Categories: Software, Release notes

Private Disk 2.11 release notes

A new release is going to be made public in the nearest future - Private Disk 2.11 is here. This version brings us one step closer to Private Disk 3.0, adding some new features.

Private Disk Explorer is the major new feature of this release - it enables you to access your encrypted disks even on systems where you don't have administrator privileges.

Yes, that's right! Private Disk is the first program of its kind that can run on any computer, in any circumstances; from Windows 9x to Vista and the not-yet-official Seven - your encrypted files are at your fingertips.

Private Disk Explorer

 

You will be able to explore NTFS and FAT32 images, regardless of their size, having the possibility to add new files to an image, remove existing ones or replace them with updated versions.

From now on Private Disk is unarguably the best option for those who need rock-solid encryption and mobility.

Other changes include:

  • faster start-up times - the 2.10 had a noticeable delay in its start up time, caused by the run as a service mode. This problem has been addressed, and now Private Disk is as quick as snappy as it used to be in the old days.
  • improved Disk Firewall mechanism - Disk Firewall is another unique feature of Private Disk, we continue to tweak it and bring it closer to perfection, and to what it will become in the 3.0 version of Private Disk. In the 2.11 release the Disk Firewall is quicker and more stable.
  • better portability support - in 2.10 we added a feature that created encrypted key backups automatically when the image was mounted; this feature is a great idea, but it lead to errors in cases when the image was stored on read-only media, thus making it impossible to write the backup somewhere. This problem has been fixed now.

Overall Private Disk became more polished and more reliable. Currently only the English and the Russian versions are available, other language versions will follow shortly.

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How to open Private Disk encrypted images on any computer

PD Explorer is a free tool that enables you to explore Private Disk encrypted images even in the cases when Private Disk is not installed on the computer, even if you don't have administrative privileges.

You can view the contents of the encrypted disk, write or remove files from it - as you can normally do with an archive such as a ZIP file.

PD Explorer screenshot, how to open Private Disk encrypted images without administrator rights

It is extremely simple in use, making it easy to add new files to the encrypted vault, delete or update existing files.

PD Explorer is compatible with NTFS images of any size, there are no file size restrictions, nor are there limitations about the maximum number of files that can be processed.

PD Explorer is a available for free, you can download it right now.

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SIM Explorer 1.2 release notes

SIM Explorer 1.22 iconAfter another development cycle, SIM Explorer 1.2 is finally here, having a lot of new things under the hood and on the surface. At the moment we can firmly say that it is the best SIM card forensic tool on the market. The new version has several key-improvements that make it a great instrument for those who examine SIM cards for a living.

 

The changelog can be found in the end of the article, while the story itself will highlight some of the new features.

SIM Explorer 1.22, SIM card forensic tool

 

SIM card hash
SIM Explorer will now compute the hash of the SIM card, this way you can tell whether the card was changed or not since the last time you analyzed it. The hashing algorithm we use is SHA-1, generating a 160-bit digest.

It takes into account the contents of the SIM card's files, as well as their names and properties - all of this is seen as a continuous stream of data, which is then hashed. The hash is displayed in the lower left corner of the window.

Side by side SIM card comparison

 

Side by side SIM card comparison

This new dialog is one of the coolest new features in the new SIM Explorer. The structure of two SIM cards is represented as a tree, where each directory file and elementary file is marked with a colour:

  • green - files match by name and by content
  • yellow - files match by name but have a different content
  • red - the file does not exist on the other SIM card
  • blue - the file exists on both cards but has different properties

When you click on a file on one panel, SIM Explorer will select the same file on the other card (if it exists). In the middle you see the contents of each file, the following aids are available:

  • synchronized scrolling of both sides
  • the different bytes are highlighted with red, which allows you to visually compare the files much quicker
  • the offset is on the left, allowing you to easily exchange data with colleagues - tell them where to look

Generate printable reports
SIM Explorer is now able to generate a plain-text report that contains details about a SIM card. This can be used when a hard-copy of the data is needed, alternatively this can be used for data exchange with colleagues or partners who do not have SIM Explorer or a computer to run it on. Finally, nothing beats the feeling of holding paper in your hand.

.sim file association
SIM Explorer is now associated with .sim files, you can double click one and the program will open it for you. The icon for such files looks like this:

SIM Explorer data file icon

Find SIM backup

find-sim-backup

With this tool you can search for .sim files and reveal which other SIM card images you saved refer to the same card you are analyzing at the moment. How it works:

  • the search is done by ATR, if it is the same, the card will be shown in the list of results
  • further, the hash is compared as well; the result is seen in the icon near the file name (green - identical, yellow - different)
  • you also see when the SIM file was created and modified - thus you can compare the card with itself at an earlier date
  • for your convenience, there are several buttons for quick access of functions - compare SIM, restore SIM, open SIM

 

Unlike the previous version, the new SIM Explorer is much better adapted to your needs. Features such as the side by side visual comparison make it easy to understand how a SIM card changed with time; while the ability to save a card to a .sim file or print a report make data exchange with colleagues or law enforcement agencies a simple process.

We are committed to making it even better. Stay tuned for the next releases.

Version 1.2:

+ Side by side visual SIM card comparison with highlighting
+ Generate printable SIM card report
+ Compute SIM hash
+ SIM Explorer is associated with .sim files
+ Save card's ATM to .sim file
+ Save proactive commands to .sim file
+ New icons in the program's interface, as well as other UI improvements
+ Improved Unicode SMS support
+ Command line argument to open a file automatically
+ Find SIM by ATR
+ Restructured main menu in the program
+ Improved search function

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Second public beta of Logon for Vista

A new beta of Logon for Vista is now available for download: http://files.dekart.com/beta/Logon-Vista-2230.msi It is not yet a final, and it does not provide all the features that are available in the non-Vista version. Here are some highlights that will be useful to you if you're planning to play with it:
  • You must logon using a key once, in order to make the Dekart credential provider the default one;
  • Press Other credential providers to choose key authentication;
  • This version does not provide support for biometric authentication as a third factor, but the feature will be available in the next release;
  • A restart after the installation is not needed;
  • The current version cannot use keys created by the older version, therefore you should make a backup of your sensitive data.
The GUI of the key administration tool is not yet final, there will be changes here and there. Share/Save/Bookmark

Private Disk Light for Windows Vista

It is not known to the wide public, but the truth is that for quite some time a version of Private Disk Light for Windows Vista, as well as for 64-bit versions of Windows XP has been available.

It can be downloaded: http://files.dekart.com/beta/PrvDiskLight-Vista.exe

It is unofficially called Private Disk Light 1.23, and here are the changes:

  • Support for Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Support for Windows XP 64-bit
  • Prettier icon
  • Surprise - a new feature that hasn't been present in the earlier versions of Private Disk; it is not likely to get noticed. But if you do notice it, you can get a free license for the full version of Private Disk, and I am absolutely serious about this one ;-) Good luck!
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Password Carrier and Windows Vista

A new beta of Password Carrier is now available, it brings Vista compatibility into the game; 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista are both supported.

Other changes:

  • An error was fixed - at times the program would fail if the number of collected credentials would exceed a certain threshold;
  • Inactivity is now shown via a tray-icon (the program locks itself if the computer is left unattended)

How to update

Simply extract the contents of the archive to the removable disk, overwriting the current files of the program. Make sure you do not delete any of your .dka files (the profiles that contain your identities, and the credentials associated with each identity).

The beta is in a stable state, there are no known issues with it. The program is now an official release, and can be retrieved from dekart.com.

***

Why Password Carrier

Password Carrier is not just another form filler, it is much more than that, because:

  • it was designed with security in mind - the collected data are encrypted with AES-256;
  • biometric authentication can be used as a third authentication (along with "something you have" - the USB key, and "something you know" - the PIN);
  • it is absolutely portable - works on any Windows system, does not require administrative privileges;
  • all the private data are always with you, and updates happen on-the-fly - newly memorized passwords can be used on other computers, not only on the one on which they were captured;
  • Password Carrier understands the meanings of the fields - so that if the design of the web-page is updated, it will still be able to figure out where to type in the data.
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Private Disk 2.10 final release

The time has come, Private Disk 2.10 is now officially released. Some of the changes were already commented in the release notes of an earlier beta version of PD (those features are Disk Firewall's training mode, trusted program authenticity verification).

Private Disk 2.10 final release

One of the most important things is compatibility with Windows Vista systems of all flavours that exist out there. Private Disk is now shipped with digitally signed drivers, so if you have a 64-bit Vista platform - you can use PD on it. This makes Private Disk yet again compatible with every version of Windows (starting with Windows 95).

There is also a new icon, which looks good whether you're looking at a zoomed in version, or at a tiny icon in a "list view".

Run Private Disk as a service

This is a very handy option, it used to be a part of the older 1.x versions of Private Disk Multifactor. Once this is enabled, you can run Private Disk, mount the image, then log off - the virtual drives will still be mounted, allowing other logged on users to access them (including those who access them from the network, if they are shared).

The idea is that you can mount the disk and restrict others from changing its settings (ex: alter the white-list, or change the disk's properties, etc). As an administrator, you can start the server and mount the disk, then share it; from that point on end-users can connect to the server and use what they are allowed, without being able to do (break) anything. This feature will help you offer users only as much power as they need to get their job done.

PD File Move - the secure data migration utility

Dekart PD File Move logo

This is the newest addition to Private Disk's arsenal, and it was not a part of any of the beta versions that were made public prior to the release (although the utility itself could be downloaded from the site, if you explored it thoroughly). It is designed to find a group of wanted files in a certain location, create an encrypted disk of the right size, move them to the protected storage vault, and then wipe the originals, so that the files cannot be recovered.

This is a typical screenshot of PD File Move

PD File Move choose file types

What can it do?

  • Let's say you have a music archive you want nobody to see. Just tell PD File Move that you want to look for MP3, WAV, AAC, FLAC, WMA and OGG files (you can add your own extensions too) in D:\. The program will find all those files, and then securely move them to the new location. Afterwards there's no trace of the original files, if you used the file wiping option.
  • You purchased a new computer in your office, you want to move all the data from the old machine to it. You don't remember clearly where all the documents are, but you know that you work with PDF, DOC and ODT files. PD File Move will find them for you, so there is no chance that you accidentally forgot to copy something before giving the old computer to a relative, or donating it to a school.

We decided not to bring these features into Private Disk itself, and instead have a separate utility to do the job. Private Disk continues to be extremely lightweight (using about 2.5 MB of RAM when disks are mounted), and PD File Move will not get in your way while you use Private Disk.

We are against bloatware, so you can be sure that Private Disk will continue to be a fast and solid tool, and it will never turn into a performance hog.

Here comes the changelog of the final version:

+ added XP-style and Vista-style icons
+ allows to run Private Disk software as a system service

+ added Disk Firewall Program integrity verification feature
+ allows to disable/enable Disk Firewall Program integrity verification

+ added Disk Firewall Traning Mode feature
+ allows to disable/enable Disk Firewall Traning Mode

+ compatibility with Windows Vista
+ compatibility with Windows Vista x64

+ the encryption password can be changed when the disk is mounted
+ allows to create a backup copy of a disk's encryption key automatically

+ optimized disk creation speeds when "fill disk with random data" is enabled
- fixed bug with occasional blue screen errors if Windows Defender is installed

- fixed bug with autorun.inf on USB-drives

Enjoy using the software!

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