The Beginning

The time is finally here! I have been assigned my senior project! I’ve been excited and anxious for this time since I started at OSU 2 years ago. At this point, being nearly done with all my classes, I’m mostly excited. My team and I will be working on rewriting a website called Crypter. Crypter is a free encryption platform that allows users to encrypt messages and files, then send them to whoever they wish. The caveat is, the user has to send the decryption information to the recipient manually.

I’ve actually wanted to use something like this in the past but did not know of any viable free solutions. Maybe Crypter can be that solution. I can’t count how many times in the past I’ve looked at job offers or contracts and they require a Social Security Number sent back in a PDF via email. Since email typically uses SMTP, none of this data is encrypted and could be susceptible to packet sniffing. Crypter could be an answer to that problem.

Another benefit of Crypter is that it doesn’t require an account and it is very simple to use. If anyone reading wants to try this out, feel free. Just head over to https://crypter.dev and test it out. The process is very straightforward and doesn’t require any sign up. To encrypt files:
1. Choose a message or file to encrypt
2. Select Encrypt
3. Copy the link and the decryption key
4. Send to the recipient or decrypt it in a different tab.

Here are some snippets of the process

After selecting “Decrypt your message” Crypter shows the original message, as long as the decryption key was correct.

Why Crypter?

I selected Crypter as one of my top options because I am excited to learn more about the .NET Framework, and I’ve also taken several classes in the security realm. .NET development excites me because I believe it will become increasingly in demand for software developers in the future since it is so simple to install and run applications on any system, as long as they have the appropriate .NET framework version. I know several colleagues, friends and acquaintances who work for organizations using almost strictly C# and the .NET framework. In my career, I’ve had the opportunity to develop a few small projects in C# and have gotten to see the benefits of .NET but I’m hoping to become more proficient going forward.

During my time in IT, I’ve gotten to explore various aspects of computer security which has always been fascinating. More recently, I’ve taken cryptography, along with other security classes at OSU that I feel will be helpful when working on the implementation details for this website. In my career, I’ve seen sophisticated malware, seen how YARA signatures are created to protect against malware, and most importantly for this project, how files are encrypted and decrypted using certain cryptographic functions.

Questions & Ideas

Currently, I have a few questions that I hope can be answered during our first few meetings with our project sponsor. The first one would be knowing what encryption scheme is used to encrypt the message and is it collision resistant? The other, which isn’t necessarily a question about Crypter itself, the user has to share the key with it’s recipient, how can they do that in a safe way? Maybe a solution could be: once a user creates an account, there could be an encrypted messaging platform, so the user could have a seamless experience sending the message to it’s recipient. As of now, I could see someone encrypting a message, then emailing or sending it using another chat form that is unencrypted, which completely defeats the purpose. This isn’t an issue with Crypter in itself, but I’m curious what the ideal flow would be for a user.

I’m excited to keep this blog updated as I work with my team to develop solutions and get some of these questions answered! See you next week!

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