McAfee has come up with an encryption utility for desktop PCs which it claims is virtually unbreakable.
According to the company, it would take a trillion supercomputers about 463 trillion centuries to go through all the possible codes available with its new utility, called PCCrypto - and that's assuming each supercomputer could test a trillion keys a second.
Wes Wasson, encryption product manager at McAfee, considers sending confidential data over corporate networks or the Internet as risky as sending it by mail. "Many people have access to your private information before it is received by the intended viewer," he said.
PCCrypto's encryption technology is based on a 160-bit Blowfish algorithm, developed by cryptographer Bruce Schneier. Using a 160-bit algorithm means there are 1048 possible code combinations.
McAfee claims unlike traditional encryption programs, PCCrypto requires neither the sender to know what encryption software the recipient will be using, nor the installation of additional software on the recipient's machine. Instead, recipients are given a special password which unlocks the encrypted file and opens it automatically.
PCCrypto supports Windows NT, Windows 95 and Windows 3.x. It costs #46 for a single-user version and is available on a free evaluation from the McAfee's Web site, located at www.mcafee. com.
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