[Windows] abylon CRYPT in the BOX allows you to easily encrypt your files

2013-08-21_230236Encryption is a great way to protect your files and data from prying eyes and ensuring only authorized eyes gain access. That is why dotTech has a review of best free encryption program for Windows. However, if you aren’t happy with the choices we provide in our review, abylon CRYPT in the BOX is another encryption program. Let’s see if it is worth your time.

What Is It and What Does It Do

Main Functionality

abylon CRYPT in the BOX is an encryption program that allows you to, well, encrypt your files. It is a file-level encryption program with a twist.

Pros

  • Encrypts any and all files and file types
  • Once encrypted, files can easily be viewed/edited and then are automatically re-encrypted
  • You can encrypt one file at a time or multiple files at a time
  • You can cut, copy, paste, rename, and delete files after they have been added to the program
  • Works with a traditional password or a key card
  • Uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the industry standard

Cons

  • Is a relatively simple encryption program… too simple, in fact. It lacks many features found in other encryption programs:
    • Can only set one password, which is used to encrypt/decrypt all files… meaning sharing encrypted files with others is going to be a hassle (aka you can’t have different passwords depending on who you are sharing with)
    • No entry in right-click context menu for easy access
    • Can’t create standalone executable decrypting files
    • Doesn’t compress encrypted files
    • No plausible deniability
  • When you add a file to be encrypted, CRYPT in the BOX creates a copy of the file — the original stays unencrypted, despite the developer claiming that “automatic wiping of original files”
  • Developer claims drag + drop is supported, but it doesn’t work as per my tests
  • Is always on in the background unless you specifically close it (clicking X minimizes it to system tray, you need to right-click system tray icon and close it) and sets itself to automatically run at Windows boot (you can change a setting in the program to stop it from launching at boot). There really is no major reason for an encryption program to be always on and start at Windows boot — that just wastes computer resources.
  • Program does not password protect itself. If you leave abylon CRYPT in the BOX running (i.e. you don’t close it out from the system tray), anyone can come and open the program and access your files without entering your password. The only time you are required to enter your password before you can access files is if abylon CRYPT in the BOX was closed and you started it; once it is running, you don’t have to enter your password again… which is a huge security risk, especially for shared computers.
  • No offline help and online help is poor

Discussion

abylon CRYPT in the BOX is a file-level encryption program: each file is encrypted individually as opposed to all files being encrypted together. However, it isn’t just another file-level encryption program — it works a bit differently.

You see while abylon CRYPT in the BOX does encrypt individual files, it behaves like a folder-level encryption program. When you install it, CRYPT in the BOX creates an AUTOCRYPT folder in My Documents. All files you encrypt with CRYPT in the BOX are stored in that AUTOCRYPT folder, and all files are encrypted with the same password (you can change the password whenever you want, but all files are still encrypted with the same password). The idea here is for you to have an “encrypted folder” — a folder that contains encrypted files you can still easily access and edit. After encrypting a file, you can view/edit/run/delete it from within CRYPT in the BOX — CRYPT in the BOX decrypts files on-the-fly and automatically re-encrypts them after you are done with them.

Using CRYPT in the BOX is very easy. After installation, run the program and you will be asked to set a password. After you set a password, simply add files you want to encrypt. You can also create folders (which are sub-folders of the AUTOCRYPT foldeR), to help you organize your files. CRYPT in the BOX automatically encrypts all files that you add to the program — any file you see in the files list is encrypted, unless you have it open in which case it is temporarily decrypted. Double-clicking on files in the file list allow you to open them; CRYPT in the BOX decrypts files automatically when you open them and automatically re-encrypts the files after you are done with them.

From this same window you can cut, copy, paste, rename, and delete files.

And that is pretty much all there is to CRYPT in the BOX. It is a file-level encryption program with some features that resemble folder-level encryption.

That being said, there is one thing I’d like to point about that is potentially a deal-breaker in regards to CRYPT in the BOX. You see when you click X to close the program, it minimizes to system tray. This is annoying but what is worse is that anyone can open CRYPT in the BOX from system tray and access your files without having to enter your password. Yes, you read that properly — CRYPT in the BOX does not password protect itself, it won’t prevent unauthorized access to your files if the program is already running. The only time you are prompted to enter your password is when CRYPT in the BOX is initially run; after it has been launched and you have entered your password, the program does not prompt for password again until you close and re-open the program. So when CRYPT in the BOX is sitting in your system tray, anyone can stroll along, maximize the program window, and access your files.

Secure? Yeah, okay.

Conclusion and Download Link

I really see no reason why anyone would want to use abylon CRYPT in the BOX. abylon CRYPT in the BOX tries to differentiate itself from the pack by offering a slightly different type of encryption program but, in the end, it falls flat on its face due to missing features related to security and user-friendliness. You are more than welcome to give abylon CRYPT in the BOX if you want, but I don’t recommend it.

Instead of abylon CRYPT in the BOX, you should check out either AxCrypt (file-level encryption) or TrueCrypt (folder-level/drive-level encryption). Both are excellent, open source, and free encryption programs that are time-tested and secure. Or if you don’t like any of those two, there are plenty of great free encryption programs out there. Read dotTech’s review on best free encryption program for Windows to learn more.

Price: 19.95 euros

Version reviewed: 2013.2

Supported OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8

Download size: 17.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/40

Is it portable? No

abylon CRYPT in the BOX homepage

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3 comments

  1. Peter

    [@Ashraf] I guess the suggested way has been far too complicated. The point is to have an encryption key that nobody else has got. For example (Linux):
    john@leierkasten-ii:~> echo “Congrats! You made it” > tobeencrypted.txt
    john@leierkasten-ii:~> dd if=/dev/random of=anynameyoulike bs=1 count=$(filesize tobeencrypted.txt)
    22+0 Datensätze ein
    22+0 Datensätze aus
    22 Bytes (22 B) kopiert, 0,000568718 s, 38,7 kB/s
    john@leierkasten-ii:~> 7za a -mhe=on -panynameyoulike anothername tobeencrypted.txt

    7-Zip (A) [64] 9.20 Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov 2010-11-18
    p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=de_DE.utf8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,6 CPUs)
    Scanning

    Creating archive anothername.7z

    Compressing tobeencrypted.txt

    Everything is Ok
    john@leierkasten-ii:~> 7za x -mhe=on -panynameyoulike anothername.7z -so > wow.txt

    7-Zip (A) [64] 9.20 Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov 2010-11-18
    p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=de_DE.utf8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,6 CPUs)

    Processing archive: anothername.7z

    Extracting tobeencrypted.txt

    Everything is Ok

    Size: 22
    Compressed: 231
    john@leierkasten-ii:~> cat wow.txt
    Congrats! You made it

    sending anothername.7z and anynameyoulike separately should keep NSA & Co at least busy.

    P.S.: If you wonder why ther’s a “john”: paranoid me made user accounts named “John Doe” (but posting with my real name and email-address – weird, isn’t it?)

  2. Peter

    ‘Doesn’t compress encrypted files’
    Well, encryption raises (or at least it should raise) entropy. Common compression algorithms will not work well. Actually every compression is a (weak) encryption and it is possible to do compression before encrytion.
    If you do not want the NSA (or other secret services) to view the content of your files it might be a good idea to XOR the content with an own text, image or (best) a random sequence of bytes . The common XOR-encryption file should take ist way separated from the information which has to be protected.
    I will not trust any public available algorithm any more.And yes: privacy doesn’t exist any more in the so called free world (example).