PGP 8.0 Jumps on XP, Mac OS X

Messaging and data storage security firm PGP Corp. on Monday released a public beta of PGP 8.0, an upgrade that adds full compatibility with Windows XP, Office XP and Mac OS X operation system.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based PGP Corp., which acquired the PGP line of messaging security products from Network Associates in August, is aiming for a full release of the product in the middle of December.

The latest iteration of the PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software includes improvements to PGP mail, PGP Disk and PGP Admin and full compatibility with Microsoft’s Windows XP (including SP1) and Office XP.

Also new in PGP 8.0 is full server-side support for the Lotus Notes plug-in and support for Novell GroupWise 5.5. and 6.0 messaging clients. The message encryption tool also adds expanded Unicode support, directory integration with iPlanet Directory Server, Microsoft Active Directory and Novell NDS.

The Windows version of the popular software also allows PGP Admin to preconfigure automatic creation of PGP Disk volumes and improved Smart Card functionality including, support for Aladdin eTokens, the company said.

The company is also beta testing PGP 8.0 for Mac OS X, which features a new Cocoa-based user interface for Apple’s new “Jaguar” operating system. The Mac OS-X beta includes full PGP Disk interoperability with PGP Disks created by all prior PGP Disk products for Mac OS, as well as with PGP Disks created with PGP Disk for Windows 7.0 and later, the company said.

The Mac version adds Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) support in PGP Disk, expanded Unicode support and built-in support for Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage X.

PGP said encryption and digital signature features would be accessible as a Mac OS X service from Cocoa applications and Carbon applications that support services.

The PGP line of products combines personal firewall, intrusion detection, VPN client, and encryption technologies into a single software that fully protects computers against intruders and theft/loss of data.

The PGP encryption technique, developed by Philip Zimmerman, is based on the public-key method. It has grown as such an effective encryption tool that the U.S. government actually brought a lawsuit against Zimmerman for putting it in the public domain and making it available to enemies of the U.S.

After a public outcry, the U.S. lawsuit was dropped, but it is still illegal to use PGP in many other countries.

“Bear in mind that US export restrictions only allow that the following countries can download PGP 8.0: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA,” PGP Corp. warned on its download site.

PGP Corp. owns and operates PGPMail, PGPfile, PGPdisk, PGPWireless, PGPadmin, and PGPkeyserver, in addition to PGPsdk software development kit and PGP Corporate Desktop.