To securely run PDS on your desktop or laptop, you should have the following:
The PDS release appropriate to your operating system(s).
The latest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from one of the providers below.
A PDS license that enables the unbreakable ciphers.
GET A JAVA RUNTIME ENVIRONMENT (JRE)
PDS requires a JRE of version 6 or later. As newer JREs provide
security improvements and bug fixes, it is highly recommended that
you always use the latest stable JRE that is available.
If you have no need to run Java applets, it is very, very, very highly
recommended that you install a JRE that does not provide the insecure
Java applet browser plugin.
If you do install a JRE that contains the dreaded plugin, please see the
"PDS Installation" video for instructions to disable that plugin.
Oracle provides "server" JREs that do not contain the Java plugin.
However, the server JREs also do not provide an installer or auto-updating.
Generally speaking, it is much better to run with a slightly older
JRE that to install the plugin.
Linux and BSD users may want to use the OpenJDK releases, as the
plugin is not provided with that JRE. Instead, the plugin is
available for Linux and BSD via the "icedtea-web" packages.
So what's wrong with the plugin? Well, you know all those security
vulnerabilities that makes "everyone" think Java is insecure? Well,
the severe problems "always" seem to be bypassing the security of,
you guessed it, the Java plugin.
Oracle: (Linux, Mac, Solaris, Windows)
Simple install: http://java.com
More options: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html
IBM: (AIX, IBM i, Linux, z/OS)
Options include OpenJDK and "Oracle JDK for Linux": https://www.freebsd.org/java/
PDS is developed and distributed by PDS Software Solutions LLC, a United States (US) based company.
As PDS provides highly secure encryption technology, the
US export regulations
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
do not allow PDS to be downloaded worldwide with all the supported encryption algorithms enabled.
PDS support three (3) different algorithms when creating the encryption and decryption ciphers.
These algorithms are the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA),
and the Data Encryption Standard (DES). Further, PDS uses the AES algorithm with three different strengths
- 128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits. For more information about these combinations, please see this
comparison of the algorithms
supported within PDS. Of these, only ciphers created using the DES algorithm are allowed to be
created within PDS in a worldwide download. The reason DES is allowed is that it is not considered
secure, as increases in computing power have made DES encryption breakable in a short amount of time
To work within those requirements, PDS can be categorized as having three (3) encryption levels - or modes.
The first is the "Basic" mode, which only supports ciphers using the DES algorithm.
The second is the "Secure" mode, which supports ciphers using the TDEA and DES algorithms.
The third is the "Highly Secure" mode, which supports ciphers using the AES, TDEA and DES algorithms.
In its downloaded state, PDS will run in the "Basic" mode, thus making it possible for anyone
to download and test drive PDS.
In "Basic" mode, PDS supports all of its functionality except the use of AES and TDEA ciphers.
You may create, edit and view encrypted Notes, and also encrypt your files and directories to disk or tape.
You may evaluate both Desktop/Laptop and USB installations of PDS on Unix/Linux, Mac and Windows.
When running PDS directly from a USB, you will see that PDS supports separate stateful configurations
for each operating system.
In addition to all the other minor features within PDS, you should also find that PDS provides a
nice Key manager, supporting the creation, viewing, editing and deleting of KeyStores as well as
AES-256, AES-192, AES-128, TDEA and DES keys.
After evaluating the functionality of PDS in "Basic" mode, it is hoped that you will find
PDS to be a secure and reliable tool to help protect your confidential information. Then, with the
purchase of a PDS License, you will be able to import
that license into the application, and the other algorithms will be enabled within PDS.