The Vault - File Encryption

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by softtouch, Jun 4, 2009.

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  1. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Want to hide your files? Then The Vault is the right program for you. The Vault can import and hide ANY file. Hidden files are additionally encrypted.

    Feature summary:
    You can create multiple vaults.
    You can add unlimited files to any vault.
    Individual files can be deleted from any vault.
    You can delete each vault, including all files inside the vault.
    Files from any vault can be decrypted and extracted to disk.

    Available Cipher:
    Blowfish, Cast128, Cast256, Des, 3Des, Ice, Thinice, Ice2, Idea, Mars, Misty1, RC2, RC4, RC5, RC6, Rijndael, Serpent, Tea, Twofish

    Available Hash:
    Haval, MD4, MD5, Ripemd128, Ripemd160, Sha1, Sha256, Sha384, Sha512, Tiger

    The Vault is under development, so please report any bug back to me.

    Note: The Vault will not modify your original documents in any way. It uses a copy of your documents to prevent any harm during the development state of The Vault.

    If you have used The Vault prior to version 1.0.0.6, please extract all files of your current vault to disk, and delete all vault you have created.
    After you have done this, install the new version of The Vault, create a new vault, and add the prior extracted files to the new vault.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  2. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Softtouch -

    Are you familiar with TrueCrypt? I use it (TrueCrypt) and am very happy with it - just wondering if Vault has any features lacking in True Crypt.
     
  3. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    I don't know true crypt.

    The Vault is not just encrypting data. It also hide the data and makes it impossible to transfer the data or open the data from another pc.

    Even when you don't use a password, and somebody would be able to find the data, he would be unable to open the files on another pc, with The Vault installed.

    Development of The Vault started just 2 days ago, so its in a very early state of development, and more features will be added over time.
    I published it, hoping that people would comment on it, suggest features and report bugs.
     
  4. sfi

    sfi Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Well, The Vault may work well...

    I'm still a TC user, and it has worked well for me. Do you know what encryption algorithm it uses? That is one of the most important elements, along with how it is implemented in the "vault". The encryption scheme may be just a fake one with many backdoors; a big no-no for storing confidential information. How fast does the encryption/storing of the files take? 1 second, or 5 minutes? TC can open any file, not just limited to a few. How does "the vault" work? Is it something to do with the Alt. NTFS streams?

    Yeah... I go though a lot before a trust anything to an encryption program. But, if you just want to hide a few harmless files, this may be for you.
     
  5. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    The Vault can use any of the integrated 19 cipher and 10 jashes.

    The encryption speed is about 60mb/s (a 700MB file take here 12.3s), using blowfish as the cipher and sha512 as the hash.

    The Vault use Alternate data Streams to store the encrypted data.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  6. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Which means it should not be used for anything other than testing.

    Is the Vault open-source and open for peer review of the code? If not, it should never be trusted.

    And Truecrypt can also do stenography as well. You can even have an entire OS hidden inside a "decoy" OS.
     
  7. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    I'll stick with TrueCrypt - works beautifully. It also hides data. An intruder will only see a .tc file on my hard drive - would be unable to know which files or folders are in it, and would of course be unable to open individual files.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  8. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Why you people always compare it with truecrypt?
    The Vault is just one more program which encrypt data, that's it.
    I did not say that it is better than any other in this category, not did I say anything about truecrypt.

    Most programs like this (I did not say all) are not available as source code, because it would be too easy to understand how it works and find ways to decrypt the data. This would be like encrypting something and posting the key for it...

    If you don't like it, ok, nobody is forced to use it...
     
  9. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Softtouch -

    I didn't mean to irritate you - my wife tells me I have a habit of doing that:D .
    I was just engaging in some conversation and comparison. I think that TrueCrypt sets a very high standard and it is broadly used - but I am always open to hearing about new products and filing away information for future reference.

    Thanks for the info.

    Len
     
  10. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files


    Flat out wrong. The majority of ciphers used in typical consumer grade encryption are open for peer review and most of them have been through thorough cryptanalysis. You can freely download the Rijndael cipher (it's the industry standard) and review it yourself. Modern encryption ciphers are not hard to create but are extremely hard to break. Knowing how the cipher works gives no advantage whatsoever to an attacker. The ciphers are hard to break because of certain intractable problems in mathematics (namely the factorization of large prime numbers). Knowing what the problem is doesn't make it easy to break.

    As for software, much like encryption ciphers, open source code actually is MORE secure than closed source because any programmer who wants to can review the code to find bugs, security vulns, or other errors. Windows is closed-source, but that doesn't seem to protect it from vulns, does it?
     
  11. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    I did not mean the source of the encryption, of course all the encryption used are free available. I meant the code of the program itself, which would expose internal keys which are used together with the encryption. Knowing such keys, and how such keys are created at runtime, would allow for everybody to create decrypter, which would make the whole thing useless...

    My programs are freeware, not open source, not shareware. People can use them or not, its up to them.

    And, The Vault does NOT modify the original data, it creates a copy which will be encrypted, which mean, if the user does not delete his original files, nothing WILL happen with them. The Vault is in a very early stage of development, and of course it will have bugs, but as I said, it does not destroy or modify any original files.

    No reason to make it bad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  12. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Then how does Truecrypt get away with being open-source? How about dm-crypt/LUKS? These are the two options most widely used (Truecrypt on Windows, dm-crypt/LUKS on Linux) and they are both completely open source.
     
  13. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    As I said, if you don't like it, don't use it, simple as that.

    This thread is not about truecrypt or other software, its about The Vault, and nothing else.

    If you are such a truecrypt fan, then open your own thread and discuss it there.

    As I opened this thread, I expected more reply regarding features which should be added, bug reports etc., not a comparison with other products.
    How do you think truecrypt looked after 2 days of development?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  14. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    softtouch: I've read thru the posts here so far and had a couple of comments. :)

    First, I feel you should make it more clear that The Vault is in beta development, and is not a final version. If you had never made the 2 day comment, readers would have thought it is a mature product, which if its only been publicly available for 2 days, it is not.

    Second, the reason TrueCrypt is being brought up is because it sets the bar for apps similar to yours to be compared to. I understand you wanting to keep discussions focused on your program. But you should be aware that most readers here use and like TrueCrypt. Even if it's not mentioned in this thread, the comparisons are going on. Maybe better for those comparisons to be aired here for all to see, consider and discuss? I can't help but think all this would benefit the development of your new app.

    Anyway, best of luck with The Vault!
     
  15. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    when i get time i look forward to trying it out looks most promising :thumb:
     
  16. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Thanks.

    Some information:
    - It is compressed with pecompact2 to keep it smaller
    - It is digitally signed by me
    - VT report 2/40 (where the 2 are FP by eSafe and Quickheal)
    - I guarantee it does NOT touch any files it should not
    - It does not modify the original files, it use a copy of them
    - I guarantee it is malware and ad free
    - It is in a VERY early state of development and might have bugs
    - It does not install any driver
    - It installs some vorbis dll's into <username>\AppData\TheVault in order to play ogg audio right out of The Vault
    - It runs only when the drive is NTFS

    Anyway, it seems that most people do not like it, so I might just ditch it.
     
  17. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Don't do that. This project shows promise. I have had time to evaluate it now and can present my thoughts to you. First off, great job on the software in general. It's not often software progresses as rapidly as this; I tested a version a couple of days ago (and left the lone rating) and it did not have the features of the current version.



    1. I don't like the GUI; the blue oversized button thing has been done to death
    2. A major limitation to this will be that it cannot be used of FAT32 drives, which excludes it from being used on flash drives. If there is a way to change that I'd do so.
    3. I have used a program called TCExplorer, which created a way to use TrueCrypt containers without using the actual TrueCrypt program. This was useful for flash drives, or drives where the user did not have admin rights. TCExplorer was able to run any application (provided the system had an app for it, by extracting the file to a temporary location and then running it with the default application. Could this be made to act similarly? I ask because it seems that The Vault is limiting itself by the use of internal viewing; files cannot be used unless they are first extracted, making it difficult for things such as Office files. You need to determine if the Vault is intended for storage or daily use. I for one hope you chose the latter.
    4. The previous comment leads to the requirement of secure erasing of the temporary directory that is used.
    5. The ability to save changes to files that are "in the vault" is very important. This currently cannot be done; files can only be viewed.

    Make this application portable. The ability to run off of portable drives is very important, and is something that not even the mighty TrueCrypt can do without a little help. Make this more than just storage encryption.
     
  18. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Thank you very much for your list. This helps me a lot! This is what I needed, constructive critics.


    Yes, you are right... I will change the gui.

    Hm... maybe a separate version for FAT32 drives. The current is completely dependent of NTFS...

    The Vault can run any file. Files which cannot be displayed with internal viewers, will use the default applications based on the file extension.
    It use a temp file for that, which will be deleted.

    At the moment, the temp file will be just deleted.
    I will modify the code so that the temp file will be overwritten first.

    Yes, I added it to my (long) list of changes.
    It might be the first I will do.

    The Vault is portable, it can be copied to a fat32 drive, no problem with that.
    But, it cannot create a vault on a FAT32 drive. The users data folder must be on a NTFS formatted drive.
    The vault files are created in (Vista example) x:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\The Vault (hidden by default)
     
  19. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    That is what I mean. The actual exe file is portable, you're right, but the actual encrypted data is not since it relies on the above directory. Perhaps add the ability to chose the directory, or add the directory to the root; where the exe is. That'll allow The Vault to be truly portable (and usable on flash drives.

    Also, there is one thing that always bugged me about TCExplorer (which is sadly no longer developed), and that is the ability to specify programs to open files with; using non default applications. I carry a portable version of OpenOffice with me on my flash drive but I could never use it because all the documents files would open in the default system application (MS Office), which meant I could never take advantage of having OpenOffice.

    Just food for thought...
     
  20. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    That's a good idea with assigning applications to different extensions.

    Currently, The Vault can execute any file/program, and can save modified files back into the vault. It will run the file (with the default viewer), wait until the default viewer exit, and if the file was modified, it will be updated in the vault. That is working already so far and eliminate one issue on the list...

    To have the data file portable, I have to change the whole thing to FAT32, and that's not a simple task, because all is based on NTFS, alternate data streams and so on, which are of course not available with FAT32... for this, I will just create something like a "single file system".

    Note that the current version (V1.0.0.4) might be incompatible to versions prior V1.0.0.4 (that's not the case here, but just to inform user...)
     
  21. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Really? I get an error after I try to open an MS Office document from inside The Vault saying that the file cannot be found.
     
  22. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    Hm... thats weird. Everything I tried worked fine, but I did not try any office doc... will check that in a moment.

    Edit: Should be fixed. Was related to long filenames. I just tested it with some winword docs and it worked ok.

    Note: On the option screen, you see a list where you can add extensions and assign executable to them.
    I tested it by using photoshop for jpg images and it seem to work as it should.

    Current uploaded version is V1.0.0.5
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  23. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    This is really starting to look very promising now. I hope the rest of you will try this out. It says a lot when user input is valued so highly to when new builds with new features are released so quickly.

    I will say that, in my opinion, emphasis now should be place on making this truly portable, so that it can be used on removable drives. That is where I believe you will find you niche, because The Vault is driverless. Secure Deleting of temp files/directories goes along with TV being portable.

    So far so good. I will thoroughly test the latest version and report back.
     
  24. softtouch

    softtouch Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files


    VERY IMPORTANT!

    The Vault System has changed to use now any filesystem. It no longer depends on NTFS.

    The Vault's data are now in the application folder (folder Vault Base), which can be copied together with the exe to a flash drive, for example.

    Files from versions prior to 1.0.0.6 are NOT compatible.
    Before using the new version, you need to extract all files you have in your current vault and add them in the new version in order to use them.

    To cleanup the vault base from versions prior to 1.0.0.6, please go to your account name folder (Vista: x:\users\<user name>\appdata\roaming) and delete the folder "The Vault" (hidden folder!).

    Also note that the current V1.0.0.6 version has not yet been fully tested.

    It might be slightly slower, because of the different file handling now... but it should be minimal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  25. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Re: The Vault - Hide your Files

    This version is very good. I like it a lot. It is amazing how fast you are able to release new version while still implementing new features. As always, they are thing I would change about it though.

    • The option to "Show Success Message..." seems to be being ignored; I get the message every time.
    • Add drag-and-drop support
    • Add the ability for separate vault passwords
    • Change the gui to something that is sleeker; possible using blacks and grays
    • Possible context menu extensions
    • Implementation of auto secure erasing of temporary files and/or directories when the vault closes, possibly using SDelete, Eraser, or a built-in method. That would require a command line pointing to the third part application
    • The ability to run that secure erase method on-demand. Is should not matter is the file is open or not as it will be in RAM at that time anyway.
    • Integrate the two generated ini files into the exe to prevent tampering or idiotic moves by someone who thinks they know what they are doing
    • Reduce the number of offered encryption algorithms, focusing on ones that are the most secure and the most popular (such as AES, twocrypt, blowfish, etc.) Implement only what you feel has a good chance of actually being used
    • Encryption verification
    • The option for the vault(s) to auto-close if there are no files in use after X time. This is just a safety preference

    That's all I can think of so now. If these can be implemented I see no reason why this shouldn't be used by everyone, especially those with portable drives.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
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