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use password in win rar to protect file is secure or not

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I use winrar to protect file from some one to read i use password in winrar about 5 digit it secure or not
and  when i want to read I unrar it and read it then i delete it normally it is a text file how can i make sure that txt file that I unrar can not use some pro gram to make it readable a gain
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Question by:teera
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by:lloydclinton
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Use a complex password larger than 5 characters
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by:ChopOMatic
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For starters, as Lloyd says, you need a more complex password. Also FYI:

http://www.elcomsoft.com/archpr.html
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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Rar does not have any exploits like office docs so as long as your password is sufficiently long and complex it will stand up to a brute force attack as suggest above.

However a workflow suggestion if may: check out truecrypt.
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if you unrar in an infected machine, and supposing there is keylogger, no matter how complex the password is, it can be logged. But I am not saying that having complex password is no good, it does help in deterring the brute force password cracking (e.g. RAR password cracker, dictionary attack, rainbow tbl). There is a site (http://www.passwordmeter.com/) for testing password complexity too. Nonetheless, minimally do have at least 8 characters in length, and choose a random combination of characters and digits

also we also need to be aware of temp remanence from the application to unrar to temp location, they need to be securely erase too. user had to be aware of it then. I understand that features list for WinRAR 3.8 says "New 'Wipe Temporary Files' option in 'Settings/Security' dialog provides more secure, though slower, way to delete temporary WinRAR files." this may help

having said that, WinRAR encryption algorithm was changed to AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with a 128 bit key length starting with WinRAR 3.0. This is definitely stronger and a NIST standard, but of course 256bits can be considered too. but still we need to be aware of the weakest link, which is your password

probably you may want to consider two layer encryption which is add document security (encryption) into it. office and PDF support that straight from the application. dont think there is for image and video for direct used. of course the volume encryption using Truecrypt is another good candidate. they can bundle it with smartcard token which is a 2Factor authentication (even if they sniff pin, they cannot get your smartcard token)

for your info, in the past, WinRAR is assessed to be more secure than WinZIP (which uses proprietary scheme). of course thing evolved to be better for both  @ http://www.springerlink.com/content/adem7g0n9a9rqtw9/
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by:gdi67
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it depends on how stong your password is. AFAIK winrar doesn't face cryptanalysis attack for now.
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by:Dave Howe
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Seconded - there is no easy break for winrar, you have to try to brute force the password by trying every possible combination until you find it.
If you use a short, letters only password, that can be done.
If you use a 12 or more character password, with upper case, lower case, number and symbols, its a monumental task and isn't going to happen.
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