Secure Edit Help File

Secure Edit Help

SecureEdit is a program to save encrypted text files (plus a few other functions)

This program is a text editor that saves encrypted text. It will not ever save plain text.
It makes no modifications to your system other than to create a settings file (secureedit.ini) in the same folder as the program.

The program uses a AES 256 algorithm (from version 3.00) which currently has no known weaknesses, but the implementation may well have vulnerabilities, so it would be prudent to use this program in conjunction with another form of encryption such as on-the-fly disk encryption.

Passwords are not stored in the encrypted file, this has advantages for security, but the disadvantage is that no check is done that the decryption password is correct. Be aware that If you decrypt a file with the wrong password the file will be scrambled. You can recover the file by reversing the process (encrypt using the wrong password, decrypt with the correct password).

Newest Features

Jpeg Tools – Remove exif data, and more advanced anti-fingerprinting functions to remove or obscure camera markers such as lens dirt / sensor non-uniformity markers.

Steganography functions – Text and files can now be saved as png image files (with a random funky design). Unlike the “Hide File” function, the hidden data should not be detectable, even with analysis.

File Dates – Encrypted files will have their read/write/access dates randomised by default.

Test Password – Encrypted files can be checked to see if the password is correct. Only works for common file types.

Backwards Compatibility – Compatibility with previous versions: Legacy .eca files should open ok, but they will be saved as .sea files. Blowfish .ecu files will need version 2.6 to open.

PNG files created in versions 3.10/3.11 will not open / decrypt in later versions.

Basic Functionality

The program has two main functions – to create encrypted text files saved as xxxx.sea and to encrypt files from your hard disk saved as xxx.ext.sea.

Both of these can be steganographically hidden in png image files.

To encrypt files on your hard disk you are best using the tools tab, you can drag and drop onto the buttons, either using your file manager or the internal file browser. You can also click the buttons to open a file open dialogue.

The program is not intended for use by computer novices, it will happily delete and encrypt files, folders and your whole computer if you tell it too.

The Top Toolbar
Open / Save – for text files & Grid files (csv files) and  encrypted files.

Encrypted files can be in the form of .sea files, or steganographically hidden as .png (image) files. Note png files are slower to work with, and significantly larger than the actual file data, so work best with text of < 1MB or so.

Password Box – type a password for all your activities, and remember what it is. The password box is not obscured by default. If you are in a place where someone might look over your shoulder then you can click the [***] button before your type your password. The password box will obscure and lock automatically.

[***] Password obscure toggle button

Password lock toggle button – prevents accidental typing in the password box. Will now activate automatically.

Onscreen keyboard – use this to enter the password in order to avoid key loggers. Even if you enter part of the password with the on screen keyboard it will help. Key loggers are a common type of malware, and a serious threat to your encrypted data.

Show status the status panel shows a log on activities. It is recommended to always show the status window, any problems with program operation will be shown here.

File View a file browser for .sea files (encrypted text files)

The padlocks are for drag and drop file operations. i.e. drag a file (or folder) onto the button to encrypt or decrypt a file. They will encrypt files with the password in the password box. If you forget your password the file is not recoverable. If dragging / dropping is not your thing then you can click the buttons to encrypt and decrypt files.
The Tools Panel

Basic Tools tab

Encrypt File – choose a file to encrypt using the password you have typed into the password box. It does the same as the locked padlock icon.

Decrypt File – choose a file to decrypt using the password you have typed into the password box. It does the same as the unlocked padlock icon.

File Munge – This option is not a full secure delete. It securely deletes the first 10 MB of file. This could be useful for deleting very large files, such as 20 GB mpegs. Recovering the data would involve recreating the file headers – something beyond the capabilities of’ ‘normal people’, but don’t use it to delete your plot to blow up the houses of parliament. Munge size can be specified in the options.

Secure Delete – deletes a file and overwites it to prevent recovery or undeletion. Drag a file from explorer onto this icon and it will be securely overwritten and then deleted. Don’t do it to files you want to keep. There is no undo. The toolbar buttons can also be clicked to find a file if you like doing things the hard way. For solid state storage ( SSDs, flash drives) combine with ‘wipe free space’ function.

Encrypt to PNG – Drag a file here to convert the file to a PNG image where the data is encrypted and steganographically hidden. The PNG image is randomly generated and will be different for every file. The PNG files are large and slow to work with, depending on your level of patience you might want to work with files smaller than 1MB.

Decrypt from PNG – Extracts and decrypts previously created PNGs.


Misc Tools tab

Temp folder secure delete takes longer than standard delete, but overwrites the file to prevent recovery. Probably a good idea in semi-free, or authoritarian societies (which is most of them).

Analyse password – has been updated to reflect the password cracking abilities of GPUs using the baseline of 10e9 passwords per second.

Netstat – gives a list of network connections from your machine.

Wipe Free Space  – Overwrites free space on the disk to remove traces of old files. This tool does not wipe files slacks or mft records, which leaves the possibility of small file fragments remaining untouched. A (reputable) full disk wipe program will do this.


Cleanup tab

This is a quick history cleanup, it is not as thorough as a dedicated cleanup program.


Advanced Tools – use these with care !

(1) Folder Monitor – encrypts a folder, and then waits for incoming files, which will be encrypted. There is no user interaction regarding file overwriting.

(2) Copy and Encrypt – copies files in folder “a” to folder “b” and encrypts them in the process.


HEX Editor

Allows the viewing and editing of binary files. Use the standard drag/drop or file/open to open files and the menu ‘save’ to save the edited file.


Other tools available from the menu

Convert to Encrypted BMP (tools menu / file tools) – Encrypts the file using the password in the box and converts to a bitmap (image).
You can view it in an image viewer, but don’t try editing it. Currently does not delete the original file.

Convert From Encrypted BMP (tools menu / file tools) – recovers whatever you encrypted above, using the same password.

Convert to / from Wave file (tools menu / file tools) – Creates a wave (sound) file of the file, after it has been encrypted, so it sounds like white noise. Currently does not delete the original file


Tools Available from the File Browser Menu (Right Click)

Jpeg Exif Data Removal – removes Exif, XMP, Maker Notes from Jpeg files.

Open as ‘encrypted text PNG’ – Opens of steg text pngs directly to editor.

Rename to Random File Name – does what it says.

Randomize File Dates – changes the file creation / modification / last access dates to a random date in the past (3-9 years ago). This is on by default.

Hide a File in a File

This allow the embedding of one file within another. A “container” file is chosen – say a video of a dog. A secret file is chosen – say a video of a cat. The program will then encrypt the cat video (using the password supplied in the top box), and then embed the cat video within the dog video. Anyone who receives this dog video will be able to play it and it will just look like a dog video, but providing they have the password they can extract the cat video.

This process is not steganography, if someone examines the file they will be able to see random data at the end, although they will not be able to determine what it is.

The latest version now supports multiple embedded files.

In all these file operations, if you use the wrong password a garbage file will be produced.

Text  Encoder

The purpose of this is to create encrypted text that can be copied and pasted into an email or chat that can be decoded by the recipient.

It works by first encrypting the text using the password supplied, and then encoding the result (using base64) to give a plain text string such as
Cz5xVa95AiYzosa46WdFSOIh4EBjCA==
This can be decoded by your recipient (who has prior knowledge of the password you used).

JPEG Tools

Basic Jpeg Tools

These are for showing and removing jpeg meta data. This might include camera make and model, time and date, and sometimes GPS location. The functions on this tab work on the images in place, e.g. no copy is made.

Advanced Jpeg Tools

These offer the next level of photo privacy. They potentially cause image degradation, so new, cleaned images are copied to an output folder, the original images remain untouched.

Basic Clean – This removes EXIF / XMP / IPTC and Jpeg comments meta data. Same as the “Remove Metadata” button on the previous tab, except it outputs a copy of the file to the output folder.

Security Clean – Jpeg headers are quite large and complex, and can indicate which camera make and model the image has come from, even with normal metadata removed. This button removes meta data and re-writes Jpeg headers (creates a new Jpeg file).

High Security Clean – The photos you take can potentially be traced back to you from the unique aspects of your camera. A certain social media platform has admitted tracking users by means of fingerprints and smudges on their camera lenses. Add to this the unique defects in your camera sensor, and each image can potentially be linked to other images taken by the same camera. The High Security Clean attempts to mask these markers, so as to make each image unique and not related to any other taken by the same camera. Each image will be randomly slightly rotated, shifted, cropped and noise added in order to confuse the process of image matching by using these defects.
The default setting are minimal, you may wish to increase the strength depending on your threat model and how much image degradation is acceptable.
Disclaimer – this feature might stop ‘unnamed social media website’ from matching your images, but possibly not an authoritarian government with sufficient expertise and manpower.

Unicode

Editor Font (Options / Visual / Editor Font)

Most common fonts (such as Arial, trebuchet) will display European letters with accents, greek, Cyrillic (Russian). If you work with other character sets such as Japanese, Korean or Bengali then you will need a font that is capable of displaying these characters, a common such font is ms arial unicode, this is available on the ms office installation (if you look hard enough). Adobe photoshop also installs quite a few unicode fonts. SecureEdit will save unicode characters even if your font doesn’t display them.

If You Screw Up

If you use the wrong password with any of these file operations (encryption or decryption) they can be reversed, you can then use the correct password to get the file back.

e.g. file encrypted with password “mypas” is accidentally decrypted with password “myotherpass”. You realise this after the resulting file is corrupted. To undo the error re-encrypt the file with “myotherpass” and the decrypt with the correct password “mypass”.