Sunday, January 27, 2008

Encrypt your data. How hard can it be? [1]

UPDATE - Development of TrueCrypt was discontinued back in 2014 and has subsequently not been maintained. A number of security flaws have been uncovered and as a result we are reaching out to people to highlight a list of alternatives.

Here's the list (along with further details about TrueCrypt no longer being maintained) -


In the light of recent events here in the UK[2] I thought I'd investigate data encryption - well try it out. Fortunately my work doesn't require me to handle confidential data, and these days, for the most part, I don't carry much of my own personal information with me. Though I've long been either pragmatic, or perhaps wealthy, enough to consider that the loss of any portable electronics - phone, laptop, etc. would be more of a nuisance from the data loss, than the physical loss. So maybe the data does matter to me enough to consider encryption.

As a scientific programmer much of my life is spent in the Unix/Linux world, added to which I'm a (Linux based) Nokia Internet Tablet enthusiast, so I felt I needed something that would allow me to exchange encrypted data between the Linux and Windows worlds. A quick Google led me to TrueCrypt, Windows and Linux versions available for free download, and the source too, so maybe I could build it for my new N810. To cut a long story short, in between checking on a sick alpaca, I was able to build TrueCrypt for OS2008 - the latest Nokia tablet OS over the weekend. OK, I've not proved it's totally secure, but how hard is it? Not very.

[1] What's the point of rhetorical questions?

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