[ISN] Data Fellows to Announce Very Strong Crypto Program

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sat May 30 1998 - 11:57:44 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Kjell Wooding <kwoodingat_private>
    Data Fellows to Announce Very Strong Crypto Program
    SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1998 MAY 29 (Newsbytes) -- By Craig
    Menefee, Newsbytes. Computer security firm Data Fellows plans to
    announce Monday a very strong encryption utility with centralized
    administration for both desktop and laptop PCs running Windows
    95/98/NT, Newsbytes learned.  Among other features, the F-Secure
    FileCrypto program will allow key recovery in either of two very
    secure encryption modes.
    A file-oriented utility, F-Secure FileCrypto will use on-the-fly,
    transparent encryption to protect all or designated parts of a Windows
    file tree. Users have a choice of Triple-DES or the 256-bit-key
    Blowfish algorithm that some cryptographers have called one of the
    best systems now available.
    While Blowfish uses true 256-bit keys, Triple-DES passes data through
    the same US Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm three times using
    a 56-bit key. For arcane cryptographic reasons the total effective key
    length what mathematicians describe as a minimum of 112 bits, rather
    than the 168 bits as one might expect.
    "The important thing to remember is that both systems have been around
    for a long time," said Petri Laakkonen, president of the Helsinki
    firm's North America operation in Silicon Valley. "They have both been
    well scrutinized and these implementations are very secure."
    FileCrypto uses a very random key kernel based, among other things, on
    mouse movements made by the user during setup. According to Laakkonen,
    the result has a degree of randomness close to that of keys generated
    by noisy diodes or true random number tables. This kernel is used to
    generate individual keys for each file encrypted, so in a worst case
    scenario where the key is grabbed electronically in some manner, it
    will work only on a single file.
    The random key kernel is kept in a separate file that can be stored on
    a floppy disk. If the kernel is lost or destroyed, the key recovery
    utility can be used to generate it, so for example laptops will not be
    in danger of data loss. Laakkonen says Data Fellows is working on
    smart card key storage as well.
    Unless the user takes extra steps, all data stored on the hard drive
    -- including working temporary files -- are encrypted. As a result,
    neither loss of battery power on a laptop nor a power outage in the
    office will leave unencrypted data on the drive.
    In use, the program interfaces through Windows Explorer. There, users
    choose which directory trees or individual files to exempt from
    encryption. However, Laakkonen told Newsbytes, the data manipulation
    is done using low-level drivers and so is too fast for the overhead to
    be noticed.
    The program will be available the first week of July, said Laakkonen,
    starting at $99 for a single license and dropping sharply for multiple
    orders. The firm maintains a site on the World Wide Web at
    http://www.DataFellows.com .
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