Forums Community AxCrypt 2 makes me sad… Reply To: AxCrypt 2 makes me sad…

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I agree with you Ben, I was actually just about to write up a long winded post on this very topic.

Axantum seems to have taken the stance that the greatest threat to security is the user i.e.:

– If a user picks a password they will pick a weak one.
– If a user can pick multiple passwords they will pick multiple weaker ones.

Axantum will thus treat you as a child and control the way you secure your files, much the same way Microsoft enforces updates on users – regardless of the negative outcomes. The thought process is “Users are stupid, we have to protect them from themselves”.

Evidence of this thinking can be found by walking through Axantum’s statement found here:
The second, using different passwords for yourself, is a little counterintuitive perhaps but the truth is – there is no need, and no benefit.
So first of all this is patently false, it’s an asinine assumption, and it’s wrong in just about every way.

Let’s say that our end-user is Jennifer, she has some files she wants to keep very secure (i.e. Smexy photos) and some files she’s less concerned about say a daily journal. We’ll imagine that Jennifer – like myself – LOVES encryption, she uses it on anything and everything that deserves any amount of privacy.

Jennifer is very careful, she accesses her Sexy photos via sandboxed programs which can’t connect to the internet to prevent leaks, for some files she even scans her computer and disconnects her internet. Her Daily Journal however isn’t really that big a deal to her, she values keeping it private but nowhere NEAR as much as she does her Sexy photos! Maybe Jennifer uses my current setup with Shadow Defender and restarts prior to accessing her most private files.

Axantum – in contrast – has determined that all of your encrypted files are of equal value, there is no need to protect them differently.

You decide to do some online surveys (Jennifer is hugely into Swag Bucks) and then update your Daily Journal, unfortunately you contract a drive-by keylogger *GASP* and it records your login to AxCrypt. Congratulations, all of your files are now vulnerable. Not only can the attacker steal your Daily Journal but they can steal your Sexy Photos as well.

Axantum has now created a situation where you are AFRAID of using AxCrypt’s encryption (this is the very situation they were trying to avoid) because if you use it on non-critical files you’ll have to do extra work to keep them as safe as you keep your most critical files. After all if you don’t treat your access to all your encrypted files the same then you jeopardize your most secure files!

It might *feel* better, but it’s not the solution to any problem. One aspect is that having many passwords will most likely be more inconvenient and thus make you less prone to use encryption.

I wonder, Would Axantum devs use the same password on every single website they visit? I certainly hope not. Remember, your feelings and any justification you have are irrelevant to Axantum, their design principles control the way the program works. Axantum fears you will put your feelings ahead of security, and thus it prevents you the choice.

That’s bad, you don’t have that added protection. Also, it increases the risk of forgetting one of them.

What would happen if you forget the ONE PASSWORD which encompasses all of your files? Congratulations you’ve introduced a single point of absolute failure.

Axantum’s biggest threat to encryption isn’t malware or hackers – it’s YOU. Axantum thinks you’re lazy, it thinks you’re forgetful, and it thinks you know nothing about your own behavior.

“If it’s too hard they’ll just be lazy!”
“If we let them pick multiple passwords they might forget one”

It all comes down to: “If we allow users a choice, they will pick the incorrect choice”

Don’t get me wrong, Axantum isn’t being intentionally malicious or insulting they’re just treating all users – even the most advanced and cautious users – as though they’re as forgetful, misinformed, and lazy as the lowest user.

AxCrypt 2 is not for highly security conscious users, it’s serves the lowest common denominator.

This isn’t my only complaint with AxCrypt 2 but it is by far my biggest.