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Author Topic: [Warning] Truecrypt has been discontinued, declared not safe  (Read 2546 times)
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May 29, 2014, 07:11:29 AM
 #1

I know this isn't Bitcoin related, but it is worth noting, since many people use Truecrypt to protect the systems on which they keep their Bitcoins.

Truecrypt has been pulled. It's website now redirects to the SourceForge page, where it now details instructions on how to migrate to Bitlocker. A new version has been released which does nothing but decrypt.

I'm talking to the guy in charge of the recent security audit of the Truecrypt source to see if the two are related.

The official reason is the end of life of Windows XP, which smells about as fishy as can be.

Lavabit redux? Or just an admission of the difficulties in tackling UEFI? But then why not let the community take it over?

http://www.truecrypt.org

Edit: The discontinuation is unrelated to the audit. Also, licensing issues may prevent this from being picked up by the community.

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May 29, 2014, 09:32:03 AM
 #2

maybe some clever people can fork it. i guess its like lavabit 2.0.


http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/05/truecrypt-is-not-secure-official-sourceforge-page-abruptly-warns/

matthew green (Dev of Zerocoin) has wrote an email to the truecrypt guys. time will tell.

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May 29, 2014, 10:00:57 AM
 #3

Yea I've asked Matthew for his thoughts on it.

There are a lot of theories flying around. The audit is unrelated, but there is a suspicion about an NSA letter having been sent. Although I would be surprised if the devs were US based.

The official reason, that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, doesn't make any sense.

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May 29, 2014, 10:10:19 AM
 #4

I'm a Truecrypt user and I'm shocked that this is happening. Sad

I don't trust BitLocker nearly as much as Truecrypt considering that it's proprietary and developed by Microsoft. Yes, the Truecrypt code is messy and confusing but that's still much better than a closed-source solution. Not to mention most home users won't have BitLocker on their PCs since it only comes with the professional and enterprise versions of Windows.

I'll still be using Truecrypt. I just hope the audit will be over and the results of it will be published soon. If the audit reveals that the code is secure then hopefully the project will be taken over by a different team. If it turns out that the code is not secure then I'll have to find another solution (ideally something that works with Windows XP).
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May 29, 2014, 10:12:52 AM
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Quote
The binary on the website is capable only to decode encrypted data, not encode, and may contain trojan (seems like it doesn't, but don't believe me). The binary is signed with the valid (usual) key. All old versions are wiped, the repository is wiped too.
Assumption #1 The website is presumed hacked, the keys are presumed compromised. Please do not download or run it. And please don't switch to bitlocker.
Latest working version is 7.1a. Version 7.2 is a hoax
On the SourceForge, the keys were changed before any TrueCrypt files uploaded, but now they are deleted and the old keys got reverted back.
Why I think so: strange key change, why bitlocker?
Assumption #2 Something bad happened to TrueCrypt developers (i.e. take down or death) or to TrueCrypt itself (i.e. found the worst vulnerability ever) which made them do such a thing. So this version is legit
Why I think so: all files are with valid signatures, all the releases are available (Windows; Linux x86, x86_64, console versions, Mac OS, sources), the binaries seems like was built on the usual developer PC (there are some paths like c:\truecrypt-7.2\driver\obj_driver_release\i386\truecrypt.pdb, which were the same for 7.1a). License text is changed too (see the diff below).
Why is it ridiculous for TrueCrypt developers to suggest moving to BitLocker? Well, TrueCrypt was strictly against of using TPM[1] because it may contain extra key chains which allow agencies like NSA to extract your private key. So why would they suggest such a thing and not other open-source alternatives? It looks like a clear sign that the developer can't say he's in danger so he did this. As many suppose, this could be the sort of warrant canary[2]
Assumption #2 is more likely true than assumption #1. Sad but true.
Assumption #3 7.1a is backdoored and the developer wants all users to stop using it.
Why I think so: there is a website http://truecryptcheck.wordpress.com[3] which contains all the hash sums for TrueCrypt 7.1a. Is has only 1 blog record from August 15, 2013, only for TrueCrypt and only for 7.1a. It's a bit strange to make a website with the hash sums for only one program and only one version of it.
SourceForge sent emails on 22 May, they said they changed password algorithms and everybody should change their passwords.
SourceForge claims everything is as usual (from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7813121):[4]
Providing some details from SourceForge:
We have had no contact with the TrueCrypt project team (and thus no complaints).
We see no indicator of account compromise; current usage is consistent with past usage.
Our recent SourceForge forced password change was triggered by infrastructure improvements not a compromise. FMI see http://sourceforge.net/blog/forced-password-change/[5]
Thank you,
The SourceForge Team communityteam@sourceforge.net[6]
TrueCrypt developers are unknown and currently there is no way to know who is who and who should we listen to.
From wikileaks twitter https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/471769936038461440:[7]
(1/4) Truecrypt has released an update saying that it is insecure and development has been terminated http://truecrypt.sf.net[8]
(2/4) the style of the announcement is very odd; however we believe it is likely to be legitimate and not a simple defacement
(3/4) the new executable contains the same message and is cryptographically signed. We believe that there is either a power conflict..
(4/4) in the dev team or psychological issues, coersion of some form, or a hacker with access to site and keys.
From Matthew Green (one of TrueCrypt auditor) twitter https://twitter.com/matthew_d_green/status/471752508147519488:[9]
@SteveBellovin @mattblaze @0xdaeda1a I think this is legit.
TrueCrypt Setup 7.1a.exe:
sha1: 7689d038c76bd1df695d295c026961e50e4a62ea
md5: 7a23ac83a0856c352025a6f7c9cc1526
TrueCrypt 7.1a Mac OS X.dmg:
sha1: 16e6d7675d63fba9bb75a9983397e3fb610459a1
md5: 89affdc42966ae5739f673ba5fb4b7c5
truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86.tar.gz:
sha1: 0e77b220dbbc6f14101f3f913966f2c818b0f588
md5: 09355fb2e43cf51697a15421816899be
truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x64.tar.gz:
sha1: 086cf24fad36c2c99a6ac32774833c74091acc4d
md5: bb355096348383987447151eecd6dc0e
Diff between latest version and the hoax one: https://github.com/warewolf/truecrypt/compare/master...7.2[10]
Screenshot: http://habrastorage.org/getpro/habr/post_images/da1/1bf/6a5/da11bf6a5225fa718987ba4e54038fc1.png[11] 
Topics: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7812133[12]
http://www.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/26pz9b/truecrypt_development_has_ended_052814/[13]
http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/26pxol/truecrypt_is_dead/[14]
http://www.reddit.com/r/crypto/comments/26px1i/truecrypt_shutting_down_development_of_truecrypt/[15]
http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/05/truecrypt-is-not-secure-official-sourceforge-page-abruptly-warns/[16]
http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/true-goodbye-using-truecrypt-is-not-secure/[17]
Twitter stream: https://twitter.com/search?q=truecrypt&src=typd[18]
You may join IRC #truecrypt@irc.freenode.net[19] , although there is no OPs right now.

- http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/26pxol/truecrypt_is_dead/chtexzg


That post seems to be the most up to date, and seems to have pretty valid information.

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May 29, 2014, 10:34:59 AM
 #6

This doesn't add up at all.  I don't like the post above mine, as it makes me nervous about running v7.1a.  However, I remember when Win7 came out and TrueCrypt.org mentioned supporting Win7.  They said that the versions supporting Win7 would use BitLocker's technology even on home versions where the user didn't have direct access to BitLocker.  It is not uncommon for a third party software to use built-in technology that users otherwise couldn't access, so this didn't surprise or concern me.  This makes me less nervous about BitLocker than v7.1a considering the research post above, however, I'm not familiar with BitLocker and I don't want to try to transfer all of my data to new drives.  The most frustrating part is I was booted into Ubuntu 14.04 Tuesday on a live disc (haven't been able to install it on my PC) and downloaded the v7.1a binary for Linux, but didn't save it thinking I could just download it again (and again, and again) when I needed it / if I ever got Ubuntu installed.  OI!

ETA: The warning on truecrypt.org says "Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues." This only implies that it is no longer being maintained.  I meant to mention this in my post, and it is why I wish I had kept the Linux binary.  TrueCrypt is probably secure enough for me even if there is an issue, and moving everything from RAID10 to spare discs to re-encrypt the RAID10 seems like unnecessary risk and work for the data I am protecting.  However, the point of this second incoherent rambling is that it hasn't been declared not safe, just declared potentially not safe in the future.

I also almost downloaded the PGP keys Tuesday for comparison to the versions I already have, but failed to do so.  Ugh!
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May 29, 2014, 10:42:35 AM
 #7

This doesn't add up at all.  I don't like the post above mine, as it makes me nervous about running v7.1a.  However, I remember when Win7 came out and TrueCrypt.org mentioned supporting Win7.  They said that the versions supporting Win7 would use BitLocker's technology even on home versions where the user didn't have direct access to BitLocker.  It is not uncommon for a third party software to use built-in technology that users otherwise couldn't access, so this didn't surprise or concern me.  This makes me less nervous about BitLocker than v7.1a considering the research post above, however, I'm not familiar with BitLocker and I don't want to try to transfer all of my data to new drives.  The most frustrating part is I was booted into Ubuntu 14.04 yesterday on a live disc (haven't been able to install it on my PC) and downloaded the v7.1a binary for Linux, but didn't save it thinking I could just download it again (and again, and again) when I needed it / if I ever got Ubuntu installed.  OI!

I've been using TC on Windows 7 for ages, works absolutely fine once you bully the Windows installer into installing the OS on one partition. I didn't get it to work on my new dev machine, which is Windows 8.1 - so I went with Bitlocker there. System encryption works in much the same way, preboot environment, and a passphrase - which I combine with a Yubikey to give two-factor auth.

The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

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May 29, 2014, 10:50:11 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

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May 29, 2014, 10:54:12 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.
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May 29, 2014, 10:55:22 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Of course it will. if you fully (and truly) encrypt a storage device how can a backdoor in the OS help with gaining access to any of the data?

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May 29, 2014, 10:56:41 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Of course it will. if you fully (and truly) encrypt a storage device how can a backdoor in the OS help with gaining access to any of the data?

Sniffing your keys. Logging your keystrokes whenever you use/start x program.
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May 29, 2014, 10:59:12 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Of course it will. if you fully (and truly) encrypt a storage device how can a backdoor in the OS help with gaining access to any of the data?

Sniffing your keys.

That's not a backdoor that's blatant key logging (which needs to be stored somewhere). Yes, that is possible. But it either require all key strokes to be saved or the creation of special purpose logging software for each encryption algorithm and implementation around.

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May 29, 2014, 10:59:55 AM
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But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Windows is an operating system - it is not actually your files. When a file is encrypted (assuming no backdoors/no holes - ie. theoretical perfect encryption) then it is impossible for anyone to decrypt that data without the associated password. So anyone could have access to your OS (they could even remove the HDD and boot examine it externally which is what most actually do) but they would never be able to retrieve your secure data. OS security != Data security.
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May 29, 2014, 11:02:24 AM
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The Bitlocker code is obviously closed source, but I trust in Market forces - unless my computer is storing my plans to release smallpox in the US, Microsoft would be unlikely to take the commercial hit of using any present backdoor, since it would be a use-once backdoor before everyone knew about it.

So they never publically use it. All the big US corporations work with the NSA. Operation Prism. For security reasons it's quite unusable.

But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Of course it will. if you fully (and truly) encrypt a storage device how can a backdoor in the OS help with gaining access to any of the data?

Sniffing your keys.

That's not a backdoor that's blatant key logging (which needs to be stored somewhere). Yes, that is possible. But it either require all key strokes to be saved or the creation of special purpose logging software for each encryption algorithm and implementation around.

Too much work for the NSA and MS? That wouldn't take long to do for anyone. With all the info that has come out regarding NSA I'd be surprised if they didn't.
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May 29, 2014, 11:05:41 AM
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Too much work for the NSA and MS? That wouldn't take long to do for anyone. With all the info that has come out regarding NSA I'd be surprised if they didn't.

It's a safe bet that Microsoft will have been approached by the NSA to place a backdoor into Bitlocker.

Because of the cost associated with the existence of that backdoor being publicly disclosed, it is unlikely to be used (assuming it exists) in anything other than the most dire situation, e.g. imminent terror threat etc.

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May 29, 2014, 11:08:14 AM
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Too much work for the NSA and MS? That wouldn't take long to do for anyone. With all the info that has come out regarding NSA I'd be surprised if they didn't.

It's a safe bet that Microsoft will have been approached by the NSA to place a backdoor into Bitlocker.

Because of the cost associated with the existence of that backdoor being publicly disclosed, it is unlikely to be used (assuming it exists) in anything other than the most dire situation, e.g. imminent terror threat etc.

While that might be true, that doesn't make it a secure system. Also, things like that have a tendency to be a slippery slope... When there is a backdoor, there is a backdoor, no matter how much it is used.
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May 29, 2014, 11:12:09 AM
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But so is windows itself! you can use whatever encryption program you want, with backdoors in Windows it will never be secure anyway.

Windows is an operating system - it is not actually your files. When a file is encrypted (assuming no backdoors/no holes - ie. theoretical perfect encryption) then it is impossible for anyone to decrypt that data without the associated password. So anyone could have access to your OS (they could even remove the HDD and boot examine it externally which is what most actually do) but they would never be able to retrieve your secure data. OS security != Data security.

A small program sniffing for your private keys or passwords whenever you run xyz-program doesn't take much imagination after the revelations of snowden.
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May 29, 2014, 11:13:27 AM
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While that might be true, that doesn't make it a secure system. Also, things like that have a tendency to be a slippery slope... When there is a backdoor, there is a backdoor, no matter how much it is used.

I agree. But security only has meaning when viewed alongside a threat model. Truecrypt was never bullet proof, there have always been side channel attacks.

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May 29, 2014, 11:15:54 AM
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If a backdoor can be used by the NSA, a clever 'hacker' (researcher) can also find it. Making the whole encryption meaningless (and giving false-confidence).

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May 29, 2014, 11:19:25 AM
 #20

A small program sniffing for your private keys or passwords whenever you run xyz-program doesn't take much imagination after the revelations of snowden.

At some level your going to have to trust someone. If you don't trust Windows, run a Linux installation. The big ones generally have been looked at enough to avoid it. If you're afraid of hardware level spying there really isn't much you can do short of building everything single piece of equipment (and I don't mean buying the parts - I mean literally building your CPU/GPU/Mobo etc). As you can see it's rather difficult to do that so if you want to use a computer you're going to have to at least trust that the hardware manufacturers aren't grouping up with the NSA to spy on you. Or just don't use a computer.
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