WinZip applications support 128- and 256-bit key AES encryption, which provides much greater cryptographic security than the traditional Zip 2.0 encryption method used in earlier versions of WinZip.
WinZip 12.0 introduced customizable password policies to configure password complexity requirements when using encryption in WinZip. Parameters for minimum password length and a required mixture of characters are user definable (see Password Policy). The types of characters that can be specified are upper and lower case letters, numerals and symbols. With a WinZip Pro license, System Administrators in enterprise environments can customize the MSI installation of WinZip to install and lock down password policy requirements that meet their organization's needs for password complexity. For more information see How do I customize my WinZip MSI?
WinZip's advanced encryption (FIPS-197 certified) uses the Rijndael cryptographic algorithm which, in 2001, was specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 197 as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
When properly implemented as a key component of an overall security protocol, AES permits a very high degree of cryptographic security, yet is fast and efficient in operation.
WinZip's AES encryption is just as easy to use as traditional Zip 2.0 encryption: all you have to do is select the encryption method and specify your password.
In addition to AES encryption technology, WinZip provides a number of usability enhancements that make it easier for you to use encryption. Most noticeably, you can easily encrypt the contents of an existing Zip file. If you are using version 14 or later, WinZip will recognize Intel-based computers with built-in AES encryption and use the available hardware support to make encryption operations two to three times faster.
|Recipients to whom you send AES-encrypted Zip files must have a compatible Zip file utility in order to decrypt the files. We have published the full specification for creating WinZip-compatible AES-encrypted Zip files, in order to enable other Zip file utility vendors to provide support for the format.
WinZip is also able to read password-protected AES-encrypted files created by PKZIP for Microsoft Windows.
If you have any questions about this information please email Technical Support.
Password Policy for Encryption
How strong is WinZip's encryption?
How do you encrypt files in a Zip file with WinZip?
What can I do if I forget the encryption password for my Zip file?