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CryptoForge Encryption Software Encryption and Cryptography
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Encryption Concepts

What is cryptography?
Cryptography is the science of using mathematics to encrypt and decrypt information. Once the information has been encrypted, it can be stored on insecure media or transmitted on an insecure network (like the Internet) so that it cannot be read by anyone except the intended recipient.

What is encryption?
Encryption is the process in which data (plaintext) is translated into something that appears to be random and meaningless (ciphertext). Decryption is the process in which the ciphertext is converted back to plaintext.

What is a cryptographic algorithm?
A cryptographic algorithm, or cipher, is a mathematical function used in the encryption and decryption process. A cryptographic algorithm works in combination with a key (a number, word, or phrase) to encrypt and decrypt data. To encrypt, the algorithm mathematically combines the information to be protected with a supplied key. The result of this combination is the encrypted data. To decrypt, the algorithm performs a calculation combining the encrypted data with a supplied key. The result of this combination is the decrypted data. If either the key or the data is modified, the algorithm produces a different result. The goal of every encryption algorithm is to make it as difficult as possible to decrypt the generated ciphertext without using the key. If a really good encryption algorithm is used, then there is no technique significantly better than methodically trying every possible key. Even for a key size of just 40 bits, this works out to 2ˆ40 (just over 1 trillion) possible keys.

Differences between symmetric and asymmetric algorithms.
Symmetric algorithms encrypt and decrypt with the same key. Main advantages of symmetric algorithms are its security and high speed. Asymmetric algorithms encrypt and decrypt with different keys. Data is encrypted with a public key, and decrypted with a private key. Asymmetric algorithms (also known as public-key algorithms) need at least a 3,000-bit key to achieve the same level of security of a 128-bit symmetric algorithm. Asymmetric algorithms are incredibly slow and it is impractical to use them to encrypt large amounts of data. Symmetric algorithms are about 1,000 times faster than asymmetric ones.


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How secure is CryptoForge?

CryptoForge uses four strong (symmetric) cryptographic algorithms to protect your information:

Blowfish (448-bit key) is a strong and fast algorithm designed by Bruce Schneier, one of the most prestigious cryptographers all over the world.
Rijndael (256-bit key) is a high security algorithm created by Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen (Belgium). Rijndael is the new Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) chosen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Triple DES (168-bit key) is a strong, well-known, U.S. Government algorithm. TripleDES use the DES algorithm three times with three different keys.
Gost (256-bit key) is a cryptographic algorithm from Russia that appears to be the Russian analog to DES. Gost has undergone intensive peer review and is regarded to be secure.

At present, there is no way to break any of these algorithms, unless to try all possible keys. If one billion computers were each searching one billion keys per second, it would take over 10*10ˆ24 years to recover information encrypted with a 168-bit algorithm (the age of the universe is 10*10ˆ9 years). In addition, CryptoForge implements mechanisms against modifications in its code. When executed, it verifies the algorithms with the test vectors provided by their designers.

The four encryption algorithms implemented in CryptoForge are Block Ciphers. This means that they encrypt data in block units, rather than a single bit at a time. The algorithms are used in Cipher Block Chaining mode, where the original data is XORed with the previous ciphertext before encryption. On the first encryption, a random-generated 128-bit Initialization Vector is used as the ciphertext. CBC mode ensures that even if the data contains many identical blocks, they will each encrypt to a different ciphertext block.

When you enter your passphrase into CryptoForge, it is hashed with a Hash algorithm to generate a fingerprint, also known as digest. The one-way Hash function takes variable-length input, in this case your passphrase, and produces a fixed-length output. Also ensures that, if the passphrase is changed -even by just one bit- an entirely different output value is generated. This value is the key actually used by the cipher. That process is repeated using a different Hash function for each encryption algorithm, thus generating four unique keys.

Although CryptoForge allows encryption with more than one algorithm, for most users this might be considered unnecessary, because the level of protection provided by any of the employed algorithms is (at least in the unclassified world), good enough. However, this ensures that even if in the future one of them is attacked, your information will remain protected. Actually, it is surprisingly difficult to determine just how good an encryption algorithm is. If you wish to use more than one encryption algorithm, changing the order in which they are used should add another problem to a hardware-based attack (i.e. an array of special chips trying trillions keys a second).

Secure file deletion is accomplished by writing a pattern of all ones, zeros, and a stream of pseudo-random data, iterating the number of times specified by the user. The name of the file is overwritten as well. The length of the file is then truncated to zero.
CryptoForge Encryption Software
CryptoForge Encryption Software
CryptoForge Encryption Software
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