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Request features

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Last seen: 16 years 1 month ago
Joined: 2007-10-23 16:17
Request features

First of all let me thank you for a great tool that you have created. I have started using it and have noticed a couple of features that may be useful.

Foremost I would like to see a password verification on decryption. This would be needed since I inadvertently ran into a scenario that can cause issues. After having done a few hours of work and around 2am I wanted to test the encryption, so I came up with a password and encrypted my work. Surfed the net for a few minutes and then tried to decrypt the files which only produced garbage files to my dismay. Next I encrypted a few files and decrypted them again and of course it worked just fine.

To test and see what I had done wrong I encrypted the same files again and tried decrypting them again with a wrong password. Well the program accepted the wrong password and in effect ended up double encrypting the files.

Now there are 2 circumstances that this can cause issues for a user, one that they have forgotten their password and try from a set of passwords that they might have tried. However after the first try the correct password will not produce a desired result any more. The second circumstance is even worse where a malicious user attempts at guessing the password a few times would fail and give up, however the users files are now completely irretrievable.

The second thing that I would like to see would be a finer control over the folders and extensions that get encrypted, just like the backup and sync methods.

Once more thanks for your great tool.



Last seen: 15 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2007-10-16 22:59
I can relate...

Been there so I stopped using it until it'll be resolved...

Steve Lamerton
Steve Lamerton's picture
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-10 15:22

the main problem with storing the passwords that you use is the portable nature of Toucan. Say for example that I have two PC's both with a file in the My Documents folder called RevisionNotes.txt and I encrypt both of them with Toucan but using different passwords, how does Toucan know how to store the password as the two files have the same path? If it were to store the computer name for example, then what about files on your USB stick, it would be the right file but the computer name would be different. In short I can see no easy way of doing this, however one of the new features that I am looking at for 2.0 would be to keeps a list of previously used passwords (in hashed form) so at least the program could warn you if you had never used that password before, although it wouldn't know which password you had used, if you see what I mean.

As for double encrypting files this can't happen any longer in 1.2 (which should be released tonight) as it appends a file extension.

As for finer control of Secure, that is also coming in 2.0 with the new interface.

Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2007-08-27 13:35
Some encryption schemes

Some encryption schemes store a checksum or hash somewhere in the encrypted file, so they can check either the password or the result of the decryption. That way they can assure you that the file has been decrypted accurately. Problem is, it gives someone trying to hack into your file an easy way to know when they have succeeded. If you don't let them know (from the filename and extension) what kind of file it is, and don't store a checksum, they'd have to spend a bit of time after each password guess trying to figure out whether the file got decrypted to good data (meaning the password was correct) or to garbage (or doubly encrypted).

It's not so easy to tell a jpg file from an excel spreadsheet without using a hex editor or something, and that just makes the brute force attempt take that much longer. I think the word is "infeasible".

Storing a list of hashed passwords could similarly make the task a bit easier, since a brute force attempt would simply try against the hash list until it found one, then try it on the encrypted file. It wouldn't be trivial, but it might be just enough easier as to be "feasible". If the task can be automated, it might be possible to do the brute force against the list in a reasonable time, or to luck into the correct password and know immediately. Sometimes the programmer increases the time required by running many iterations of the hashing function when creating the hash list.

It's the balance between convenience and protection. If you are keeping your files from honest or busy people, then having the checksum or hash available may be a reasonable relaxation of security. Your data isn't any good to you if you can't access it.

If someone has physical access to your drive, there's not a huge amount you can do to prevent them from encrypting your files -- or reformatting your drive, for that matter. They could even bring their own encryption program to do it. Sometimes losing access to your data is worse than someone else having access to it. Adding a unique extension or copying the encrypted file to a recycle bin before a decryption attempt might be ways to help the real owner avoid doing it by accident with Toucan, without increasing the risk too much.

Keeping a non-encrypted backup version at home would be a reasonable precaution, of course.


Last seen: 15 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2007-10-19 12:52
I personally use encryption

I personally use encryption to keep some sensitive data from my brother who has access to my PC. Of course he's an adult, and I have a partition only for myself which he doesn't access.

The thing is, encrypting a file is an extra tip for him - or anyone else to stay away. It's like a locker with the key on it, but closed. It is supposed to be closed; you can just turn the key and open it, but maybe you just won't do it considering you know the owner of the locker.

Where I live, we have a storage room with many lockers that are, for the most, just wide open. Yet, we have a couple or more that have the key on them, and closed. I won't open my brother's locker when it is secured, although it would just take a key turn to do so.

In my partition I have some pics of my gf naked; he won't go through all the trouble to find them and then see them one by one given we have TV at home - stupid effort for a small reward. Yet, if he's looking for something else, in the endless open/verify/close he could just bump with one of them, and it would be certainly embarrassing for him.

Having a really simple encryption would be most welcome.

For more sophysticated, anti-hacker encryption utility, then make a better/different utility... but, by definition, a portable utility should be easier, simplier and usable. Even if the pws are stored in a hidden file ^_^


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