free security and communication tools

转自:Jamboola provided list of free security tools that could be used for NGOs or anyone who is looking for free protection. It is a bit an old list, though some of them should have upgraded versions. Check it out if interested!

Fyodor, maybe you could review and comment about them? and any tools you could recommend under similar cathegories?


Password Safe
program stores your passwords in a secure database. It is a small and easy-to-use program, which you could also run entirely from a floppy disk. The database is locked with a master password, called ’safe combination’. All your other passwords are accessible only by entering the master password correctly. Your passwords are stored in different categories to help you retrieve them when necessary.

program stores your passwords in a highly encrypted database. This database consists of only one file and can therefore be transferred from one computer to another easily. This database is locked with a master password or a key-disk. If you use a master password, you only have to remember one password or passphrase (which should be strong then!) at a time. If you lose this master password, all your other passwords in the database are lost too. The database is encrypted on the basis of mathematics, and there isn’t any backdoor or a key which can open all databases. There is no way of recovering your passwords.


it is used to permanently delete (wipe) sensitive data from your computer. Files and folders can be selected for wiping. This can be done on demand or scheduled to run at certain times. Note that your computer must be switched on at a specified time, otherwise the wipe will not happen. Eraser can also be used to create a ‘nuke boot disk’. This can be used in emergencies when you want to delete everything from your hard drive quickly.

used to delete sensitive data from your computer. There are two categories of files that can be deleted using BCWipe. The first are user selected files and folders. The second type is information, voluntarily stored on your computer whilst you are browsing the Internet. This includes temporary Internet files, cookies and others (explained in the manual). Finally, it is possible to clear the free space left on your computer of the remnants of files that have been deleted.

Handy Recovery
an easy-to-use data recovery software designed to restore files that have been deleted from computers and floppy drives. The program can recover files damaged by virus attacks, power failures and software faults or files from deleted and formatted partitions. It can also recover files moved and emptied from the Recycle Bin.

Freebyte Backup
Freebyte Backup is a free backup program for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. It allows one to easily copy (and filter) a large number of files and directories from various sources into one backup directory. It is possible to backup all files found in the specified set of folders, or to have only certain file types copied. Easily fitting on a floppy disk, this program is portable and allows you to perform timely efficient backups wherever you go!

Zip Genius 6
a backup tool that allows you to both compress (zip) and decompress (unzip) your archive. By compressing the data, you are reducing its physical size on your computer (could be useful for those with little free space). It can also encrypt the archive for safe storage on your computer or removable media. It is a handy and free replacement for the more common WinZip program. There is also a useful function allowing you to email the archive directly from the program.

The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG)
enables people to securely exchange messages and to secure files with both privacy and strong authentication. GnuPG is a free software replacement for the PGP suite of cryptographic software. The basic GPG program has a command line interface, but there are various front-ends that provide it with a graphical user interface; we are including the GPGshell interfave on this disk (see below). Also GnuPG has been integrated into various email clients also with Thunderbird with the Enigmail plug-in (see the internet and communications tools section).

is a graphic interface that allows you to use the cryptographic software GnuPG in a easy and user friendly way. Its goal is encrypting/decrypting files and/or email messages, but also signing them ( or verify their sign ).

4Hit Mail Privacy Lite
provides a quick and easy way of protecting your communications by hiding your text into an image. It combines hiding with a strong encryption method. Use any image on your PC - from a pleasant landscape to your latest birthday photo. HIT Mail supports a wide variety of image formats.


Mozilla Firefox
Excels in preventing pop-ups and offers advanced level of browser security. Also comes with a useful anonymous proxy plug-in.

Free plug-ins add extra security and privacy features to the default (standard) version of Mozilla.

  1. Switch-Proxy - Allows for much easier use and manipulation of numerous kinds of proxies (see below in section: ‘Internet browsing with anonymity’). Among other features, it allows easy switching between different proxies as well as automatic downloading and configuration of proxy lists. Version - 1.3.2 / English
  2. Secure Password Generator - Creates a dialog box that helps you create secure passwords. Version - 0.5.2
  3. Copy Plain - Allows you to copy the text from the browser window without the embedded formatting. Version - 0.3.1

next generation e-mail client. Thunderbird makes emailing safer, faster, and easier than ever before with the help of the industry’s best implementations of features such as intelligent spam filters, a built-in spell checker, extension support, automatic encryption and much more.

Mozilla Thunderbird Plug-ins

Enigmail - Adds encryption support to Thunderbird using the OpenGPG framework. Allows for key creation, manipulation and encrypted email support (encryption and decryption). The set of accompanying screenshots shows how to install, create a key and use it to send and decrypt email. Version: 0.92 (2005.4.16); Installation: [Screenshots]; Note: You have to install OpenGPG first see ‘Miscellaneous tools’ chapter

Portable Thunderbird
is a fully functional package of Thunderbird optimised for use on a USB key drive. It has some specially selected optimisations to make it perform faster and extend the life of your USB key as well as a specialized launcher that will allow most of your favourite extensions to work as you switch computers. It will also work from a CDRW drive (in packet mode), ZIP drives, external hard drives, some MP3 players, flash RAM cards and more.

is a Web-based e-mail service (meaning you can access it from your Internet web browser) that lets you send and receive email with good security. Hushmail messages, and their attachments are encrypted using Open PGP standard algorithms. These offer users heightened levels of security. Messages are encrypted before leaving the sender’s computer and remain encrypted until after they arrive to the recipient’s machine, where the contents are automatically decrypted. Encrypting a message is as simple as clicking a mouse. Note: 1) You must access your free Hushmail account at least once every three weeks or it will be deleted. Alternatively, you can purchase an account and be free from some account limitations. 2) Hushmail’s security works if communicating with other Hushmail users. If you use it to send messages to, say, a Hotmail account, the overall security is nullified. 3) To operate on your computer, Hushmail requires that you use Internet Explorer version 5 (and above) or Mozilla Firefox, and the Java program must also be installed.

A secure and light weight webmail interface from the activists at Registration on the website is free, but you need to be either invited by already existing RiseUp users or write to them requesting an account. Can also be set up to run in a mail client like Thunderbird.

a multi-protocol instant-messaging (IM) client. One of its biggest advantages is that you can use it with most other instant-messaging service networks available on the Internet today (like AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr). Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple messaging networks simultaneously. There is a plug-in available (see below) that allows you to encrypt your chats for increased security of your Internet communications. Whilst most other instant messaging services bring some Adware and spyware when installed, Gaim is reputably free of these annoyances.


  1. Gaim-Encryption it provides strong and transparent encryption for your chat. Version: 2.38 (2005.6.11); Home Page:
  2. Off-the-Record Messaging - allows you to have private conversations over instant messaging by providing: Encryption, Authentication, Deniability, and Perfect forward secrecy. This is the only cross-platform free & open source encryption chat tool - and as such it is recommended for those who need secure chats. Version: 2.0.2 (2005-02-23); Installation: [Screenshots], Setting-Up; Home Page:

When you use Tor, instead of taking a direct route from your computer to a server, your request on the Tor network will take a random pathway through several routing proxies that will randomise your tracks so that no observer at any single point can tell where your requests are coming from or going to. Tor can be used as a gateway to the Internet, or hidden services can be accessed inside the Tor network. Like the Freenet and GNUnet networks, Tor can be used to circumvent content filters, censorship laws, and other restrictions on communication. Unlike Freenet, which is a distributed, encrypted, data store, Tor aims to simply create a framework for anonymous communication. When using TOR, your Internet connections mayt be slower, however they will still work.
To make the Tor program function, you must also install a program called Privoxy. Together they can help to anonymise your Internet activity. They also help you access websites that could be otherwise blocked in your country. They need only to be set up once and will run in the background without any further intervention.

Torpark is a project that attempts to intergrate the Tor client and the Firefox browser into an easy one-file install, that can be run from a USB memory stick. Plug it into any Internet terminal whether at home, school, or in a public Internet cafe. Launch the program by clicking on Torpark.exe and it will open a built-in copy of the Firfox browser and build a Tor circuit connection that will allow you to browse the Internet bypassing website censorship. Very handy for anonymous browsing without having to install the whole Tor client. Please note that the source code of Torpark is closed and therefore its overall security cannot be independently verified. The project is not developed or supported by the Tor team.


Zone Alarm
easy-to-use firewall blocks hackers and other unknown threats. Stealth mode automatically makes your PC invisible to anyone on the Internet.


a free antivirus program for Windows computers. It has a resident component that monitors file movements for signs of viruses. It also allows you to scan your computer and repair files that have been infected. The program comes with a facility to automatically check the AntiVir website for updates to the virus definitions and download them. Updates are free. Includes a check for malicious dialler software (when downloaded, they dial high-cost international numbers at your expense).

another popular free anti-virus program. New version of avast! antivirus kernel features outstanding detection abilities, together with high performance. You can expect 100% detection of In-the-Wild viruses (the ones what are really spreading amongst people) and very good detection of Trojan horses, all that with only a minimum number of false alarms.

Avast (stand alone)
A stand-alone version of the Avast virus and word cleaner. You do not need to install it, as it runs directly from the executable file. Small enough to fit on a floppy. However, it does not update itself, so you need to find the latest version on the website.

SpyBot’s Search & Destroy can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer. Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn’t intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser’s start page has changed without your knowledge, you most probably have spyware.


DBAN - Darik’s Boot and Nuke (”DBAN”) is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

Recover My Files - Recover deleted files from hard drives, floppy disks, digital cameras, USB drives, ZIP disks, compact Flash cards, smart media and Sony memory sticks. Recover Office, RAR, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, text e-mail and other file types. The program retrieves items emptied from the Recycle Bin, items contained on formatted hard drives, and items lost due to a system crash or virus. It will even recover temporary files for documents that were never saved.

IsoBuster - is able to rescue lost files from CD or DVD, save important documents and backup your system. It includes support for Direct CD compressed files and blanked DVD+RW media in 41 languages.

CCleaner - deletes unused and temporary files from your system, including Internet Explorer cache, History, Cookies, Index.dat, Recycle Bin, Temporary files, Log files and many more. Those deleted files still need to be wiped-out (see Eraser above).

Registry First Aid - cleans the Windows registry to speed up your computer and stop program crashes. Software un-installations sometimes leave behind nagging file references in the Windows registry, pointing to files that no longer exist. With time, you can end up with hundreds of these files that may slow down your computer and cause software to lock up. This program eliminates the above. It scans the registry for orphan files and folder references, finds these files or folders on your drives and corrects your registry entries to match the located files or folders. If your registry has links to files for deleted applications, Registry First Aid will find these invalid entries and remove them from your registry.

Abakt Backup - a versatile, easy-to-use backup-tool for Windows. Files and directories are selected using a combination of advanced filters. Uses wildcards, sets and other advanced masks to select files to backup, besides creating a standard ZIP archive. You can call other compression tools (like 7-Zip) to create backups. Also, it is possible to simply copy, move or delete the selected files.

DeepBurner - DeepBurner is an CD and DVD burning package. It supports a wide range of internal and external (USB 2.0 and FireWire) CD and DVD writers. Burn any data, copy any disc, make backups, create photo CD albums, make ISO CDs and Video DVDs.

TrueCrypt - is a software system for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage device). On-the-fly encryption means that data are automatically encrypted or decrypted right before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read without using the correct password or encryption key. Until decrypted, a TrueCrypt volume appears to be nothing more than a series of random numbers. Entire file system is encrypted (i.e., file names, folder names, contents of every file, and free space). TrueCrypt never writes decrypted data to any storage device.

Steganography - enables you to use digital data-hiding techniques (steganography) to hide and encrypt files within other files (carriers) such as picture or sound files. This allows you to encrypt sensitive information, while hiding it in a file that will not look suspicious, so nobody even knows that there is any encrypted information. Features strong 256-Bit encryption algorithms, advanced compression, the ability to create password yourself. Those files, containing hidden files, are fully functional and are identical to the original files. This software is a free 15-day trial version with the option of registration.

Putty / WinSCP - PuTTY is an SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw TCP client. It was originally available only for Windows, but is now also available on various Unix platforms (as well as several other platforms as unofficial ports). Provides secure connections to remote systems. It integrates with WinSCP and then you are able to do all basic operations with files, such as copying and moving (to and from a remote computer). It also allows you to rename files and folders, create new folders, change properties of files and folders and create symbolic links and shortcuts.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a desktop protocol to remotely control another computer. It transmits the keyboard presses and mouse clicks from one computer to another relaying the screen updates back in the other direction, over a network. VNC is platform-independent: a VNC viewer on any operating system can connect to a VNC server on any other operating system. There are clients and servers for almost all operating systems and for Java. Multiple clients may connect to a VNC server at the same time. Popular uses of the technology include remote technical support, and accessing files on your work computer from your home computer. It is recommended that you use VNC over a secure tunnel (i.e. SSH) to ensure the data are not intercepted easily.

VNC Clients - The VNCs client included on this CD are specific for the Win32 platform.

  1. TightVNC - Version/Date: 1.2.9 (2003.07.31), Licence/Price/Languages: Free Software / No cost / English, Home Page:
  2. Real VNC - Version/Date: 4.1 (2003.07.31), Licence/Price/Languages: Freeware, Personal/Enhanced (30 USD) & Enterprise versions available (50 USD) / English, Home Page:

Smart FTP - This program allows you to connect to FTP servers to update/download files. For example, it can be used to update html files on a webserver. This has proxy support as well as SSL functionality allowing for encrypted file transfers.


They provided some links to related resources here.

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