Services like Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive or Spideroak make life more comfortable by offering file synchronization and sharing options that would otherwise be more difficulty to configure. With the move to the cloud, come security considerations. What if the service that you store your data on gets hacked, or a third party manages to get access to the files? If you do not protect your data, it could get stolen by hackers or accessed by third parties.
If you do not want to risk that, you have two options: Do not make data available in the cloud, or use additional protection – read encryption – to protect it from third party access.
You can use traditional programs like True Crypt for that, or a new breed of programs that have been optimized for protecting files in the cloud.
Cloudfogger is a new secure file storage software for the Windows operating system that works well with cloud storage services like Dropbox, Box.net or SkyDrive, and local storage. Here is how it works.
The service creates a virtual drive on the system that you can use to process files automatically on the system. This virtual drive is linked to a physical location on the hard drive. Files stored in the physical location are encrypted, while files in the virtual drive are decrypted. The program uses AES 256bit encryption with RSA key protection for that.
You can use the program locally right away if you want to encrypt and decrypt important files on the fly. The same principle works for cloud storage as well. You can for instance select a Dropbox subfolder as the physical location on the drive. This would mean that all files that you move into the folder via the virtual drive would automatically be stored in encrypted form in the cloud, and on all computer systems where the data is synchronized with. You keep your local access to the files, keep the file synchronization, and make sure that only you or users with the correct passphrase and program can do that.
CloudFogger can furthermore protect individual files stored in other locations on the computer. The program adds options to decrypt and encrypt files to the Windows Explorer context menu. These files can be loaded if the virtual drive has been unlocked on the system.
You can create a CloudFogger account during setup that enables you to share files more easily with other members of the service. Account creation is fully optional.
The program is currently available free of charge. It appears as if the developers plan to go commercial at one point in time. They do however note that users who have downloaded the free version will be able to use that version even if that happens.
Update: Make sure you read the license thoroughly, especially item 10 (thanks 40hz for pointing that out)
I’d suggest carefully reading the enclosed license that comes with t his product. Especially item 10 where you give the developer ( plus it’s subsidiaries and affiliates) your permission to gather personally identifiable information off your computer. The article goes on to state such information is not restricted to purely technical data about your system despite assurances it is solely for improving their product. Why they would require any information (other than technical data) about your system to accomplish that is anybody’s guess.