Thursday, January 05, 2006

Re: st: Protecting data sets

>You might consider using a file compression application that has the >ability to password protect your files as a first step. You should be >able to decompress and change the password at any time and you would >receive the additional benefit of smaller file sizes for storage. I use >Winzip (, but I'm sure that there are a number of >other applications out there for Windows and other OS's.

Anyone using the encryption in zip files should be aware that they are quite vulnerable to brute force attacks. A five or six character single case key can be broken a matter of seconds. If you use zip files chose passwords that use mixed case letters and special characters, not susceptible to dictionary attacks and are at least ten bytes long.

Do not place any faith in application-specific passwords as well. For instance, Stat/Transfer has no problem reading password-protected SAS files.



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