Looking for cracking uncrackable encryption, at a premium price? Step this way…
A dongle may sound like it belongs on Wimbledon (or possibly Clapham) common, but long-serving PCA readers will know them to be chunks of hardware that plug into your computer, and normally provide an element of hardware-based security. Despite their mobility, they’re not always the best safety measure as they can be stolen, or indeed faked (see http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/Dongles.htm for more information on this.)
DESlock+ consists of a suite of encryption software, and two dongles (one of which is intended as a back-up.) The software is used to encrypt your files, whilst the dongles are used to store encryption keys that allow access to the files as long as the keys are plugged in, and the correct password is entered.
The first thing to note is that the package doesn’t lock down your entire computer, unless you tell it to; it only encrypts designated files, and by the encryption method you choose (though it doesn’t support folder encryption for Windows 2000!) The second note is, while these encryption methods are reliable in themselves, there is an encryption file system built into Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000 Pro, and Windows Server. Though this system can be broken, it’s available for nothing and is very simple to use and set-up, unlike DESlock+, which seems deliberately obtuse at times. Indeed, we found that System Restore in Windows XP can break DESlock+ if there’s a restore point established before the driver installation; and as DESlock+ recommends you to back-up your files before encrypting them….
That said at this price, it’s pretty much academic. These dongles are easy enough to use once you’ve read the manual, secure enough to deter any but a hostile user (and even they’ll need access to the dongle to crack anything), and if you’re willing to pay £120 for an encryption program and two USB sticks, then you probably deserve to own these.
+ Handy backup key
+ Good for novice users and hackers
– Possibly crackable, though unlikely.
– The price /isn’t/ right
//Made by// Data Encryption Systems
//Buy It// www.deslock.com
//Price// 117.49 inc VAT
Microsoft Windows 98, 64MB of hard-disk space, USB1.1, Internet Explorer 4, Pentium 300MHz, 128MB of RAM
Athlon XP 2100, 512Mb RAM, 160Gb HDD, Windows XP Professional