Category Archives: Cyber Security

Mac Software Sale – SimpleumSafe

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– Under the motto “Now everybody can encrypt” the German company Simpleum Media GmbH of Hamburg, Germany offers a solution for Apple Mac and iOS which enables users to encrypt data without technical knowledge. Whether private or professional data, the protection of one’s own digital life is a priority and is a question of the responsible handling of personal and professional information.

In the case of professional data, companies are legally / contractually obliged to ensure the correct handling of personal and secret data in order to prevent access by unauthorized third parties. Whether contracts, strategy papers, patient reports, process documents or patents, these data require secure encryption so as not to fall into criminal hands.

  • Private users who want to protect their data
  • People who must take care about professional secrets
  • Professionals who must protect personal relevant data
  • People with security clearance such as doctors, lawyers, tax consultants, etc.(“confidentiality”)

Easy & Intuitive Usability:
SimpleumSafe combines intuitive operation and ease-of-use. To encrypt files or folders, drag files from the Mac “Finder” into the safe. Encrypted! You can organize your files similar to the Mac “Finder”: view files, edit, rename, comment and tag them, and your data always remains encrypted.

Features For Mac:

  • Synchronization of Safes between different devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone)
  • Simple and intuitive usability (drag a file or folder from Finder into a Safe and it is encrypted)
  • No technical knowledge is needed for encryption
  • Security made in Germany
  • Strong encryption with AES-256. All files in a Safe are encrypted
  • Store your safes locally, on USB device, and in the cloud
  • Create as many Safes as you want
  • App-to-App Drag & Drop: you can e.g. drag a mail, appointments, contacts, photos etc. directly into a safe
  • Organize your files as you like it (create folders, rename, copy, move, duplicate, trash, delete files)
  • Show file content for Microsoft Office and iWork, PDF, Images, Text, Videos, Audio and more …
  • Mark files and folders with tags
  • Number of files and size is only limited by the free space of your device
  • Thumbnailview/Image Viewer
  • Version 2.5 for Mac 10.14 Mojave with Dark Mode

Reviews:
“Everything I was looking for and so much more! …In no time I have created several Safes which contain among other things my tax records, financial information, and personal files. It is so easy to use and has a simple and intuitive interface. I cannot praise it enough. …If you are looking for a safe and easy way to store you important files I cannot recommend this enough!”

“Great app and best support! Simpleum Safe works great as stated. I have contacted support twice for two different questions and they have responded within a couple of hours and answered my questions perfectly. I recommend this easy and secure app to anyone that wants AES-256 encryption.”

“Amazing App! I’ve tried many encryption programs over the years, but nothing compairs to Simpleum Safe for keeping encrypted information on the icloud […] This is one of the best thought out and written encryption security programs I have ever seen. Very easy to use with lots of options such as taging files and attaching icons to the tags.. i.e. photos, documents, etc. […] Download and give this a chance you’ll be glad you did and you will probably fall in love with it.”

“Excellent! This app is very intuitive, easy and user friendly. Thank you very much. Far better than all others related apps.”

Why Choose Simpleumsafe?
Nowadays it is not enough “only” to encrypt your data to be protected. If you want to view or organize the encrypted files, they also must be protected. It is important not to leave any trace on the system, and even if a Trojan looks over your shoulder, it cannot copy all your files to the Internet.

SimpleumSafe goes a different way than most other encryption programs. After authorization with a password, the files are not provided in the file system. Otherwise they would be completely vulnerable from this moment on. SimpleumSafe makes its own file system and has its own finder. Thus the files remain encrypted for the entire time. Even if the synchronization data was stolen from the cloud and the password became public, it is not possible to decrypt the data.

Special Price:
SimpleumSafe for Mac is available from Cyber Friday (23.11.2018) until Cyber Monday (26.11.2018) for the promotional price of $17.99 (USD) (instead of $35,99) on the Simpleum website – in German and English. SimpleumSafe – best next generation encryption app – strong encryption, easy-to-use, continuously encrypted.

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Significant Hardware Hack Alleged Against China

Updated 10/9/18

Cyber Security – I read the article “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” and . . . WOW. This reads like the plot to a science fiction thriller.

The idea of hardware being secretly hijacked during the manufacturing process has been around for a while. This allegation, if true, is significant! On the other hand, Apple has denied finding altered hardware in their official statement “What Businessweek got wrong about Apple“.

Since this article was just published October 4, I think there will be a lot of fallout over the next few days, weeks and months. It could have a significant impact on the cost of electronic products as supply chains reconsider off-shore manufacturing.

Added 10/9 – The article “Asian Countries and Industry Players Erupt over the China Spy Chip Controversy first started in the U.S.” still does not confirm the allegations against the Chinese, but it does indicate that there is a significant concern through the electronics sector.

Is Your Mac Infected with AdWare?

Tech Tip – Is your Mac infected with AdWare? Well, I guess the first thing is to explain exactly what AdWare is.

What is AdWare

AdWare is a term used to describe a form of malicious software (Malware) that displays unwanted advertisements on the infected computer. These may be in the form of a pop-up window or even an advertisement window that cannot be closed. While many consider AdWare only an irritant, it can become a major problem.

If your Mac is infected with AdWare it will attempt to change the way your browser and even your Mac functions. If your Mac is infected you may experience:

  • Advertising banners appearing on web pages that you visit
  • Being randomly redirected to another website
  • Browser popups appearing and recommending fake updates or other software
  • Your default search engine replaced
  • Icons appearing on your desktop for software you didn’t install
  • New toolbars, extensions, or plugins being added to your browser
  • Your Mac fan coming on or your battery depleting earlier than expected

Built-in Protection

How likely is it for your Mac to be infected? Much less likely that if you were using a PC, but there is a growing chance on your Mac being infected. Apple includes XProtect in macOS to catch Malware [7,8]. It has been part of macOS since 2009 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. XProtect scans downloaded files to see if any match the malware descriptions [6]. It does a pretty good job, but some software we might consider ‘malicious’ passes the test as legitimate software.

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Fortunately, XProtect is a macOS feature that is on by default and does not need to be enabled [4]. The only thing you need to do is make sure that the malware definition files are being updated [5]. Go to System Preferences ==> App Store and make sure the box next to “Install system data files and security updates” is checked.

You can also increase your protection by changing your DNS provider to Quad9. (See “Quad9, a Better Choice for your DNS“).

How to Check for AdWare

I came across the video [10] above by MacMost that gives a quick look at how to detect if AdWare is installed on your Mac. This is actually what got me started on this article. If your Mac is experiencing any of the symptoms listed earlier in this article, you should take a look to see if AdWare is installed.

The video shows a few of the common places to look for AdWare. There are actually several locations to look at and specific files to look for [11].

You may also want to review the installed Applications as well as check the Safari Extensions that are enabled. You should also go to System ==> Applications ==> Utilities ==> Activity Monitor. Under the CPU heading see if there are processes running with high utilization that you do not recognize. If you find any, do a search on them to find out what they do and if they are trusted.

References

  1. How to tell if your Mac is infected
  2. PSA: Here’s how to check for – and remove – the Mac malware mshelper
  3. Detect & Remove Adware from Mac OS X Easily with AdwareMedic
  4. how to enable Xprotect malware protection
  5. Apple cracks down on adware
  6. XProtect Explained: How Your Mac’s Built-in Anti-malware Software Works
  7. Just what do XProtect and MRT protect your Mac from?
  8. Apple Updates XProtect Malware Definitions for Trojan OSX/Snake.A
  9. Detect & Remove Adware from Mac OS X Easily with AdwareMedic
  10. Checking For and Removing Adware From Your Mac
  11. How to eliminate the adware that’s plaguing your Mac

See my other Mac and macOS articles


 

Changing the DNS Provider on Your iOS Device

Tech Tip – Generally we all just let the network provider designate our DNS provider. You may want to change that and choose Quad9 for improved security, performance, and privacy for your iOS device. See that link for the story behind Quad9.

Changing the DNS provider on your iOS device is simple. Open Settings ==> WiFi.

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Click on the blue ‘i’ next to your selected WiFi network.

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Under the DNS heading click on ‘Automatic’ to the right of ‘Configure DNS’

Change the setting to Manual, then click on the ‘Add Server’ under ‘DNS Servers’ and enter the IP address of 9.9.9.9, then delete the others. Save your changes.

Now you are all set up to use the Quad9 DNS servers.

Unfortunately, you need to make this DNS change individually for every WiFi network you use. I am slowly updating both my iPhone and iPad to use Quad9 on each of the WiFi networks I use.


See my other iOS articles


 

Quad 9, a Better Choice For Your DNS

Tech Tip – As you know if you follow my posts, I listen to a lot of podcasts. While nearly it is nearly 10 months old (I have quite a podcast episode backlog), I listened to episode #638 of the Security Now podcast as I went on a walk earlier today. The primary subject of this podcast was Quad9.

So what is Quad9? From their web page:

Quad9 is a free, recursive, anycast DNS platform that provides end users robust security protections, high-performance, and privacy.

Why would you want to switch to Quad9? The video above gives a short (2:29) overview of how DNS works to resolve Domain Names into IP addresses, and how Quad9 can provide you with more protection. The Quad9 claims:

  • Quad9 blocks against known malicious domains, preventing your computers and IoT devices from connecting to malware or phishing sites (Quad9 pulls in security intelligence from 19 partners including: IBM’s X-Force, Abuse.ch, the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Bambenek Consulting, F-Secure, Netlab, and Proofpoint)
  • Quad9 systems are distributed worldwide for quick response with servers in more than 128 locations at present. More than 150 locations in total are scheduled for 2018 (published tests demonstrate Quad9’s response time [1,5,7,8])
  • No personally-identifiable information is collected by the system [4]

The founders of Quad9 include IBM, PCH (Packet Clearing House), and the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA). Quad9 works with several partnering groups to make Quad9 a safer, more secure and private way to do DNS lookup. While they have extensive tech in place to block malware domains, Quad9 also has whitelisting in place to prevent known valid domains from being accidentally blocked [1,4].

After listening to Steve Gibson talk about Quad9 on Security Now I decided to switch to Quad9. Shortly after I returned to my apartment I logged on to my MacBook and set up Quad9. If you are not sure how to change your DNS provider on your Mac, the video above shows you how.

You should make the change to Quad9 on your Mac too! You can also set the DNS on your iOS device.

 

References

  1. What is Quad9 DNS and is it Better Than OpenDNS
  2. Quad9 on Wikipedia
  3. New “Quad9” DNS service blocks malicious domains for everyone
  4. A Deeper Dive Into Public DNS Resolver Quad9
  5. DNS Resolvers Performance compared: CloudFlare x Google x Quad9 x OpenDNS
  6. What is Quad9?
  7. DNS Performance Comparison: Google, Quad9, OpenDNS, Norton, CleanBrowsing, and Yandex
  8. Quad9 DNS
  9. Free Quad9 DNS service aims to make threat intel more accessible
  10. New Quad9 DNS Service Makes the Internet Safer and More Private

See my other Mac and OS X articles


 

macOS New App Release – CyberByte Antivirus 2.1.1

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Product Announcements  – Independent development team CyberByte of Bucharest, Romania has released CyberByte Antivirus 2.1.1, an important update to their antivirus and internet security application for macOS computers. The comprehensive security app provides protection against threats by scanning for and removing viruses, malware, and adware. The utility also scans any local network for all connected devices, allowing users to ensure that no unknown devices are connected to their network.

CyberByte’s malware research team personnel are certified in malware analysis and incident response. The team updates the app’s malware patterns daily, based on currently developing malware campaigns. In addition, the app monitors the Mac Download folder, and alerts users if a downloaded file contains potential malware.

“While the Mac is generally considered to be safe and secure, there are still plenty of viruses, malware, adware and other threats lurking on the internet, ready to attack a user’s Mac,” says CyberByte CEO Calin Popescu. “My team at CyberByte has observed a 120 percent increase in Mac malware over the last year, which is why we developed CyberByte Antivirus for the Mac.”

CyberByte Antivirus is designed to be as easy as possible to use by home users, even if they don’t have much experience with computers. The app runs quietly in the background, monitoring for viruses, malware and other threats by constantly monitoring the Mac Downloads folder, ready to identify any malware that attempts to sneak its way onto the machine.

In addition to real-time monitoring for viruses and other threats, CyberByte Antivirus also offers the ability to manually scan any Mac for malware threats. Scanning for viruses by some apps can eat up large amounts of precious computing resources, slowing the computer and taking long periods of time to scan for threats. This can cause busy users to be reluctant to manually scan for threats. CyberByte’s solution quickly scans the Mac’s hard drive for possible threats, while the user can continue to work on projects and tasks, as usual.

Manual malware scans can be made in the form of a “Quick Scan,” which quickly checks critical locations on the Mac for any signs of a threat. A “Full Scan” indexes and searches the computer’s entire hard drive for malware. Meanwhile, the app’s “Adware Scan” function searches for any adware threats that could affect the macOS operating system and browsers.

Free Version Features Include:

  • Virus Scan
  • Adware Scan
  • Network Scan
  • Update Malware Patterns

Premium Version Features Include:

  • Remove Virus
  • Remove Adware
  • Active Live Protection
  • Premium Customer Support

An exclusive feature not seen in other antivirus tools is CyberBytes Antivirus’ ability to scan a local network, mapping the entire network and all of its connected devices. This ensures a hacker hasn’t taken advantage of recently discovered vulnerabilities in wireless network that allow the bad guys to hijack a network, stealing a user’s personal and business information, which can include passwords, banking and credit card information, and much more.

The “Network Scan” feature scans the network and reports back how many devices are connected to the network, returning information about the connections, including IP addresses and MAC addresses. By viewing the information, informed users can detect if an unknown device or computer has logged into their wireless network. For example, if a user knows they only have 3 devices attached to their network, (say, a Mac, 1 iPhone, and an Apple TV), they’ll be able to tell at a glance that a rogue network connection has been made.

“We here at CyberByte know you’ll find the new version of CyberByte Antivirus a valuable addition to your Mac’s protection arsenal,” continues Calin. “Our company provides security consultancy to large companies around the globe, and we give the same personal attention to our small business and home users. We look forward to receiving feedback about CyberBytes Antivirus, as we continually work to improve the app’s malware protection capabilities.”

CyberByte Antivirus will receive the OPSWAT certification of genuine antivirus solution later this month. The certification signifies the app has met all of the criteria designated for OPSWAT-certified desktop security applications.

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.10 or higher
  • macOS High Sierra compatible
  • 64-bit processor
  • 181.6 MB

CyberByte Antivirus 2.1.1 is free, and is available worldwide exclusively from the CyberByte website. A premium version of the app, which offers additional features is also available for $24.00 USD (or an equivalent amount in other currencies).

macOS & iOS App Sale – SimpleumSafe 2

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Product Announcements – Simpleum Media GmbH of Hamburg, Germany is proud to announce the release of SimpleumSafe 2, a new version of their encryption application developed for iOS & macOS. SimpleumSafe 2 was developed with Extreme Secure Synchronization – continuously encrypted. Even if the synchronization data was stolen from the cloud and the password became public, it is not possible to decrypt the data. SimpleumSafe goes one step further, because encrypting alone is not enough. The data remains encrypted while it is viewed or edited.

Simpleum Media GmbH halved the price of their software to facilitate the access in the encryption also in terms of price from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Now Everybody Can Encrypt:
SimpleumSafe for iOS is an easy-to-use app for password-based encryption of personal and professional data and a file manager for iOS. Thanks to proven AES-256 encryption technology which is also used by governments, banks and industrial enterprises, all kinds of digital information are well protected against attacks from the Internet and access by unauthorized persons. Whether private or professional data ” the protection of one’s own digital life is a priority and is a question of the responsible handling of personal and professional information.

* Private users who want to protect their data
* People who must take care about professional secrets
* Professionals who must protect personal relevant data
* People entrusted with confidential information such as doctors, lawyers, tax consultants and more (“confidentiality”)

Why Choose Simpleumsafe?
Nowadays it is not enough “only” to encrypt your data to be protected. If you want to view or organize the encrypted files, they also must be protected. It is important not to leave any trace on the system, and even if a Trojan looks over your shoulder, it cannot copy all your files to the Internet.

SimpleumSafe goes a different way than most other encryption programs. After authorization with a password, the files are not provided in the file system. Otherwise they would be completely vulnerable from this moment on. SimpleumSafe makes its own file system and has its own finder. Thus the files remain encrypted for the entire time.

Features:

  • New: Synchronization of Safes between different devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone) with following synchronization types: iCloud or Wireless (without Internet)
  • Simple and intuitive usability
  • No technical knowledge is needed for encryption
  • Security made in Germany
  • Strong encryption with AES-256. All files in a Safe are encrypted
  • Organize your files as you like it (create folders, rename, copy, move, duplicate, trash, delete files)
  • Picture Viewer
  • Show file content for Microsoft Office and iWork, PDF, Images, Text, Videos, Audio and more …
  • Mark files and folders with tags
  • Add files from any App which supports Action Extensions or the new Document Provider Extension
  • Export files by using Share-Button or Document Provider Extension
  • Number of files and size is only limited by the free space of your device
  • Unlimited number of Safes
  • New: Add photos and videos from photo library directly from the App
  • New: Take photos or capture videos directly from the App and store them securely. Without detours.
  • New: Import contacts and notes
  • New: Screen protection when in background
  • New: Access files in Safe from the new iOS 11 Files App
  • New: Supports Face ID for iPhone X

Device Requirements:

  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
  • Requires iOS 9.0 or later
  • Wireless synchronization needs at minimum iOS 11.1
  • 30 MB

System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.11 El Capitan or higher
  • Wireless synchronization needs at minimum macOS 10.13.1
  • 77 MB

Special Price:
SimpleumSafe 2 for iOS is available from Black Friday (24.11. 2017) until the end of Cyber Monday (27.11.2017) for the promotional price of $3.99 USD (instead of $7.99) in the App Store – in German and English. SimpleumSafe – best next generation encryption app – strong encryption, easy-to-use.

SimpleumSafe 2 for Mac is available from Black Friday (24.11. 2017) until the end of Cyber Monday (27.11.2017) for the promotional price of $17,99 USD (instead of $35,99) on the Simpleum website – in German and English. And in the Mac App Store in the Productivity category. SimpleumSafe – best next generation encryption app – strong encryption, easy-to-use.

macOS New App Release – Data Vault 1.0

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Product Announcements – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released Data Vault 1.0, the company’s powerful new utility for automated encryption and decryption of files and drives on any Mac computer. Data Vault comes with a dual panel layout, similar to a dual panel file manager. Encryption and decryption is done with drag and drop: Files dropped in the left panel are encrypted, files dropped in the right panel are decrypted.

Data Vault is using military grade encryption algorithms that are strong enough to withhold almost any attack. Using a computer with a performance of 2 Gigaflops the estimated time for cracking this encryption is 9.1732631e50 years, this equals to 1.1*10^77 possible combinations.

Main features of Data Vault for Mac:

  • Military grade encryption
  • Automated encryption/decryption with drag & drop
  • Direct encrypt to dropbox or google drive
  • Automatic encryption at copy out and open with
  • Built-In preview
  • List view or icon view
  • Automatic at changes of encrypted files
  • Automatic archive management for encrypt and decrypt

“With a tool for simple encryption already available we realized that this process needs to be automated when you have to handle more than just a few files, like a whole drive for example. The approach with a dual panel layout where you just move data from one side to the other in order to encrypt or decrypt data proved to be the most comfortable. This allows to encrypt files with just one click to make them available for others, and to protect data it’s just a matter of dragging the files to the left panel.” as Christian Schaffner, General Manager of B-Eng, explains the idea behind Data Vault. “In a vault you can lock away stuff with a simple mechanism, with data vault you can lock away whole drives with a mechanism just as simple.”

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.11 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 33.8 MB disk space

Data Vault 1.0 is available in the productivity category for $8.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.

macOS New App release – SimpleumSafe

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Product Announcements – Simpleum Media GmbH of Hamburg, Germany is proud to join the European Cyber Security Months in October 2017 again this year. In celebration, the German company halves the price of their software this weekend to facilitate the access in the encryption also in terms of price. Under the motto “Now everybody can encrypt” the company offers SimpleumSafe for Apple Mac, enabling users to encrypt data without technical knowledge.

SimpleumSafe is an easy-to-use app for password-based encryption of personal and professional data. Thanks to proven AES-256 encryption technology, used by government, banks and industrial enterprise, all kinds of digital information are well protected against attacks from the Internet, as well as unauthorized access.

Ingeniously simple, simply ingenious:
SimpleumSafe combines intuitive operation and ease-of-use. Much of what users have already learned during daily use of the Mac can be applied using the Encryption-App.

Opening the safe and decryption of files is done via a user-defined password. Moreover, SimpleumSafe offers numerous tools for importing, organizing, tagging, and editing of the files. SimpleumSafe is designed for the average consumer, who wants to protect and archive personal information, as well as for companies who are interested to protect personal information and secret documents from unauthorized access.

Why choose SimpleumSafe?
Nowadays it is not enough “only” to encrypt your data to be protected. If you want to view, edit and organize the encrypted files, they also must be protected. It is important not to leave any trace on the system, and even if a Trojan looks over your shoulder, it can not copy all your files to the Internet.

SimpleumSafe goes a different way than most other encryption programs. After authorization with a password, the files are not provided in the file system. Otherwise they would be completely vulnerable from this moment on. SimpleumSafe makes its own file system and has its own finder. Thus the files remain encrypted for the entire time.

Features:

  • Simple and intuitive usability
  • Strong encryption with AES-256
  • Extensive support of Drag & Drop
  • App-to-App Drag & Drop: you can e.g. drag a mail, appointments, contacts, photos etc. directly into a safe
  • Organize files similar to Mac Finder
  • Mark files and folders with tags
  • Store safe locally, on USB device, and in the cloud
  • Create as many Safes as you want
  • Comment files and folders
  • Mark files as Favorites for fast access
  • Number of files and size is only limited by the free space of your device
  • Show file content for Microsoft Office and iWorks documents, PDF, Images (jpg, png, gif, tiff), Text (txt, rtf, rtfd), Movies (mp4, mov), Audio and more
  • Picture viewer

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS X Version 10.10 Yosemite or higher
  • 64-bit processor
  • 49 MB

Special Price: SimpleumSafe for Mac is available from Friday, 29.09.2017 till Sunday, 01.10.2017, for the promotional price of $8.99 USD (instead of $17.99) in the Mac App Store – in German and English.

macOS New App Release – Enigma 1.0

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Product Announcements – B-Eng of Fehraltorf, Switzerland has released Enigma 1.0, the company’s powerful new utility to encrypt files on any Mac computer. Easy-to-use, yet powerful, Enigma is the tool of choice when it comes to privacy protection. With a simple and straight forward user interface, you can easily protect your data.

Enigma uses military standard and government standard encryption algorithms that are strong enough to withhold almost any attack. Using a computer with a performance of 2 Gigaflops the estimated time for cracking this encryption is 9.1732631e50 years, this equals to 1.1*10^77 possible combinations.

Main features of Enigma for Mac:

  • Military grade encryption
  • Single click encryption / decryption

“With cyber security already an ever-evolving threat, we decided to provide a tool that helps with protecting sensible data. As app developers we indeed have data that we want nobody to see, and Enigma was developed just for this purpose. Once a password is set, encryption can simply be done with a right click, and decryption is just as simple,” according to Christian Schaffner, General Manager of B-Eng. “Of course, the rules for using a secure password still applies, the best encryption does not help at all if a weak password is used.”

System Requirements:

  • OS X 10.6 or later
  • 64-bit processor
  • 1.1 MB disk space

Enigma 1.0 is 2.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Productivity category.