Tour of Extreme Encryption

  1. Getting started:
  2. Launch the program:
  3. The Home Page:
  4. If no current license:
  5. If you click on the Encrypt Msg button, you will see:
  6. The message becomes an encrypted file:
  7. The message also becomes unrecognizable text:
  8. The Decrypt Message page:
  9. Encrypt a File:
  10. Decrypt a File:
  11. Are the original and the decrypted file the same?:

Getting started:

If you have not already reviewed the list of best practices, set your Windows personal computer to show file extensions. Everything below will make more sense if you do.

 

Launch the program:

The Extreme Encryption program is housed within a directory MarpxAAAA (where AAAA is some set of four letters unique to your installation). Using Windows Explorer to navigate, double click on that directory (in this example, MarpxJQZB), then within that directory look for ExtremeEncryption.exe. (It has a colored icon beside it.)

 

 

Double click on ExtremeEncryption.exe and the program will be launched.

 

The Home Page:

 

Extreme Encryption™ starts at this navigation screen. When in doubt, click the Home button to return here. In this home page, you can switch between handling files and messages. You can also access the help pages (highly recommended) and the Exit button.

 

If you click on the Encrypt Msg button, you MAY see some variation of:

 

Whoops! That means that either you do not have a current license, or a license has been moved into place that does not belong with your installation. It's time to visit https://BuyExtremeEncryption.com. Then add your newly purchased EE_Licenses.txt to the files on your flash drive. Try running ExtremeEncryption.exe again.

 

If you click on the Encrypt Msg button, you NORMALLY will see:

 

The large box lets you type in or paste a message that you would like to make private. The message below has been typed. It could just as easily been copied and pasted from within another file such as a word processor. Keep the length over 50 characters and under about 3000, which is roughly two double space typed pages. The 3500 figure allows extra for the strange things that HTML does to increase the count for some punctuation characters and line ends.

 

 

Under the message are two data entry boxes. The first invites the number of the algorithm that you wish to use. The number depends on whether your group has ordered a tryout batch (typically 1501 to 1515) or a complete set (1 to 1500). The number also depends on whether you personally have been assigned a particular number and given the key that protects that particular algorithm. In this example, it is algorithm number 7.

 

Turn attention now to the small box at the bottom. Keys that protect Extreme Encryption™ algorithms may be any combination of seven characters -- capital letters, lower case letters, and numeric digits. Upper and lower case letters are treated as different; the letter 'W' is not the same as 'w', key "H7ljVF1" is not the same as "h7LjVf1". For extra clarity, the key lists provided to the purchaser have a NATO alphabet breakdown after each key. Example: "H7ljVF1 = cap Hotel - 7 - Lima - Juliett - cap Victor - cap Foxtrot - 1."

 

A little bit of arithmetic will persuade you that you don't want to guess at a key. Each of the seven characters can be filled with one of ten digits, one of 26 lower case letters, or one of 26 upper case letters. That's 62 possibilities for each character. How many different possible keys are there? 62 for the first times 62 for the second ... in other words, 62 X 62 X 62 X 62 X 62 X 62 X 62 which amounts to 3,521,614,606,208 different keys. You don't have time to guess three and a half trillion possibilities!

 

After you enter the correct key, click the large Encrypt Message button.

 

The message becomes an encrypted file:

 

The message is instantly made into a file. The file's location and name is provided as in the above screen. The location is normally in a "MyPrivacy" directory on the same drive as your Extreme Encryption™ program. The name is "Msg_" followed by a date stamp, and the double suffix ".enc.txt". Notice in the above that the month is included first as a number 02 to 12, then a three letter abbreviation. That way, the messages are listed in time order when you list what is in the MyPrivacy directory. 092111 means 11 seconds after 9:21 a.m. The 24 hour clock is used; 12 hours later, 9:21:11 p.m., would show as 21:21:11. The extension ".enc" means encrypted. The added extension ".txt" means that the entire message has been converted to letters and digits in a format called Base64.

 

The message also becomes unrecognizable text:

 

Encrypted messages are wrapped in text, so that they may readily be copied and pasted to email or to social media pages. Files attached to or spread in emails easily get past unfriendly spam filters. The instructions to copy and paste are shown on the page; the steps become second nature quickly.

 

The first time you run the program, try some experiments.

  1. See if you can make any sense out of the jumble of letters, digits, periods, and exclamation marks that make up an encrypted message. Bet you can't! If you can, you deserve a high paying job with the U.S. National Security Agency.
  2. If you have a Facebook page, write a message for friends. Copy and paste the message into your Facebook page, and phone a couple of colleagues to tell them the algorithm number and the key. Ask them to go to the Decrypt Msg page in their copies of Extreme Encryption™, highlight, copy and paste your Facebook message and enter the same algorithm number and key. They will get the message. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook will not get it. Neither will PLA Unit 61398; that's an extremely effective group of hackers within China's People's Liberation Army.
  3. As an experiment, write a message, then highlight and copy it as in the box above. Then click on the Decrypt Msg button at the bottom of the page. More on this experiment below.

 

The Decrypt Message page:

 

Let's assume you have highlighted a text-like segment including the <<< and >>> anchors, and you have used CTRL-C to copy it onto the Microsoft "clipboard". The large box on the Decrypt Message page is the place to take it. Click anywhere in the big box, click CTRL-V. It will look like this:

 

 

Enter the same algorithm number and key that were used to encrypt it. Click on Decrypt Message.

 

 

Decrypted messages are turned into files. Here is the file name and where it is located. Notice the name ... same as the incoming message, except the .enc.txt double suffix has been removed, and the suffix is now ".decrypted.txt". The word ".decrypted" is added so that it does not overwrite the original message, and you can compare the two if you wish. Incidentally, if you would prefer that the name of the decrypted file be the same as the original, you can make that happen by editing the file Preferences.txt which is included among the program files for MarpxPrivacy. Simply find the keyword {AddDecrypted} and change the following Yes to No. When you save Preferences.txt, save it as ordinary text; don't let the word processor add formatting to it.

 

Click OK.

 

 

When you decrypt a message, you are shown the plain text, that is, the original message. (If there were any accented characters or special characters in the message, this step is skipped. But the full message is still in the file named above.)

 

There is a Home key at the bottom of the page. Click on that, then choose Encrypt File.

 

Encrypt a File:

 

Files are even easier to make secure. So long as the file is somewhere between 50 bytes and 100,000,000 bytes, this version of Extreme Encryption™ will handle it. (Need something that does gigabyte size files? Contact us.)

 

Simply browse and select the file you want to make private.

 

 

Click Open> and you will see:

 

 

Then input below an algorithm number and its protective key. There is also an option to wrap the encrypted version in text so that it can get through as an email attachment. That's useful, but it makes files up to fifty percent larger. This feature is not used for the 948,117 byte file selected here. The screen will look like this:

 

 

Click Encrypt This File and you will be shown...

 

 

... the location and name of the encrypted file. The name is the same as the input file, but with a file extension .enc added at the end.

 

You are NOT shown the encrypted file. It's a mess, an absolute jumble of all 256 different characters that can be contained in a computer byte. If you are really interested in technical detail and can tolerate DOS, here is a note on what's in an encrypted file.

 

Decrypt a File:

 

To arrive at this next screen, click the Home button and continue this tour by choosing Decrypt File.

 

 

Normally you would park the encrypted file in archives or send it to someone else. For this tour, let's simply decrypt the same file that was encrypted above. Browse to MyPrivacy and select "Columbia Gas Energy Assessment.eml.enc.

 

 

Click Open.

 

 

Input the same algorithm number and key.

 

 

Click Decrypt File. As always, you are shown the location and name of the result. Typically it is found in the MyPrivacy directory. The .enc file extension is gone and the word ".decrypted" appears before the current extension.

 

 

Are the original and the decrypted file the same?:

Here is a DOS window with a "file comparison" command. Notice the result.

 

 

In other words, the original file and the decrypted file are byte by byte identical. More on that in the technical note on what's in an encrypted file. Prove it to yourself with a file that you encrypt and then decrypt.

 

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