What is new in KeyScrambler 3.0.

Three days back QFX software unleashed a new version of their excellent tool, KeyScrambler 3.0., free edition, which is called Personal edition.  The first news is KeyScrambler 3.0., is fully compatible with Windows 8, IE10 running on Windows 8.  Which is actually no news at all. 

I mean, when Windows is updated to new version, every software tool maker scrambles (pun intended) to make their software compatible, don’t they?  So what exactly is new in this edition?

There are 3 major changes in KeyScrambler 3.0., when compared to its earlier avatars and one intermittent problem. 
  1. The first is that finally, the free or Personal edition is compatible with Google Chrome.  In its previous avatars, Chrome was covered only in Pro and Premium versions.  So from now on, no need for us to switch to Firefox especially for banking or financial transactions* - we can carry on in Google Chrome.
    1. Just for information, the free version of KeyScrambler 3.0., protects 29 major browsers.  The comparison charts for different versions of KeyScrambler are here [http://www.qfxsoftware.com/ks-windows/which-keyscrambler.htm].
  2. The second is the installation of KeyScrambler 3.0., in Firefox browser.  In earlier versions, KeyScrambler  had to be installed as an Extension.  Though I did use it, the situation made me uncomfortable.  Extensions are vulnerable to malicious attacks, as detailed in this Berkeley study (http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~afelt/secureextensions.pdf).  Again, KeyScrambler used to demand a PC reboot after every update - an avoidable irritation.  QFX has taken care of both with this version.  No more XPI and no more reboots.
  3. The 3rd is the price for the Pro and Premium versions.  The Pro version at $29.99 and Premium at $44.99 will now protect upto 3 computers, instead of the earlier single PC.  A definite steal.
Now for the problem(s).  KeyScrambler 3.0., appears to have a quirk with Firefox browser.  Sometimes, without warning, it passes on gibberish to the browser.  Even more puzzling is the gibberish fed to the window as compared to the displayed encryption are different.

If you aren’t watchful, it will create chaos.  In a browser address or search bar, the junk is visible and can be corrected.   But what if it happens in a login window or a net banking or credit card window?  This is a major bug which QFX have to tackle immediately.  Meantime, Firefox users are going back to KeyScrambler 2.9.3., for the present.

Update:  The passing on gibberish to active window seems to be a quite serious bug.  While attempting to print the Berkeley document (in Chrome) with doPDF printer, correcting the document name became impossible.  Here are the screen shots.

In the screenshots below, I am attempting to type out “HELLO WORLD” into the browser address bar.

keyscrambler_3_problems_in_firefox

In the Print dialogue, I am trying to change the document name to ‘Are browser extensions safe’ - though not totally gibberish, it proved an impossible task.

Closing the applications - Firefox or doPDF - and opening them again seems to solve the problem.  But as I said, if you are trying to book railway ticket in IRCTC or attempting to reset a password somewhere - God help you!

*Note: “banking or financial transactions”.  Scrambling keys is not an absolute guarantee for secure banking, financial or confidential browser use.  It just adds one more layer of security, by feeding keyloggers junk data.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog uses the Disqus commenting system. If you try to post comments through the usual Blogger comment form, they will not appear on the Blog.