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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

PowerKey
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How secure is PowerKey? Where is my password stored? Is there some possibility that a hacker will be able to break the password for my file(s)?

You may not fear as long as you choose an appropriate password for your sensitive file(s). After you enter the password it's hashed two times (hash algorithm used: HAVAL-256) and then the resulting 256-bits value is encrypted by the cipher you have chosen with your password. So, breaking the password by performing a bruteforce attack (even if it's DES) will consume a huge period of time. Consequently, you don't have to worry about the security of your data.

Is it possible to restore files after they have been wiped by PowerKey? What number of passes is optimal for usage?

PowerKey's Wipe Wizard works due to established standards (RFC). Restoring original data after it has been wiped is impossible. Usually number of passes can be set to 5 as it provides high speed and reliability. However if large files are wiped (>500Mb) it is better to set number of passes to >5, only note that it may require certain time to process such big file(s).

Can I encrypt, decrypt, wipe files at the same time?

Yes, you can. PowerKey is a multi-tasking program, that means you can start PowerKey, select desired files and perform encryption, decryption, wiping at the same time.

What is Process Priority?

PowerKey allows you to establish the priority of the process. Mainly this feature was designed to give the user an opportunity to perform a faster wipe/encryption of data by selecting higher priority. However one can also decrease the process priority if there are some other programs launched to speed up their work. You can choose any of the following priority classes:

REALTIME PRIORITY - Specify this class for a process that has the highest possible priority. The threads of the process preempt the threads of all other processes, including operating system processes performing important tasks. For example, a real-time process that executes for more than a very brief interval can cause disk caches not to flush or cause the mouse to be unresponsive.

HIGH PRIORITY - Specify this class for a process that performs time-critical tasks that must be executed immediately. The threads of the process preempt the threads of normal or idle priority class processes. An example is Windows Task List, which must respond quickly when called by the user, regardless of the load on the operating system. Use extreme care when using the high-priority class, because a high-priority class application can use nearly all available CPU time.

NORMAL PRIORITY - Specify this class for a process with no special scheduling needs.

IDLE PRIORITY - Specify this class for a process which threads run only when the system is idle. The threads of the process are preempted by the threads of any process running in a higher priority class. An example is a screen saver. The idle-priority class is inherited by child processes.

What algorithm and cipher mode should I use to apply the strongest encryption?

Use algorithms comparison table to choose the algorithm. We recommend to use Blowfish, RC2, Rijndael or Cast-128. As for the cipher mode, we suggest CBC mode, as it produces cipher text dependent on all previous blocks, which outcrosses the possibility to perform a smart bruteforce attack.

What do I need Password Generator for?

Sometimes as a password someone's date of birth or phone (or smth else) is chosen. Of course, it's very easy to remember such passwords, but such passwords can be simply guessed or bruteforced using a dictionary attack. In order to provide full security for your data special utility was included into PowerKey package. Password Generator is an utility that will help you to generate strong passwords from specified characters set. Passwords generated by this tool will be resistant to dictionary and other smart bruteforce attacks. So don't hesitate and use it with confidence.

What is an effective length of password?

Passwords which are 8 and more characters in length are generally considered to be good. However don't choose as a password someone's name, phone number, date of birth, etc. Such passwords can be easily bruteforced or simply guessed. If you hezitate you have chosen a good password then use Password Generator by selecting it in 'Action' menu.

Can i change my password for already protected file?

Yes, you can. Use 'Action->Change Password' to apply a new password for already protected file.

Does PowerKey have command line support?

Yes, it does. The following commands are available:

pkey.exe -[param] [file1 file2 ...] params:
  • wipe_on_fly [file1 file2 ...] Wipe selected files or/and folders without any promts (Secure Recycle)
  • wipe [file1 file2 ...] Wipe selected files or/and folders
  • decrypt [file1 file2 ...] Decrypt selected files or/and folders
  • encrypt [file1 file2 ...] Encrypt selected files or/and folders
  • pgen Launch Password Generator
  • chpwd [somefile.pkey] Change password for somefile.pkey
  • reg Ordering Information

Why I cannot switch using Tab between 'Password' and 'Confirm' fields?

It is done with security purposes. Let's assume that your bad friend X had secretely installed on your computer some program like HookDump or something like that. What is HookDump? HookDump - is a program that secretely from user writes all his keyboard input to a file. That means your friend X may find out all the passwords you are using for your files. To prevent such programs like HookDump from stealing users' passwords PowerKey uses anti-password grabber utility, which solves this problem. And it causes reading a tab-key like a typeable char.


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