Cryptnos for Windows

Last updated June 26th, 2015

Version 1.3.3, Date of Release: March 13, 2013

Cryptnos for Windows News | Cryptnos for Windows FAQ | Cryptnos at GitHub

System Requirements

  • Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework; only the runtime or redistributable package is required. .NET 2.0 requires:
    • Windows XP SP3 or higher, Server 2003 or 2008, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 and higher
    • Windows Installer 3.0 (3.1 recommended)
    • Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher
    • 280MB disc space for the x86 version, 610MB for the x64 version
  • About 2MB of free disk space
  • No hard memory or processor limits are known beyond the OS and .NET’s requirements, but obviously the more the merrier

Note: Cryptnos for Windows is officially unsupported on platforms other than Microsoft Windows. We are working on improving support under other .NET 2.0 compatible frameworks like Mono but this is an ongoing and incomplete process. If you need to run Cryptnos on a platform that is not officially supported, please try Cryptnos Online.

Also Note: Support for versions of Windows prior to Windows XP SP3 has been officially dropped as of Cryptnos 1.3.3. This is a matter of both Microsoft and InnoSetup (our installation compiler) dropping support for older versions, rather than our own decision. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The implementations of the Whirlpool and Tiger hash algorithms have been lovingly stolen from the Legion of the Bouncy Castle Crypto API.


  • Generates strong, pseudo-random yet repeatable “passphrases” using a variety of cryptographic hash algorithms
  • Supported hashing algorithms: MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160, Whirlpool (2003 revision), and Tiger (1995 original, not “Tiger2”)
  • Combines site domain or mnemonic (we call it the “site token”) with the user’s “secret token” to produce a unique passphrase for every site
  • Further modify the generated passphrase for character class or length constraints (e.g. limit to only alphanumerics and a maximum of 12 characters)
  • Stores password generating parameters securely in the Windows registry using cryptographic hashes and strong AES-256 encryption
  • Cross-platform import/export mechanism allows parameters to be copied from one instance of Cryptnos on one machine to another instance on another machine, strongly encrypting the export file using AES-256
  • Integrated tooltip-based help
  • Automatic update checks


Cryptnos for .NET Screenshot

Cryptnos for .NET Screenshot

Download Cryptnos

You can download the current version of Cryptnos from the following links. A GnuPG digital signature and various hashes of the file are also provided for verification.

Installer: Cryptnos_1.3.3_Setup.exe (888k)
GnuPG Signature: Cryptnos_1.3.3_Setup.exe.asc
Signing Key: Jeff’s Public Key
MD5 Hash: cd7157f31d000b5765e51268f6ade6ca
SHA-1 Hash: ed73f27d71d0e8d398bfa5a1018413adf56a11fd

Cryptnos is released under version 2.0 of the GNU General Public License. Thus, you can also download the C# source code. This is a full Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 project “solution” with all the necessary support files.

Source ZIP archive: (804k)
GnuPG Signature:
Signing Key: Jeff’s Public Key
MD5 Hash: 96b391ab1e8d7ba989a36c9b090b7bed
SHA-1 Hash: 429bf43247f017ec4567854fdca664729f3a5f34

Cryptnos now has an official GitHub project page, as well as a public git repository. While we will continue to post the latest source archive here, you can check out the latest working code with the following command. Please note that “trunk” builds may contain bugs, so you should only use stable releases unless you know what you’re doing.

git clone

Installation Instructions

Simply download and run the setup installer (after verifying the digital signature and/or hashes, of course). It’s as simple as that. Uninstalling is just as easy; either run the uninstall program from the Start menu or remove the program through the Add/Remove Programs interface.

Cryptnos is not designed to be used as a “portable” app, or one that can be placed on removable media (such as a USB memory stick) and transferred cleanly from machine to machine. This is due in large part to the severe security implications of moving your passwords from one machine to another. Cryptnos should only ever be run on a system that you own and trust, one that you can reasonably guarantee to be free of viruses, malware, or surreptitious logging. To use a password generator on a system you do not trust is not only counter-intuitive, but extremely dangerous. Therefore the use of Cryptnos as a portable app is strongly discouraged, and we no longer provide instructions on how to do so. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Reporting Bugs and Requesting Enhancements

Bug reports and enhancements requests can be made via the Issue Tracker on our GitHub project page.

Version History

  • Version 1.0:
    • Initial release
  • Version 1.1:
    • Introduced cross-platform export format. Exports from this version onward should now be readable by compatible versions of Cryptnos on other platforms (Java, Google Android, etc.). Read-only support for original export format is still included, but new export format is not backward compatible.
    • Added the Copy password to clipboard checkbox. When checked, clicking the Generate button now copies the generated password to the system clipboard, a behavior introduced in Cryptnos for Android 1.0. The default is unchecked, which replicates the behavior of Cryptnos for Windows 1.0.
    • Added update check feature that checks the Cryptnos site periodically to see if there are newer versions of the application available.
    • Minor improvements to UI appearance and error checking.
    • Added Legion of the Bouncy Castle Crypto API license information to the About dialog, in addition to the GPL 2 license info specific to Cryptnos that was already there.
  • Version 1.1.1:
    • Bug fix: Improved error handling and reporting for update checking module.
    • Added “debug mode” flag for advanced troubleshooting.
    • Minor code clean-up and error reporting improvements.
  • Version 1.2:
    • Bug fix: Fixed “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” errors encountered on some systems.
    • Added Advanced Settings dialog to allow user to control text encoding used for password generation.
  • Version 1.2.1:
    • Added debug mode and update check checkboxes to Advanced Settings dialog; previously these were “undocumented” settings that could only be set by hacking the registry.
    • Fixed typo on main window form (oops).
    • Updated help file with changes relative to version 1.1.1 and above (oops again).
  • Version 1.2.2:
    • Added code to prevent multiple instances of Cryptnos from running at the same time. Having more than once copy open at once may potentially corrupt the site list in the registry, causing data loss.
    • Replaced length restriction (i.e. character limit) text box with a drop-down list. This will hopefully further limit what values the user can enter and reduce confusion with respect to the case where no restriction is imposed.
    • Added additional validation code to hash iterations text box to explicitly deny non-numeric input.
    • Added Help button in About dialog to launch the HTML help in the default browser.
    • Added build number to version string displayed in the window title bar.
  • Version 1.3.0:
    • Updated Legion of the Bouncy Castle Crypto API to version 1.7.
    • Introduced “daily use” mode.
    • Added export to QR code.
    • Added Import dialog to allow users to select which sites to import from a file.
    • Added “Keep Cryptnos on top of other windows” option in Advanced Settings.
  • Version 1.3.1:
    • Added option to clear master and generated passwords when the main Cryptnos window loses focus.
    • Updated ZXing library to the latest revision.
  • Version 1.3.2:
    • Implemented Issue #6, alphabetic sorting of site token list upon adding a new site.
  • Version 1.3.3:
    • Fixed Issue #8, where Cryptnos supposedly lost all settings on systems with tighter security policies. This appeared to be an issue with the mutex that was supposed to force only one copy of the program to be running at a time.
    • Implemented Issue #10, adding several hot key combinations, including the requested “keep on top” hot key.
    • Changed generated password box text to a monospace font to make similar-looking characters easier to distinguish.
    • Enhanced update checking code and added more error checking during start-up.
    • Default text encoding is now always UTF-8 unless overridden by the user.
    • Replaced “force update check on next launch” checkbox on the Settings dialog with an interactive “Check for Updates” button.
    • Cryptnos now remembers its windows location and attempts to restore it when the app restarts.