PGP Desktop

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by tobacco, May 9, 2010.

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  1. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Info - http://www.pgp.com/products/packages/desktop_pro/index.html

    Not much about this program in the search area and since i've been messin with it the past few days, thought i would give a few thoughts on it.

    First of all, the full version isn't cheap but during install, it can be set to use in the "free mode". At first it appeared very restrictive in the free version but the more i used it, the more i appreciated it and what can still be done with this freebie :thumb:

    Okay, so "no" mountable virtual discs or full disk/partition encryption and the outgoing mail proxy is disabled. But you can still do this for free:

    - pgp encrypted zip archives (encrypted with your private key and/or paraphrase)
    - self decrypting zip archives
    - file and folder shredder
    - free space wiper (choice of several passes)
    - email encryption and decryption

    the email proxy still scans incoming mail for encrypted email to decrypt but with the outgoing proxy disabled, email has to be encrypted through the tray icon by selecting the option of "current window" or "clipboard".

    All in all, an excellent freebie :thumb:
     

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  2. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Tobacco, I use the “Enterprise Complete Edition” of PGP Desktop (not inexpensive) -- primarily the PGP NetShare and PGP Virtual Disk components -- and am very pleased with the product. Very solid and robust.
     
  3. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Pleonasm

    Don't think NetShare can be used in the free version but could you help me understand how exactly it works in simple terms?

    Thanks!
     
  4. stap0510

    stap0510 Registered Member

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    Can you use batch-scripts with PGP Desktop, like you can with Truecrypt?
    And by batch-script I mean something that you can do from Windows' command shell including parameters.
     
  5. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Correct -- PGP NetShare is not a free product. The primary function of PGP NetShare to encrypt specific folders: all files placed in that folder are automatically encrypted, and all applications that access those files automatically see them in a decrypted state (assuming that your PGP passphrase is cached).
     
  6. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    I do not believe this is supported with PGP Desktop -- doing so requires the use of a related product: PGP Command Line.
     
  7. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Thanks - that's different than what i expected. I thought it was a way to share files amongst other pgp users you've given preapproved access to - something like hamachi.
     
  8. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    To clarify, PGP NetShare can also be used to share files within the encrypted folder among a number of PGP users if the shared folder is accessible to each user (e.g., stored on a corporate file server).
     
  9. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Ok - sounds more of a business feature than a hamachi type example. Thanks again.
     
  10. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Can this product be cracked? Is it as safe as TrueCrypt?
     
  11. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    As far as i know, it's just as safe.

    Is anyone here using PGP Desktop to encrypt emailo_O With GPG4win, encrypted emails seem to remain encrypted all the time in both your email client and on the server - say sitting in gmail. And only decrypt when your passphrase is loading in the cache. If you clear the cache, they are encrypted again which i like.

    With PGP Desktop, it appears when an encrypted email is decrypted in your email client, it always remains decrypted - i don't like this.

    Could anyone verify this??

    Thank You
     
  12. Chuck57

    Chuck57 Registered Member

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    To my thinking, PGP is the gold standard. I'd add GPG to that since I *think* it's basically an open source version of PGP, maybe an older version but just as secure.

    If given a choice between PGP and Truecrypt, and money wasn't a consideration, I'd choose PGP. Naturally, others will have different opinions.

    So far as I'm aware, PGP has never been broken. I assume a strong password is always used - at least 15 or more digits, mixing numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols.
     
  13. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    PGP was first -- it was developed in the early 90's by Phil Zimmerman (who was later harassed by the Feds and even arrested at one point). At any rate, the original PGP was commercial so the open-source crowd (the GNU project) developed their own clone and called it GPG (GnuPG). Eventually a standard was agreed upon, which is known as the Open-PGP standard and is what all e-mail encryption programs that wish to be compatible with PGP are supposed to use (RFC4880).

    So, there isn't much difference in the official commercial PGP and the open-source clones -- they all follow the same set of standards. I think one difference is the commercial PGP uses a few different ciphers than the Open-PGP clones do (because some of the ciphers require licenses). Other than that, the only difference is that the commercial PGP offers a few more features like whole disk encryption, which can be achieved for free without PGP.


    Well, PGP is just the framework. The real meat of it is the encryption ciphers and the hash functions. None of them have ever been broken (AES, Triple-DES, CAST5, Twofish, etc.). The cipher suite is always being revised as new breakthroughs occur. So far none have ever been broken, or even really been close to being broken.
     
  14. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Hey You Guys

    You forgot this!! :D
     
  15. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    I agree. The pedigree and prestige of the brand has been well earned over the years.

    Note that the source code for PGP Desktop is available for download from PGP (see PGP Assurance To Prospective Customers).
     
  16. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    Right. But will Symantec keep it open? That's the problem. I will stick with GnuPG created by the GNU Project who's entire mission statement is the perpetuation of FOSS.
     
  17. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Okay - you left me no choice but to "think"! :D

    Since PGP Desktop sits between your email client and email servers, any decrypted email handed to the email client and will always remain decrypted.

    So i think i'm moving back to GPG4win and Enigmail.

    I might keep PGP for the file/folder encryption as "Kleopatra" seems still buggy in that regard.

    Also, has anyone tested out PGP's "file and folder shredder" with good "undelete/file recovery tools"??
     
  18. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Only time will tell for sure, of course. However, the integrity and strength of the PGP culture suggests that it will survive (maybe even thrive?) after the Symantec acquisition. Consider, for example, this comment by Phil Zimmermann: “If NAI {Network Associates} tried to put a back door in PGP, all the engineers on the PGP team would quit in a highly visible protest, and I would be talking to the press about it” (see here).
     
  19. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    One approach to addressing this concern is to encrypt the folder that contains your email storage (e.g., a .PST/.OST file for Outlook) using PGP NetShare. Personally, this is what I do on my own workstation.

    Personally, I prefer R-Wipe&Clean and so have not used these PGP capabilities. I don’t know if this is still true, but some users have reported that when PGP wipes a shortcut it not only wipes the .LNK file itself but also the target to which the shortcut points.
     
  20. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Nice approach there Pleonasm:thumb:
     
  21. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    I cannot find where I can download this from? Link please?
     
  22. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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  23. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    I used to have an earlier free version of PGP Desktop, i believe it was v8.? They stated it deleted File Slack space "and" Cluster tips.

    The ONLY reason i installed it was to delete the Cluster tips. Some time later i found out that it does NOT work as advertised :thumbd: I can't remember the info/link that alerted me to this, but it was from a reliable source.

    The actual Free Space Wiper was/is strangely located in PGP Mail.

    pgp-m.gif

    w1.gif

    wfs.gif

    Interestingly i see it still mentions the wiping of Cluster tips in the latest version, but doesn't call them that ? I havn't installed any versions since 8.? so i can't confirm if they fixed the problem. If anyone can confirm/deny i'd be interested to hear about it :)
     
  24. TheMozart

    TheMozart Former Poster

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    I use Eraser v 5.8.7 for that, it does Cluster tips.
     
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