AUTHENTiC v1.0.1 - The Checksum Calculator (Windows 64bit download)
(c) 2019 White Lynx Development
- IMPORTANT NOTE
This minor release (v1.0.1) contains an important bug-fix which prevented the previous release from working. Sorry about that: murphy's law wanted that I had already released the non-working version when I caught this minutes later.
- About AUTHENTiC
AUTHENTiC is a modern tool for file-checksum verification featuring a convenient drag and drop interface. It is a powerful tool with a user-friendly GUI to quickly verify the integrity of files. For free!
Being unhappy with other hash-value calculators, I've tried to implement everything that's missing from other checksum tools. Now, it's the only tool I use to calculate hash values and verify the integrity of files. The current version (v1.0.1) let's you calculate 15 different types of checksum, including some quite exotic ones which you'll hardly encounter 'in the wild'. Namely, AUTHENTiC calculates hashes for: MD5, SHA1, Adler-32, Blake2b, Blake2s, CRC32, RIPEMD-160, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, SHA3-224, SHA3-256, SHA3-384 and SHA3-512. If you need to calculate hash values for an unsupported algorithm, please contact me and I'll try to include it in future versions.
- Downloading & Installation
If you're reading this, chances are you already have AUTHENTiC, if not you can download it here.
To install, simply double-click on the installer and follow the instructions.
- How to Use AUTHENTiC
I might be wrong, in which case I urge you to correct me, but I believe that a checksum calculator doesn't need much in terms of documentation. Basically, you can open a file - any file - and, after selecting the hashing-algorithm you'd like to use, calculate the checksum of said file. In case you're wondering: such checksums are often (not often enough) published together with software downloads. The purpose of a checksum is to avoid third parties (whether they are state-actors or private individuals) from modifying the software. As you can imagine, some algorithms are (a lot) more secure than others... and two checksums are better than one: it all depends on how "paranoid" you are. I strongly suggest you read more about the different hashing algorithms, Wikipedia being a good starting point.
To recapitulate, after opening AUTHENTiC:
- Load a file (see below) you want to authenticate
- Click 'Compute' in the lower right corner
- If you have a valid checksum, to save you the time of comparing it manually, you can paste it (using 'CTRL-V') into the empty entry field and click "Validate". The result of said operation (SUCCESS or FAILURE) will be visible in the program's status bar (the last row of the program's window).
That's it... this little step will make using software downloaded from the internet, and by extension you, a lot safer!
- Loading Files
Files can be opened through the 'File' menu, by selecting 'Open'. If you're on Windows, the application will default to executables (.exe) as a file-type, but you can select any file you want to check. Just pick '*.*' from the file-type selector. On Windows you can also ingest a file by dropping it onto the AUTHENTiC launcher - the program will start with that file loaded and ready to be checked. Last but not least, Windows also offers drag and drop functionality. To load it, just drag the file you'd like to check to any free area of the program.
While using hashes makes you a lot safer, you shouldn't rely on checksums alone. A good Anti Virus is a worthwile investment, checksums or no checksums. That being said, the various algorithms differ wildly on how secure they are, so I urge you to read-up on this subject and decide for yourself which checksums to trust. Still: any checksum is (a lot) better than no checksum! They provide meaningful security by deterring unsophisticated attacks. State-actors can be expected to get around the checksum-problem, however - unless you use a very weak algorithm - it will make their life a lot harder and thus an attack uneconomical if you are a normal person who just desires privacy and security. In other words: use checksums as much as possible, just don't stake your life on them!
As a general rule: longer hashes are more secure than shorter hashes, so SHA512 is more secure than SHA256. More importantly, although they're included for legacy reasons, neither CRC32 nor Adler-32 are secure by today's standards.
Another reason why I wrote AUTHENTiC was because I wanted to try my hand at making a GUI using the much-maligned Tkinter. In a nutshell: it doesn't deserve the bad reputation, but it does have some annoying limitations. More importantly, being my first attempt, AUTHENTiC may look a little rough around the edges, though to be fair, that's more than I can say about most of the competition. If you have suggestions for improvements, don't hesitate to let me know. Given enough demand and support I'm willing to re-do the user interface in another window manager (if that's what's needed). In case you hadn't noticed: although the text field containing the output doesn't accept user input, you can still select the result in order to copy it to the clipboard using 'CTRL-C' like in any other software. To validate the checksum and compare it to the original one, published where you've obtained the file, just paste it into the validation field using 'CTRL-V' (like in any other software).
- Status Bar
AUTHENTiC has a status-bar (at the very bottom of the window) which tells you which file has been loading, whether a computation is in progress and when it is finished. If you aren't sure which file is currently loaded, just take a look down there.
- Windows Specific
I was able to test AUTHENTiC both on Windows 10 and Windows 7 and it worked flawlessly on both. If you encounter any problems let me know.
- System Requirements
- Known Issues
Originally, I had a Mac OSX version of AUTHENTiC - which was working on my system. Unfortunately, due to Apple's hare-brained security policies, it quickly became a a headache major headache. If you'd really like to see a OSX version, please contact me.
Depending on the platform, and (I suppose) other variables, there is a minor graphical issue with the first (hash-output) text field. Although the field accepts no input, it is designed so that its contents can be selected by the user and copied to the clipboard (for pasting elsewhere). Selecting its contents will cause the background to turn white where text is present. Unfortunately this issue is caused "upstream" (by the windows manager itself) and there's nothing, short of making all backgrounds plain white, I can do to fix it.
Computing the hash of large files can take some time. I'm unable to say how it compares to other applications but, being written in Python, it's bound to be at a disadvantage when it comes to raw performance. Potentially, there are some things that could be tried - none of them simple or guaranteed to have a noticeable effect - in order to improve performance. If this is an issue for you, please let me know! Please note that some algorithms are, by their nature, slower than others.
- Unknown Issues (unlikely to occur but very bad)
Due to the way it's written, AUTHENTiC should never run out of memory but it's hard to test such a scenario thoroughly. In the event this happens to you (it would result in a crash when trying to compute checksums of very large files) please inform me immediately (email@example.com).
I've taken extra care to double and triple check the values generated by each algorithm, still it is possible that the results generated by AUTHENTiC differ from those generated by another application. If you encounter this problem please inform me immediately!
None of the above is expected to happen but, both, are really bad. Worst-case, the sooner I know the sooner I can fix it.
Whether you'd like to report bugs (hopefully not), request new features, ask for help or just get in touch, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For support requests, please consider making a donation - I currently have no steady income (often none at all) and it takes time to write software, let alone handle technical support. Of course, you are welcome to make a donation manually if you prefer. Please contact us for further details (email@example.com). For what it's worth: every donation will receive a personal 'Thank You!' note from myself.
As mentioned above, my financial situation is far from good at this time. I'll be extremely grateful for donations of any amount - even $1 helps! If you like this application, would like me to keep supporting it and write new applications, or if you appreciate free software in general, please consider making a donation. You can do that directly from AUTHENTiC by selecting 'Help->Support'. It will take you to my personal website, where you'll find a "Donate" button linked to my PayPal account. You can donate using your credit card (through a secure connection) and without registering (opening and account)! It takes just a second and makes all the difference in the world! For a trivial amount, you can make one poor coder tremendously happy (at least for a while).
Since this is a checksum utility, the least I can do is include hashes. Once you've installed AUTHENTiC, the executable (AUTHENTiC.EXE) should yield the following hash values:
- Distribution Partners
We rely on the kindness of strangers, not only for financial support but also to host and distribute our software. Here you will find links to some of the sites which make this possible.