Forums Community Mac OS X Sierra

This topic contains 17 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Svante 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #5541 Reply

    Lightwind

    How long will it be before AxCrypt 2 is available for OS X Sierra?

    This is the only reason why I will not (and cannot) subscribe to AxCrypt 2. Cross-platform compatibility between Windows and OS X is critical for me, as I use a Windows 10 desktop PC in my office but use a MacBook Pro when travelling, together with an Android phone.

    Please will you give this priority? As far as I know, there is no comparable software to AxCrypt available to OS X users which offers AES 256 encryption, is open-source AND cross-platform.

    #5550 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Hello Lightwind,

    We’re working on the Mac OS X project as we speak. We’re hoping to get something out in May / June timeframe.

    #5556 Reply

    Lightwind

    Thank you, that is excellent news!

    As soon as the OS X version becomes available, I will be subscribing to Axcrypt Premium.

    #5559 Reply

    Warren

    Hi Lightwind. I thought I’d pick up on your comment;

    “As far as I know, there is no comparable software to AxCrypt available to OS X users which offers AES 256 encryption, is open-source AND cross-platform.”

    Your belief is incorrect. There is software which offers AES-256 bit encryption, open-source AND cross-platform – it’s called GnuPG and has been out for 20 years. It’s one of the most cross-platform pieces of software out there:

    • Windows
    • OS X
    • Debian
    • RPM
    • Android
    • VMS
    • RISC OS

    You can get the official, free, open-source download from here. You need to scroll all the way to the bottom under “Binary Releases”.

    It supports asymmetric and symmetric encryption.

    There are many pieces of software compatible with GnuPG (a.k.a. PGP). If you use an iPhone then the best is called iPGMail and that supports encrypted email and/or encrypted files. However iPGMail costs $1.99.

    Therefore GnuPG is your best bet if you’re using:

    • Windows 10
    • OS X (MacBook Pro)
    • Android phone

    You can use GnuPG until Svante creates an OS X port.

    GnuPG was used by the whistleblower Ed Snowden and has been proven to be secure. It’s also sustainably funded with people like Facebook and Stripe giving regular donations because the project is considered that important.

    #5562 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Thanks Warren,

    GnuPG is all you say it is. While AxCrypt and PGP/GnuPG has many things in common, I can’t resist sharing two anecdotes that illustrate the vital difference in my mind.

    – The history of AxCrypt actually started when I personally needed a solution to this problem. I found PGP (the original). I also tried to use it, and found “PGP for Dummies” – the documentation for simplified use. It was 20+ pages of tightly written word document. This was when I decided there has to be an easier way to package strong crypto…

    – The way I heard the story of Snowden and GPG, is that the whole thing almost fell through because he pretty close to despaired when trying to get these journalists to understand how to use it… ;-) He apparently struggled for months. In the end I believe they used TrueCrypt to encrypt physical hard drives or USB drives with the data. An interesting read, that reflects this is https://theintercept.com/2014/10/28/smuggling-snowden-secrets/ . This quote illustrated my point “The frustrating and ironic thing about GPG is that even experts make mistakes with it. Even, as it turns out, Edward Snowden.

    Anyway, that’s the driving force behind AxCrypt. To make strong crypto packaged in a way that non-technical persons can use. That’s why we don’t ask users to chose algorithms etc, and try to keep options as well to an absolute minimum.

    But, yes, GPG/PGP is indeed good stuff from a cryptographic point of view. I’ve also debated countless times whether to implement AxCrypt using GPG/PGP file formats – but here alas also I’ve backed out due to the complexity.

    #5564 Reply

    Warren

    I very much dislike the complexity of email PGP Svante (although I know this isn’t what the Lightwind would use it for) as it’s cumbersome, not well implemented in email applications, difficult to understand, has a complicated and inconvenient web of trust and doesn’t offer perfect forward secrecy. There are other reasons too.

    It does however offer a very simple encryption feature that allows right clicking and encrypting with a password or public key for Windows users. The Linux version Is significantly more bothersome because of the requirement to use the command line.

    Here are a few articles that I largely agree with:

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/security/2016/12/op-ed-im-giving-up-on-pgp/

    https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2014/08/13/whats-matter-with-pgp/

    https://moxie.org/blog/gpg-and-me/

    http://secushare.org/PGP

    And, for balance, one that I disagree with:

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2016/12/signal-does-not-replace-pgp/

    Of course that doesn’t mean PGP isn’t extremely secure but the specification and manual is horrendously complicated.

    Lightwind, if you’re reading this: the Windows version is easy to use for password protecting files.

    Svante, I agree with you not implementing PGP. AxCrypt is better off without it, no matter how secure it is… trying to explain it to ordinary non-technical people is difficult and implementation is hard.

    #5568 Reply

    Lightwind

    Warren, thank you very much indeed for this information. I was not aware of GnuPG, so thanks for correcting me on this. Having followed the links you provided, GnuPG does seem to do everything you state. However, when I started to read the GnuPG documentation, my eyes started to glaze over! I am not technically confident at all in this area, and I know that I do not have the skills, knowledge or confidence to correctly implement what is required; and also to have certainty that I’ve implemented things correctly.

    What is most important to me is robust encryption (i.e. AES256), ease of use and open-source verification. And also cross-platform functionality between Windows and OS X, which Svante has confirmed is currently under development. This is so important for someone like me who does not fully understand the complexities of encryption, and does not have the knowledge or confidence to know when/if I’ve implemented the program correctly. All I need is fast, simple encryption of key files and folders.

    So I very much agree with the points you have made. But I also strongly agree with the points made by Svante in terms of simplicity and ease of use.

    #5569 Reply

    Warren

    Hi Lightwind,

    It’s actually really simple in Windows and Mac. Just don’t read the documentation!

    You install GnuPG, then:

    • right click, click ‘Sign and encrypt’
    • click ‘Encrypt’
    • type in you password
    • DONE!

    #6388 Reply

    Lightwind

    Svante

    You mentioned in an earlier reply to this thread (#5550) that you were hoping for a release for Mac OS X Sierra with a May/ June 2017 time frame.

    Is this still on course? I’m eagerly awaiting this release, which will allow me to run AxCrypt 2 on my Windows 10 Pro PC AND also my MacBook Pro. Until this happens, I unfortunately can’t commit to AxCrypt Premium.

    Any update on a planned launch date would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    #6389 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Hello Lightwind,

    Yes, the schedule still holds. We’re finalizing UI design, doing internal testing and putting the finishing touches to it. Hoping to go public beta in about 2 weeks.

    #6390 Reply

    Lightwind

    Hi Svante

    Excellent news! Will you be posting a notice in the Forums when the download is available? Or emailing?

    Many thanks, and looking forward to the Beta release.

    #6391 Reply

    Svante
    Keymaster

    Lightwind,

    We’ll certainly post on the forum to start with, then social media, and later on the download page. We will not push out any notices via email etc until the actual release, so just stay tuned!

    We want to start slowly and not get too many users at once, it will after all be a beta. Although the core code is as solid as the other apps (since it’s 100% exactly the same code), there will of course be some glitches and probably some lessons learned about the Mac as an environment since it’s new to AxCrypt.

    #7236 Reply

    Lightwind

    Hi Svante

    Any news yet on the availability for Mac OS X?

    Best wishes

    Lightwind

    #7237 Reply

    Adam
    #7238 Reply

    Lightwind

    Great, many thanks. I’ll be subscribing to AxCrypt Premium very soon.

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