Quest for Portable Encryption Software

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by paulsiu, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. paulsiu

    paulsiu Registered Member

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    Hi,

    Recently, I have been trying to setup a portable software USB pack. However, one thing I wanted to do is to setup a USB partition, so if someone stole my USB key, they won't get the data on it.

    I have tried TrueCrypt, but encountered a problem where it does not work with admin permission. There is a TC Explorer that I can use to extract files from the container, but apparently it hasn't been updated in a while and doesn't work with the newer containers.

    I thought a product call Rohn Minidisk would work without admin, but it turns out to have exactly the same limitation. They also use a TC explorer type to import and extract files from the container. Perhaps there is no way to do this without admin mode since it involves a driver.

    Hardware encryption would probably work, but I am looking to install it on a tiny USB key like a Super Talent Pico-C. The hardware encryption keys are just too large.

    Just wondering if you folks know of any alternatives for me. Keep in mind, a pay for solution is just fine, too as long as it's affordable.

    Paul
     
  2. paulsiu

    paulsiu Registered Member

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    After a bit of research, I concluded that a encryption software that doesn't require admin permission is probably impossible. The chief reason is that software that generate a virtual disk like TrueCrypt will need admin permission to install the virtual device driver. Software like Rohn use a file browser that allow you to import and export files from the encrypted container, so you must decrypt an item to your drive.

    Unless someone is clever, you are stuck with the following options:

    1. Get a USB drive with a hardware encryption. Hardware encryption like IronKey does not require admin permission. On the downside, the drives are expensive and none of the drive seems to have Pico-C size.

    2. Use only on machine with admin permissions and use a file explorer that some utility like Rohn MiniDisk ship with to export/import files from the encrypted container when you do not have admin. The danger is that an decrypted copy of the file will be on drive, so if someone steals the drive they will get to the file you are working on.

    3. Store your files in PKZip or 7Zip and extract files you want to work on and then import the files back. This will have the same danger as the last option.
     
  3. tonyseeking

    tonyseeking Former Poster

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    Thanks Paul for the feedback ;)
     
  4. murlay

    murlay Registered Member

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  5. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    AxCrypt is another option. You can create self extracting exe's.
     
  6. tonyseeking

    tonyseeking Former Poster

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    Bit key supported?
     
  7. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    It's On The Fly Encryption (decrypts as it's called upon) that needs admin rights. These other solutions, like AxCrypt are good. Just remember at some point you will have to deal with a file that was decrypted to plain text and that file must then be securely wiped.
     
  8. tonyseeking

    tonyseeking Former Poster

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    I am now using Winrar encryption.
     
  9. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Which is the same as with AxCrypt, it leaves a copy in plain text that must be dealt with securely. This is the problem for all encryption products that are not decrypting on-the-fly (which would require admin rights).

    fixed typos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  10. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    I use a disk encryption program that claim to be portable. It's called Rohos Disk. They claim that it can also be used on portable drive without the need for admin rights. How effectively it's implemented is, I guess, up for debate.
     
  11. tonyseeking

    tonyseeking Former Poster

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    I use Eraser 35 wipes to remove the file.
     
  12. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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  13. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    You might want to consider using TrueCrypt in conjunction with TCExplorer. It will allow you to use TC files on portable drives.
     
  14. Squeller

    Squeller Registered Member

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    TCExplorer handles FAT(32) only, correct? I asked the Author of the file system part once, about implementing NTFS, he wanted to, but it seems like the project has stopped--
     
  15. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    Just read this for instructions on how to set up truecrypt on a portable drive, this is what I did, and it works great!

    http://glosoli.blogspot.com/2005/09/encrypted-thumb-drive-and-autoplay.html

    And yes I'm using NTFS for the container format and its fast

    Agree this one is good to! But "The limit of encrypted partition size is 1 GB" for free users!


    .............................................................................................
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  16. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Hi Warlockz,

    The OP's problem is admin rights. TrueCrypt requires admin rights to use even the portable version. Or, at least for the TrueCrypt driver to be on the computer, which of course would require admin rights to do.

    edit to include TrueCrypt problem with admin rights from truecrypt.org:

    Using TrueCrypt Without Administrator Privileges
    In Windows, a user who does not have administrator privileges can use TrueCrypt, but only after a system administrator installs TrueCrypt on the system. The reason for that is that TrueCrypt needs a device driver to provide transparent on-the-fly encryption/decryption, and users without administrator privileges cannot install/start device drivers in Windows.

    After a system administrator installs TrueCrypt on the system, users without administrator privileges will be able to run TrueCrypt, mount/dismount any type of TrueCrypt volume, load/save data from/to it, and create file-hosted TrueCrypt volumes on the system. However, users without administrator privileges cannot encrypt/format partitions, cannot create NTFS volumes, cannot install/uninstall TrueCrypt, cannot change passwords/keyfiles for TrueCrypt partitions/devices, cannot backup/restore headers of TrueCrypt partitions/devices, and they cannot run TrueCrypt in 'traveler' mode.
    http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/?s=administrator-privileges
     
  17. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    I guess his best option would be Rohos Mini Drive then!

    But if he wants more than a 1g he will have to buy the software~!

    Ill look around I think I have a bookmark somewhere that leads to other portable Encryption software?
     
  18. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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