Binary Keys

Binary Key Primer

Ciphers do not understand passwords. When a user enters a password, it is converted to a binary digest (usually 128 to 256 bits long), which is used as a cipher key. The password step is not needed for ciphering; its only purpose is representing the key as something that a human is able to remember. And there is a price – password may be weak, it may be guessed, cracked, or spied.

It is possible not to use passwords at all but to generate a cryptographically strong binary key and use it directly. Although such a key can't be remembered (at least by an average human), it can be stored on a USB stick or another digital media device.

Creating a Binary Key

In order to create a binary key select Start / All Programs / Kryptel (Silver Key) / Advanced Tools / Create Binary Key.

Creating a binary key

The key generator creates a key and stores it to a small key file, which can, like any other file, be copied, renamed, or deleted.

Using a Binary Key

The first thing you should do with your just created key file is to back it up. Simply copy it to some portable drive and keep it in a safe place. An alternate way is to encrypt the key file with a good password and to store it in several places – a remote Web drive, your hard disk, flash sticks.

In order to encrypt with a key click the ‘Binary Key’ button and select the key file.

Using a binary key

A Step Further

Binary keys are very convenient to use but too easy to steal – a tiny key file may be copied in seconds. If this possibility is real, you can use both a key and a password. The data can be decrypted only by a person who knows the password and has the right key.

Tips and Tricks

  • You can create as many binary keys as you wish.
  • When creating a new key, always add a short comment on key's intended purpose. For example, key for weekly backups.
  • You can assign a binary key as the default key. The program will check its presence before opening the password dialog. If the default key is present, the program will use it. If the default key is not assigned or found (for instance, the flash stick with the key is not inserted), the program will show the standard password window.