Lock-in prevention

Discussion related to AES Crypt, the file encryption software for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Java.
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K&S
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:48 pm

Lock-in prevention

Post by K&S » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:05 pm

First of all thank you for such an easy-to-use tool! VERY secure, transparent and convenient tool!

There is one thing that keeps us from using it full-time though (currently only being used for quick one-time only encryption for - say - sending a file over the net and immediately decrypt it at the other end). My question is time related (and I fear a fundamental one, not tied to AES crypt per se):

Say we have encrypted files using the current (or old) AES crypt program and we want to un-encript it 10 years later. In the mean time we (1) do not have the corresponding AES crypt program version (installer) anymore but only a much more recent version.. Or - worse - (2) Packetizer / AES crypt has seized to exist and source code has long been forgotten so no specific program is available to us anymore. But in both cases we do have the password and the encrypted files at hand.

[*] How would one commence to un-encrypt the data after 10 years in those two cases?

Luckily it is open-sourced :D, so chances of forcefully being locked in is covered (which can not be said about many other (encryption) initiatives)!

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paulej
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Location: Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
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Re: Lock-in prevention

Post by paulej » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:54 am

Your question is exactly why the software is open source. When I wrote the software initially, my aim was to make it super simple to use. As a secondary consideration, I wanted it to be open source so that it's subject to inspection and will be guaranteed to be around.

My recommendation is to grab a copy of the binary software and source code. If you use Windows or Mac, grab the Linux source, too. If there is one thing that is pretty much absolutely guaranteed to work, it's the Linux command-line version.

My guess is the Windows code will work 10 years later, too. Microsoft actually has a pretty good track record on things like that. I have some software I wrote 15 years ago that still runs unmodified.

By keeping a copy of the source code, you provide yourself with insurance just in case our web site does disappear. We have no intent on shutting things down, but your concern is certainly understandable.

K&S
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:48 pm

Re: Lock-in prevention

Post by K&S » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:04 pm

Thanks for your very elaborate answer!

In the mean time we did exactly that. We figured that open-sourcing is indeed probably the best future-proofing one can ask for (without actively paying/contracting maintenance). Also it is probably the most transparent (by definition).

Thanks again for your advice and tool!

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