110 votes

How to prevent a hosting company from accessing a VM's encryption keys?

You can't, plain and simple. If you don't trust the hosting company, you don't host with them. This is law #3 from 10 immutable law of security: Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical ...
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  • 31k
85 votes
Accepted

Prevention measures against laptop seizure at US borders

The ANSSI, French government service in charge of IT security, has published a document providing brief advice to people having to travel abroad. Relevant here are the advisories concerning ...
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85 votes
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How can Android encryption be so fast?

Encryption happens in memory, not on the disk. You are misunderstanding how disk encryption works. It does not read the entire disk and replace it with a decrypted version. Rather, when a file or ...
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  • 63.8k
77 votes

Is full disk encryption on a server in a secure data center pointless?

Two generic things you apparently have missed: In case of disk failure, having the data encrypted at rest solves the issue of having potentially sensitive data on a media you can't access any more. ...
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  • 18.5k
74 votes
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Is it possible to tell if hard drive is encrypted?

We have two types of encryption here, "file based encryption" and "full disk encryption". There are documented forensics methods and software (e.g. EnCase) that help us detect the schemes and programs ...
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  • 3,369
74 votes
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Aren't keyfiles defeating the purpose of encryption?

If decryption only relies on the keyfile and this keyfile is readily available, there is indeed no significant security benefit in your setup. What you can do though is store the keyfile on a ...
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  • 7,214
62 votes
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Is a password-protected stolen laptop safe?

Is a password-protected stolen laptop safe? No. The immutable laws of security say: Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it's not your computer anymore. It doesn'...
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  • 1,013
58 votes
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BitLocker Drive Encryption NOT secure from drive mapping on network

You’re misunderstanding what BitLocker is supposed to protect against. The goal of BitLocker is to protect your data from cold boot attacks (as explained in a Technet blog entry). When you unlock a ...
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  • 18.5k
52 votes
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Is LUKS still an effective option for consumer FDE considering Elcomsoft can break it?

No, Elcomsoft cannot break LUKS or Veracrypt. What they do is to guess the password. Any password-based encryption mechanism can be broken by guessing the password: this is not a flaw in the ...
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50 votes

How can Android encryption be so fast?

It doesn't decrypt the full disk at startup. Instead, it continously decrypts data as it is read from the disk when it is read from the disk, leaving the actual content on the disk untouched and ...
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  • 64.2k
49 votes
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How does Android L achieve strong encryption with a low entropy passphrase?

Chip-based banking cards typically use a 4-digit PIN. It would take at most a few hours to try them all if the card didn't protect against brute force attempts. The card protects against brute force ...
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47 votes
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How is it possible for user's password to be changed after storage was encrypted? (on OS X, Android)

At a high level, disk encryption is implemented using a data encryption key (DEK) and a key encryption key (KEK). The DEK is generated randomly and used to encrypt the drive, the KEK is derived from ...
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44 votes

Is looking for plain text strings on an encrypted disk a good test?

No, this is not a good test, not at all. If you do the same with a zip file, or a docx, or a PNG, you won't see text strings, but the file is not encrypted. Not being able to see plaintext does not ...
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  • 50.3k
43 votes

Are there any reasonable TrueCrypt forks?

The main obstacle of a TrueCrypt fork is the non-standard TrueCrypt license. While the intention of the authors seemed to be to write a share-alike license similar in spirit to the GPL, the license ...
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  • 48.8k
42 votes
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Is there a reason to use TrueCrypt over VeraCrypt?

I would still choose TrueCrypt for a matter of trust and the "many eyes" theory: After the "TrueCrypt scandal" everyone started looking at the source for backdoors. The TrueCrypt audit finished on ...
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  • 560
39 votes
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VeraCrypt/TruCrypt - I can't understand why you'd want to create a "hidden" volume...?

Your first question is really a legal one, and you seem to be assuming two things: The attacker is a government of some sort. That government actually respects citizen privacy and requires some sort ...
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  • 10.2k
38 votes

Is there a reason to use TrueCrypt over VeraCrypt?

Yes. Use VeraCrypt. As of September 26th 2015, google's security researchers found a couple of vulnerabilities that affect TrueCrypt 7.1a and VeraCrypt 1.14 they are CVE-2015-7358 and CVE-2015-7359 ...
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  • 481
38 votes
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Why is it possible to bypass Android full disk encryption?

You seem to be confusing two different security features that are intended to protect against two different types of attacks. The three attacks you mentioned are to bypass the lock screen of the phone,...
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  • 1,331
37 votes
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Is laptop "secure sleep" mode theoretically possible?

Yes. It could be easily achievable, although it would require kernel support do this properly. In the suspend-to-RAM case, the key should be deleted from the RAM, and in the suspend-to-disk case, ...
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  • 2,938
33 votes
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Why use a Smartcard for (Two Factor) Auth instead of another medium?

A smart card works by keeping a secret hidden and answering a challenge that proves it has the secret. It, theoretically, should never reveal that secret to anyone and it should be unrecoverable. ...
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  • 41.8k
30 votes
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Is a file shredder/secure erase necessary when you have full disk encryption turned on?

I would still recommend using secure delete in your scenario. Should your machine be compromised when you are logged in (malware etc), full disk encryption will not protect you from a undelete ...
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  • 1,214
22 votes
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XTS vs AES-CBC with ESSIV for file-based filesystem encryption

The criticisms about XTS make sense in a context when attackers can observe successive versions of the encrypted disk (i.e. the attacker steals your laptop, makes an image of the whole disk, then puts ...
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  • 168k
22 votes

How to use FDE without needing to share the encryption password

It comes to this: You want to implement a DRM scheme. Many before you have tried, all of them failed. It is not possible to give something (hardware, data) to users and prevent them from using it in ...
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  • 5,903
21 votes

Why use a Smartcard for (Two Factor) Auth instead of another medium?

It's (theoretically) harder to duplicate a Smart Card. You can duplicate a USB drive easily. If I steal both, you are equally in trouble, but if I steal the USB, duplicate it, then replace it ...
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  • 123k
21 votes

Is full disk encryption on a server in a secure data center pointless?

If the decryption key is stored in plain on the very same media as the encrypted data, then the encryption is pointless. If you have a set of rules, which require data to be encrypted, but permit ...
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  • 5,392
21 votes
Accepted

Breaching security of a notebook with full disc encryption when screen is locked

Can anyone point out any weakness in this setup, and if you do, how to make it secure? Hardware solutions exist which can grab your system's memory without needing your login. And that's pretty ...
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  • 71.7k
21 votes

Is a password-protected stolen laptop safe?

Just to add a very simple answer here, I regularly boot a linux live cd/usb on friends' computers who have done something weird and need to recover files, and simply copy them over to an external ...
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20 votes

Is LUKS still an effective option for consumer FDE considering Elcomsoft can break it?

While LUKS offers strong protection against brute force attacks by using thousands of iterations of a hash function during key derivation, we have significant advances in password recovery attacks ...
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  • 12.5k
19 votes

VeraCrypt/TruCrypt - I can't understand why you'd want to create a "hidden" volume...?

You're wrong in your assumptions. There are many legal jurisdictions where you can be required to produce passwords for encrypted data on suspicion, rather than proof, that the data may be relevant to ...
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  • 10.1k

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