Tag Archives: usbcrypt

Test the strength of your password with USBCrypt

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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When using USBCrypt to password protect drives, you have probably wondered, how difficult would it be for someone to just try all possible character combinations and discover the correct password that way? If someone were to write a program to automate the process of simulating the password entry, how fast would it take to discover the correct password?

Well, you may be surprised to learn that there is no need to write a special program for that, because USBCrypt already includes such a command out of the box! It’s easy to try it: just try starting an encrypted drive, as usual, but instead of entering the password, click on the Tools button and select the Recover Password item on the menu:

USBCrypt comes with a command to recover the password by using the brute force

On the next screen, select the character set you want to try. You can select the minimum and maximum length of the passwords to try, and also choose between the lower-case or upper-case characters, digits, special characters, or any combination of them:

The settings for the Recover Password command of USBCrypt

When you press the Start button, USBCrypt starts to try the passwords from the character set you’ve selected, in turn, until it finds one that unlocks the encrypted drive. It displays the progress in a separate window, that also shows the estimated time to complete the enumeration of all possible passwords:

The progress of the Recover Password command of USBCrypt

If you’ve selected a very simple password, it can be discovered rather quickly, and the result is displayed right away:

The successful result of the Recover Password command of USBCrypt

What about the more complex passwords? The time to try them all grows rapidly as the length of the password or its complexity increases. Here are a few numbers, obtained on a computer with a mid-range (as of the time of this writing) Intel i5-650 CPU:

Characters/Maximum lengthUp to 3Up to 5Up to 7
Lowercase30 minutes15 days28 years
Lowercase + Uppercase4 hours1 year35 hundred years
Lowercase + Uppercase + digits7 hours3 years12 thousand years
Lowercase + Uppercase + digits + all special characters1 day 26 years240 thousand years

(You may get different numbers, depending on the CPU your computer has.)

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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As you can see, by choosing a password that’s complex enough, you can protect your secrets with USBCrypt pretty well. On the flip side, take care to remember your password, because if you forget it, it would be practically impossible to recover it (unless you have created a spare key file with USBCrypt, of course.

Happy encrypting!

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Personal vs business license for USBCrypt

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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We offer two kinds of licenses for the continued use of USBCrypt: personal and business.

The personal license is available for purchase at a discount, and it entitles you to use USBCrypt for the home, personal use only. For example, you can use USBCrypt under the personal license to encrypt drives that you use to store your personal files: documents, photos, videos, tax returns, financial records, and so on.

However, if you use USBCrypt to encrypt any files related to your business or employment, you must purchase the business license. For example, if in addition to your personal files you also use your encrypted drives to transport files between your office and home, you must purchase a business license.

The functionality of USBCrypt under the personal or business license is the same, except that when USBCrypt is registered with a business license, it gives you additional choices of the encryption algorithms:

Algorithm available with: USBCrypt personal licenseUSBCrypt business license
AES-128YesYes
AES-256YesYes
Twofish-128 Yes
Twofish-256 Yes
AES-Twofish-512 Yes
XTS modeYesYes
CBC mode Yes

AES-128 stands for Advanced Encryption Standard  with 128-bit key, and AES-256 selects the same AES algorithm but with the 256-bit key.

Encrypt and password-protect files with Encryptability Encrypt and password-protect files with Encryptability encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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Twofish-128 stands for Twofish  algorithm with a 128-bit encryption key, and Twofish-256 means Twofish encryption with a 256-bit key. Finally, the choice of AES-Twofish-512 gives you the cascade encryption  algorithm that is a combination of AES-256 and TF-256 with the effective key length of 512 bit.

The XTS encryption mode  is considered the best choice at the time of this writing. Business customers can also select the CBC mode  which is an older standard that has some deficiencies, but may be required for compliance with some requirements you might have.

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USBCrypt updated to v.10.9

We’ve just released yet another update to our encryption product USBCrypt. This is a maintenance release that includes several fixes and improvements, such as:

  • In some usage scenarios, the Optimize for performance option could cause 100% of the available RAM to be consumed. We have corrected that.
  • When encrypting a drive, the size of the Virtual Encrypted Disk can now be selected using units other than MB.
  • The size of the Virtual Encrypted Disk is now displayed when choosing the Properties command from the taskbar icon right-click menu.

If you are already using a previous version of USBCrypt, you don’t need to remove it: just download and run the new version, and it should update the previous version while keeping your settings and customizations intact.

Happy encrypting!

Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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If you use USBCrypt to protect just one or two drives, it’s easy to keep track of them. However, when the number of the encrypted drives grows, it becomes more difficult to keep them organized. The fact that each physical drive can be represented by two drive letters (one for the host drive and another one for the Virtual Encrypted Disk it contains) does not make it any easier. To help you manage the encrypted drives, USBCrypt offers you the options of assigning names to them. There are several names used by USBCrypt and Windows in different places of their user interfaces. Let us discuss them in detail.

When you encrypt a drive for the first time, USBCrypt asks you to choose two names: the Virtual Encrypted Disk name and the Host Disk name:

Choosing the encrypted drive name

The first name (for the Virtual Encrypted Disk) is used when displaying the windows and menus of USBCrypt. For example, it is shown on the USBCrypt window when starting the encrypted disk:

Starting a Virtual Encrypted Disk

This name is also displayed on the USBCrypt “balloon” notifications:

An Encrypted Disk has been attached

Or, when you right-click on a USBCrypt taskbar icon, you can see the name of Virtual Encrypted Disk on the menu:

The Virtual Encrypted Disk menu

As you can see, by using different names with different Virtual Encrypted Disk, you can make it easier to recognize them in Windows.

What about the second name you are asked to enter when encrypting a drive, the Host Disk name? This name is displayed by Windows as a label next to the host disk:

The Host Disk label

You can change the default name “USBCrypt Host Disk” to something more descriptive. Keep in mind, however, than both the Host Disk and Virtual Encrypted Disk names are NOT encrypted: they can be seen even before you enter the password to start the encrypted drive.

What if later on you’ve decided that other names would describe your encrypted drive better? You can change both the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names by clicking on the Tools button on the Start Virtual Encrypted Disk window:

Changing the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names

If you change the Virtual Encrypted Disk name, it takes effect immediately. However, if you change the Host Disk name, you may need to restart the computer before Windows would recognize the new name.

Besides the Virtual Encrypted Disk and Host Disk names, there is a third name that Windows uses to refer to the Virtual Encrypted Disks you create: it’s the labels it shows next to the Virtual Encrypted Disks in the Explorer windows:

Virtual Encrypted Disk label

Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt Encrypt and password-protect external drives with USBCrypt encryption software for Windows 10,8,7, and XP.

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The default text for the label is “Virtual Encrypted Disk” if you have chosen the NTFS file system for it, or just “ENCRYPTED” if you have formatted it with the FAT file system (because FAT limits the number and kind of characters that can be used in a drive label). USBCrypt itself does not provide a command to change such a label, because Windows itself offers it: you can change the label of an encrypted drive in the same way as of any other drive: by right-clicking on the drive and choosing Properties from the menu:

Changing the Virtual Encrypted Disk label

Enter the desired name there, and the label will change. Unlike the Virtual Encrypted Disk and the Host Disk names we’ve discussed above, the Virtual Encrypted Disk label is encrypted, along with all other data the encrypted disk contains: this label is only displayed by Windows after you’ve entered the correct password to start the encrypted disk.

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USBCrypt 10.8 is out!

We are excited to announce that a new version 10.8 of our encryption software USBCrypt has been just released and is available now!

This version includes many improvements and fixes, such as:

  • An option to select the preferred optimization of the Virtual Encrypted Disks: you can now choose whether to optimize for performance or for quick removal of the encrypted disks.
  • An option to launch the "autorun" process "As Admininstrator" when starting or stopping the encrypted disks.
  • You can now create custom names for the host disks (other than the default USBCrypt Host disk), to make it easier to recognize different disks in the Explorer windows.
  • While the encryption process of a drive is in progress, you can now minimize the USBCrypt window to the taskbar. You may find it handly when encrypting large drives.
  • Also, you can now pause and resume the encryption process, if you need to temporarily allow other programs to use the full CPU power fo your computer.
  • The built-in backup software that comes with Windows 7 or Windows Vista can now recognize the Virtual Encrypted Disks as valid backup destinations for the documents and settings.
  • USBCrypt now warns you if you log off or shut down the computer while a disk is being encrypted.
  • And more! Please give the new USBCrypt a try.