Fingerprint is a general purpose data integrity tool that uses cryptographic hashes to detect changes in files. Fingerprint scans a directory tree and generates a small transcript file containing the names and hashes of the files. This snapshot file can then be used to generate a list of files that have been created, deleted, or modified. If so much as a single bit in a single file in the directory tree has changed, Fingerprint will detect it.
Traditionally, the only way to preserve data was to take regular backups and hope that any unwanted changes that occurred would be major, obvious ones (such as loss of the disk). This approach means trusting all the software to which the data is exposed: operating systems, backup software, communications software, compression software, encryption software, and archiving software. Unfortunately, each of these systems is highly complex and can inflict all kinds of damage on data, much of the damage undetectable to humans. Fingerprint allows data to be monitored, detecting even the change of a single bit.
Fingerprint can be used for:
Preservation: Detect corruption of data.
Security: Detect changes made by intruders.
Sealing: Cryptographically seal critical files.
Transfers: Verify file transfers between different systems.
Notarizing: Prove that documents existed at a particular time.
Backups: Verify restored backups to ensure that backups are sound.