS, 25 September 2015 - 03:58 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

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#5 Didier Stevens

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 02:18 PM

I suppose it's Windows 7 Home (Premium) that you have? Otherwise you could use the Encrypted file System (EFS).


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#6 slipd

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 03:31 PM

@RolandJS

Maybe, too bad it's defunct.  Thanks for the idea though.

 

 

@Didier Stevens

I think I have that EFS functionality, but I'm not sure how it works.  I encrypt a folder's contents, the filenames turn green, but it seems I can still access the folder's contents without any password.  I don't use a Windows login password so I tried adding one, but the folder still seems to be freely accessible.


Edited by slipd, 25 September 2015 - 03:38 PM.


#7 Didier Stevens

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 03:42 PM

You don't need to set a password with EFS. EFS uses an encryption key derived from your logon password (that's one of the elements).

The content of the files is encrypted. Someone who logs on to your computer with another account will not be able to see the content of your files.

 

I suggest you try it. Create a second account and try to open the encrypted files.


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#8 slipd

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 04:07 PM

Someone who logs on to your computer with another account will not be able to see the content of your files.

 

Oh okay.  I'm the only user of my computer and probably won't ever have another user log in to another account so I don't think I need EFS.  Thanks though.



#9 Didier Stevens

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 04:30 PM

Someone who logs on to your computer with another account will not be able to see the content of your files.

 
Oh okay.  I'm the only user of my computer and probably won't ever have another user log in to another account so I don't think I need EFS.  Thanks though.
If you don't have to worry about other persons, then why do you want to use encryption? What is it you want protection from?

Edited by Didier Stevens, 25 September 2015 - 04:33 PM.

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#10 slipd

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 06:44 PM

Encrypting before online backups mostly, but there're always hackers, malware, and anyone else that somehow gains access to my computer like in case my laptop's lost/stolen.  Besides, after a Computer Security class showed me just how easy it is to remotely access unencrypted files on another computer, I'm pretty sold on encryption.


Edited by slipd, 25 September 2015 - 06:49 PM.


#11 RolandJS

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 06:45 PM

...probably protection from theft, a potential thief  having too easy access to the data files...

slipd posted at the same time, my answer was for the nice person just before slipd's recent post  :)


Edited by RolandJS, 25 September 2015 - 06:46 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#12 Didier Stevens

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 03:48 AM

Encrypting before online backups mostly, but there're always hackers, malware, and anyone else that somehow gains access to my computer like in case my laptop's lost/stolen.  Besides, after a Computer Security class showed me just how easy it is to remotely access unencrypted files on another computer, I'm pretty sold on encryption.

 

OK, and that is why you want an encryption system where you need to type a password to read the files but not to write the files?

 

EFS will not help you with online backups: when you upload a file it will be decrypted

EFS will help you with lost/stolen laptop: files are encrypted

EFS can help you with hackers and malware, depending on how they access your machine. If they use your credentials, then they can read the files.


Didier Stevens
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Microsoft MVP 2011-2016 Consumer Security, Windows Insider MVP 2016-2019
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If you send me messages, per Bleeping Computer's Forum policy, I will not engage in a conversation, but try to answer your question in the relevant forum post. If you don't want this, don't send me messages.

 

Stevens' law: "As an online security discussion grows longer, the probability of a reference to BadUSB approaches 1.0"


#13 slipd

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 09:19 AM

Right, while EFS allows easy reading/writing without passwords, I have to compromise too much protection.  Besides, EFS means I have to type in my strong 20-digit encryption password every time I use my computer.

 

So yeah, still no better alternative to Safehouse Explorer.  Would any of you know of any other forums or sites I could ask for encryption software recommendations?






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