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June 17, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:29pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Pretty Good Privacy Inc, the one-time cryptography maverick, but now a government-approved exporter of encryption technology, has introduced version 5 of its PGP for Personal Privacy product that enables users to protect their e-mail and documents. It can operate from a tool bar within Qualcomm Inc’s Eudora Pro and Light e-mail packages, Microsoft Corp’s Exchange, Microsoft Outlook and Apple Computer Inc’s Claris Emailer for the Macintosh. The product incorporates the 128-bit encryption technology, for which PGP was recently granted an export license from the US government. Such licenses are required for anything over 40-bit. PGP claims that by using the 128-bit version, messages encoded using its software are 309 sextillion times more difficult to break than with mere 40-bit – that’s 309 followed by 21 figures for those that are wondering. This version also includes new mechanisms to find and store public keys on a network of public key servers. PGP maintains one of seven public key servers on the net, which replicate between each other in the early hours of the morning. Once a user has stored their public key on a server it is available to other users who wish to communicate with him or her securely. Users can also choose which encryption algorithm they use between DSS/Diffie-Hellman or RSA. PGP for Personal Privacy, costs $39 downloaded from the web, or $49 boxed before August 15. After that the prices go up by $10. It is also available on a 30-day free trial from today. The business version of the PGPG software will go to version 5.5 later on in the summer.

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