Power Downloader sends secure zipped files

When Power Downloader needs to zip and encrypt files, he knows that 7-Zip is just the program for the job.

Power Downloader

After a tip came through the wire that Phillipe the Phisher was vacationing in Paris, Power Downloader asked his friend Francois Foto if he might be able to snap some undercover pictures of the information pilfering villain. A week later, Power received an e-mail from Foto saying that he got the shots Power requested, but that he wondered how he could safely send the images without them being stolen in transit. Also, the image files take up a lot of space, so regular e-mail attachments would be too big for some e-mail clients to handle.

Understanding the need for both speed and security, Power Downloader instructed Foto to download the open-source file compression utility called 7-Zip. With this program, Foto could compress his optimized images in the 7z format for an up to 40 percent smaller sized file than is possible with most common compression formats. As an added precaution, Power instructed Francois Foto to use the software to encrypt the file with a top-secret pass phrase, using 7-Zip's AES-256 encryption method. Using a mix of letters and numbers in the phrase, Power Downloader wanted to make absolutely sure that if secret spies captured the file full of images in transit, they would be left with nothing but a useless and virtually impregnable file.

Soon afterward, the compressed file arrived via e-mail. Using the pass phrase, Power Downloader extracted the images to his hard drive. With the images opened in a viewer, Power quickly surmised the pictures were definitely of Phillipe the Phisher. Though the images alone would not be enough to arrest the villain, Power hoped authorities might be able to use Francois Foto's recent photos to identify Phillipe more quickly. When he finished, Power Downloader added the images to his case files using 7-Zip (another great use for the program) to conserve space on his hard drive.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.