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Considering that I can only safely choose the filesystem for the hidden partition of a VeraCrypt container, and that I would like to use a particular filesystem, is it acceptable to use a weak password for the non-hidden and a strong password for the hidden?

The non-hidden partition will never be used (at least I'm not planning on using it) and the hidden partition with my desired filesystem will be the primary place to store my files.

If the weak password is discovered, will this also compromise the security of the hidden partition?

This is to prove (or show with high likelihood) that I do not have a partition containing hidden data (ie. I will be able to give out the password to both the hidden and non-hidden password, if forced).

  • A weak password for the normal one will not compromise the security of the hidden one but it will probably raise suspicion. – Arminius May 11 '17 at 5:10
  • I am willing to give out the passwords if forced (eg. by the government) for whatever reason. I am just trying to avoid being forced to reveal a password for a partition which supposedly contains hidden data even though there isn't one (eg. if I had created a standard container without a hidden partition). – wfgRNvaaUVKaFa2 May 11 '17 at 5:13
  • Well, in theory you can nest hidden partitions arbitrarily deep, so you can't really prove that there was just that one and nothing else is hidden. – Arminius May 11 '17 at 5:20
  • I would recommend don't bother with hidden volumes – eckes May 11 '17 at 5:38
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You really should read in depth all the documentation on Plausible deniability. Hidden volumes are a very powerful tool but still not a magic bullet. In particular:

  • you must be ready to lose the hidden partition if you have you reveal the outer one: many operations that you could be asked to do will destroy it.
  • you must be able to explain why you created a VeraCrypt volume, and why you put there the files it contains - only storing pictures of your dog is not really plausible...
  • you must either use it on a regular base or be able to explain why you do not use it - in short you must be able to explain how you use it in addition to why
  • if you choose a really weak password you must be able to explain why you did that - this one is to answer your question

Said differently, the choice of a password is only one of the multiple questions you should ask yourself before using a hidden volume.

That being said, being a teenager that just wants to protect files from his younger sister is plausible for example, whatever the password...

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Yes, you could safely make the password for the standard VeraCrypt (outer) volume weak, (or even made public) without this affecting the encryption of the hidden volume. As far as I have read the only extra limit is that you cant use the same password for both volumes because of how the system is implemented.

So for example you could have your outer volume with the weak password "virus" and then have a collection of non offensive malware programs stored there, then your password for the hidden volume could be stronger, and if you are asked about why you used a weak password just say it was to keep your kids away from it.

But this scheme will probably not save you from being tortured and having the drive erased or confiscated by US customs anyway, just for having an encrypted drive of any type.

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