PGP and security utilities for RISC OS


This page contains versions of PGP, GnuPG and other security utilities for RISC OS (Acorn) computers, the world's most powerful and user-friendly desktop computers. If you are not already familiar with PGP, please read my Introduction to PGP, and in particular my article PGP for Secure E-Mail.

It appears that some visitors who stumble upon this page are using inferior operating systems such as Windows (yuk!). If you are limited to such systems, you are warned that the software available from this page will be of no use to you - unless you upgrade to a RISC OS computer!

If you are not already familiar with RISC OS, you can learn why it is the best operating system from articles on either http://www.riscos.org or h2g2. Those articles are somewhat dated, but they do explain why RISC OS is superior to other well known operating systems.

All software listed on this page is 32-bit compatible unless indicated otherwise.


General information about cryptography

The general concepts of modern cryptography are explained in my articles which appeared in Archive magazine, in Archive magazine again, and in Acorn User. The latter also includes links to two further articles about encryption software for RISC OS computers.

Beware of snake oil!

Don't get a false sense of security by using dubious encryption software. Encryption methods can be fully trusted only if expert cryptographers have verified that they are resistant to all known methods of cryptanalysis. You can have full confidence in the software only if the source code is publicly available. All known RISC OS encryption software satisfying these criteria is available from this site. The standard warning signs for snake oil are described in detail in my article from Archive magazine. If you come across encryption software that shows any of these warning signs, do not trust it!

PGP for secure e-mail

PGP 2.6.3ia (26-bit only) is Gareth McCaughan's original RISC OS port of PGP. This archive contains all the necessary documentation.

32-bit compatible update, by Christopher Bazley, with revised source code.

If you have any problems when installing and/or using PGP for RISC OS, try reading my Beginner's guide to PGP.

Note. RISC OS users may now find GnuPG (see below) much more versatile than the rather dated version of PGP.

Front ends for PGP

PGPwimp 0.12

Crypter 1.1 (26-bit only)

PGPfront 0.11 (beta)

!AutoCrypt

AutoCrypt 0.941 (26-bit only), by Tony Hopstaken, is a utility for users of the ANT Internet Suite (only), which encrypts any selected outgoing mail, clearsigns any selected outgoing mail or news, or decrypts all incoming PGP mail. It requires only a single mouse click in each case. !AutoCrypt can also be used to decrypt other PGP files and to check their PGP signatures.

Note. !AutoCrypt is designed to process messages generated by the RISC OS version of PGP. It will not work properly with most messages generated by other versions of PGP or GnuPG.


GnuPG for secure e-mail

GnuPG 1.4.9, a RISC OS port by Stefan Bellon, is a full replacement for PGP, which adds considerable functionality to the ageing RISC OS version of PGP. It is generally compatible with more modern PGP versions.

If you have any problems when installing and/or using GnuPG for RISC OS, try reading my Beginner's guide to GnuPG or my GnuPG tutorial.

A more comprehensive and detailed guide to GnuPG can be found in the GNU Privacy Handbook.

!Crypt 1.0

!Crypt, by Nat Queen, is a simple utility to make it easy to carry out all the essential operations with GnuPG without the need to remember any commands. These operations include encryption, signing, decryption and checking signatures. !Crypt can be used for both public-key cryptography and conventional encryption.

!FileCrypt 1.04

!FileCrypt, by Paul Vigay, is another simple utility to make it easy to encrypt or decrypt files with GnuPG, using public-key cryptography.

!GnuPGwimp 1.01

!GnuPGwimp, by Peter Gaunt and Harriet Bazley, is the most versatile front end for GnuPG, adapted from the old !PGPwimp. It also facilitates the operations needed for key management.


Encrypting confidential data

This section contains a collection of software designed to protect one's own confidential data, rather than messages sent over the Internet.

!Q-Lock 1.5a and !Q-Lock 1.5b

Note. Version 1.5a is for use on "native" hardware. Version 1.5b is for users of Virtual Acorn systems.

!Q-Lock, by Nat Queen, enables you to encrypt all your sensitive data or to retrieve it, in a very simple manner. You can encrypt and decrypt not only single files, but whole directory structures in one operation. The encryption will completely hide not only the data, but also the nature of the directory structure, the filenames, etc. As an added bonus, !Q-Lock automatically erases all traces of the original files from the disc after they are encrypted (not simply by "deleting" them), making it impossible to recover them by any "undelete" utility. Like the encryption itself, this is done with a "military" level of security.

!Mail-Lock 1.5a and !Mail-Lock 1.5b

Note. Version 1.5a is for use on "native" hardware. Version 1.5b is for users of Virtual Acorn systems.

If you use !Marcel in the ANT Internet Suite, !Mail-Lock, by Nat Queen, will enable you to protect any sensitive mail folders from prying eyes. !Mail-Lock has the same look and feel as !Q-Lock, and the same "military" level of security, except that it is designed to protect sensitive mail folders.

!Encrypt (26-bit only), by Stephen Sloan, is another program that can encrypt files or directories in one simple operation. By default, it uses the strong Blowfish cipher. PGP "conventional encryption" is available as an option, for users of PGP. This program is suitable only for RISC OS 4 or earlier versions.

!Pup 0.20ß, by Tony Snell, is similar to !Encrypt, except that it requires PGP, and it will encrypt only single files.

!Sabre 0.11ß, by Tony Snell, works in the same way as !Pup, except that it uses the CipherSaber-1 implementation of RC4 encryption, so that it does not require PGP.

!RNDpass 0.91, by Tony Hopstaken, helps you choose a secure passphrase consisting of random words - useful for encryption programs or websites that allow long passphrases.

!PassWd 1.01, by Paul Vigay, is program for generating very secure passwords, by using random characters from some specified set. Like !RNDpass, it is highly configurable.

My article on how to choose a good passphrase.


Hiding confidential data

!Stealth 1.2a and !Stealth 1.2b

Note. Version 1.2a is for use on "native" hardware. Version 1.2b is for users of Virtual Acorn systems.

!Stealth, by Nat Queen, enables you to store a number of encrypted directories inside a container file, each with its own unique passphrase. The program is designed so that no one without a knowledge of the passphrases can determine how many encrypted directories actually exist. A particular directory can be decrypted only by entering the correct passphrase. If any authorities ever demand access to your encrypted data, you can safely reveal one or more of your less important hidden directories, while denying that any others exist without fear that they can ever be detected.

!FakeFiles 1.01

!FakeFiles, by Paul Vigay, is another application which serves a similar purpose, by creating fake PGP messages (using GnuPG) which nobody, including their owner, can decrypt, because nobody knows the passphrases for them, so that no unauthorised person can discover which encrypted files are the real ones and which are dummies. It also allows the user to encrypt real files.

!Stego 1.3

!Stego, by Nat Queen, implements a form of steganography. Steganography is the process of hiding messages in files which appear to be something totally different, such as "innocent" images, sound, etc. !Stego hides the contents of a text file in a sprite file. When the sprite is viewed with !Paint, it looks like the sort of texture that might be used as a backdrop. On a separate page you can view examples of such sprites. Steganography may be useful if, for example, you want to exercise your basic human right of privacy but your employer, your ISP, or your government forbids the use of encryption or the transmission of certain types of material. Or you may want to hide the fact that you are using PGP because you or one of your correspondents lives in a police state which can put people in prison for refusing to reveal the contents of encrypted messages. !Stego makes it possible to hide a message whose presence is undetectable by anyone who does not know the correct passphrase.

!Snego 1.0

!Snego, by Nat Queen, generates sprite files having exactly the same format and visual appearance as those created by !Stego, but without any hidden message. It also generates random PGP messages which nobody can decrypt, enabling you to prove that you cannot decrypt all your PGP files. This may be useful to thwart any attempts to make you reveal the contents of encrypted files.

!Conceal 1.0

!Conceal, by Nat Queen, hides the existence of files by attaching them to other files, such as image, sound or video files, without affecting the normal operation of the "container" files. The "hidden" files are not shown in any directory listing or window. By itself, this gives only casual security, but concealment can be combined with encryption by using any of the encryption programs available from this site.

!PhotoSteg (26-bit only), by David Thomson, is another program for steganography. It can hide any type of data within pre-drawn 24- or 32-bit sprites with a high degree of security.


Destroying confidential data

Nuke 1.41 (detached signature), by Sergio Monesi, is a small utility that overwrites files on disc, making them impossible to recover. This is useful when it is desirable to remove all traces of sensitive data. When a file is "deleted" by RISC OS, the reference to it is removed from the directory, but the actual file still remains on the disc surface and can easily be recovered by suitable software, until the same sectors on the disc are eventually overwritten by new files. Nuke makes such file recovery impossible, and it offers more powerful options than PGP's simple "wipe" facility, with true "military" levels of security. It can also overwrite all data from the free space on a disc, i.e. all previously "deleted" files.

!Nuke 0.91b (detached signature)

!Nuke, by Tony Hopstaken, is a convenient front end for Nuke (see above), and it includes the latter. Nuke and !Nuke may be useful for different purposes. For simple use, Nuke can be placed in the Library directory. Then, to erase any file (with the basic security level), you can simply type "nuke <filename>" at the command line. For higher security, you may want to overwrite files several times and/or overwrite them with random data or with a specified string. The front end !Nuke may be more convenient for this, since it makes it unnecessary to remember how to enter the extra parameters in the Nuke command.

!Erase 1.1

!Erase, by Nat Queen, is a replacement for !Nuke, for users of Virtual Acorn systems, in which !Nuke (and its inner utility Nuke) does not work. Users of RISC OS on native hardware can continue to use !Nuke, which is faster and somewhat more flexible in its options. In either case, single files as well as entire directories can be permanently destroyed with high security.

!FileNuke 1.0

!FileNuke, by Paul Vigay, is a utility for overwriting single files with military-grade security.


Authenticating your software

This is the primary distribution site for the security software by Nat Queen and Tony Hopstaken. Copies of these programs obtained from any other source should be considered valid only if they are identical to the ones distributed here.

The archive for most of these programs contains an inner archive of the application itself, together with some text files and detached PGP signatures of the author and of the owner of this site. The detached signatures apply to the inner archives and are provided to enable users to check that their copy has not been corrupted or altered in any way.

The public keys of Nat Queen and/or Tony Hopstaken must be in your public keyring to check the detached signatures. If you are not familiar with detached signatures, consult the PGP manual for details.


Utilities for programmers

The following archives contain modules (with source code) for implementing IDEA and Blowfish, two of the strongest available symmetric ciphers. The first of these also implements the cryptographically strong MD5 hashing function.

Blowfish 1.01

Cipher 0.07 (IDEA/MD5)

The following site offers a module (with source code) for generating cryptographically strong pseudo-random bytes. A RISC OS version of SSH software is also available from the same URL.

CryptRandom 0.13


An Enigma simulator

!Enigma provides a beautiful demonstration of how several different versions of the famous Enigma machines worked during World War II. Unlike some such simulators for different operating systems, this one produces exactly the same output as the real Enigma machines.

Defeating the spooks

!Spook 1.11a, by Nat Queen, is a program for generating random phrases containing "trigger words" aimed at frustrating Echelon (or Five-Eyes), the secretive global spy system coordinated by the NSA which indiscriminately intercepts billions of everyday private e-mails and other electronic messages.

A sample of some random output from !Spook can be seen here.

Top secret documents from the NSA reveal the massive scale of government spying on our supposedly private communications.

More top secret documents from NSA and GCHQ revealing some of their dirty tricks to enable them to spy more effectively.


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"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence..."

Article 12, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


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n. Preferred address:
m.queen@ bham.ac.uk