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Yes . . . TrueCrypt is still safe to use.
Phase 2 of the TrueCrypt Audit FINISHED!
No significant cryptographic problems found

And see why the TrueCrypt spinoffs are violations of the TrueCrypt license.

Google is generating a false-positive alert

Recent attempts to download the TrueCrypt files here, using Chrome or Firefox (Mozilla uses Google's technology), have been generating false-positive malware infection warnings. They must be false-positives because no change has been made to the files since this page was put up nearly a year ago (May 29th, 2014) and many people have confirmed that the downloaded binaries have not changed and that their cryptographic hashes still match.

Also, the well-known and respected “VirusTotal” site, which scans files through all virus scanners reports ZERO hits out of 57 separate virus scan tests: VirusTotal scan results.

We have no idea where or why Google got the idea that there was anything wrong with these files. This just appears to be “The Google” doing their best to protect us from ourselves. But that does misfire occasionally. We expect it to fix itself within a day or two.

Although the disappearance of the TrueCrypt site, whose ever-presence the Internet community long ago grew to take for granted, shocked and surprised many, it clearly came as no surprise to the developers who maintained the site and its namesake code for the past ten years. An analysis of the extensive changes made to TrueCrypt's swan song v7.2 release, and to the code's updated v3.1 license, shows that this departure, which was unveiled without preamble, was in fact quite well planned.

For reasons that remain a titillating source of hypothesis, intrigue and paranoia, TrueCrypt's developers chose not to graciously turn their beloved creation over to a wider Internet development community, but rather, as has always been their right granted by TrueCrypt's longstanding license, to attempt to kill it off by creating a dramatically neutered 7.2 version that can only be used to view, but no longer to create new, TrueCrypt volumes.

Then, leveraging the perverse and wrongheaded belief that software whose support was just cancelled renders it immediately untrustworthy, they attempted to foreclose on TrueCrypt's current and continued use by warning the industry that future problems would remain unrepaired. This being said of the latest 7.1a version of the code that has been used by millions, without change, since its release in February of 2012, more than 27 months before. Suddenly, for no disclosed reason, we should no longer trust it?

The mistake these developers made was in believing that
they still “owned” TrueCrypt, and that it was theirs to kill.

But that's not the way the Internet works. Having created something of such enduring value, which inherently requires significant trust and buy-in, they are rightly unable to now take it back. They might be done with it, but the rest of us are not.

The developers' jealousy is perhaps made more understandable by examining the code they have created. It is truly lovely. It is beautifully constructed. It is amazing work to be deeply proud of. Creating something of TrueCrypt's size and complexity, and holding it together as they did across the span of a decade, is a monumental and truly impressive feat of discipline. So it is entirely understandable when they imply, as quoted below, that they don't trust anyone else to completely understand and maintain their creation as they have. Indeed, it will not be easy. They might look at the coding nightmare atrocity that OpenSSL became over the same span of time and think: “Better to kill off our perfect creation than turn it over to others and have it become that.”

Those who believe that there is something suddenly “wrong” with TrueCrypt because its creators have decided they no longer have so much to give are misguided.

TrueCrypt's creators may well be correct. TrueCrypt may never be as pure and perfect as it is at this moment, today—in the form they created and perfected. Their true final version, 7.1a, may be the pinnacle of this story. So anyone would and should be proud to use and to continue to use this beautiful tool as it is today.

TrueCrypt's formal code audit will continue as planned. Then the code will be forked, the product's license restructured, and it will evolve. The name will be changed because the developers wish to preserve the integrity of the name they have built. They won't allow their name to continue without them. But the world will get some future version, that runs on future operating systems, and future mass storage systems.

There will be continuity . . . as an interesting new chapter of Internet lore is born.

Linux Foundation
Tweets from the @OpenCryptoAudit project:
  • At 5:40am, 29 May 2014
    We will be making an announcement later today on the TrueCrypt audit and our work ahead.
  • 9 hours later at 2:40pm, 29 May 2014
    We are continuing forward with formal cryptanalysis of TrueCrypt 7.1 as committed, and hope to deliver a final audit report in a few months.
  • And eight minutes later at 2:48pm, 29 May 2014
    We are considering several scenarios, including potentially supporting a fork under appropriate free license, w/ a fully reproducible build.

So it appears that the unexpected (putting it mildly) disappearance of TrueCrypt.org and the startling disavowal of TrueCrypt's bullet proof security will turn out to be a brief disturbance in the force. We should know much more about a trustworthy TrueCrypt in the late summer of 2014.

Time to panic?
No. The TrueCrypt development team's deliberately alarming and unexpected “goodbye and you'd better stop using TrueCrypt” posting stating that TrueCrypt is suddenly insecure (for no stated reason) appears only to mean that if any problems were to be subsequently found, they would no longer be fixed by the original TrueCrypt developer team . . . much like Windows XP after May of 2014. In other words, we're on our own.

But that's okay, since we now know that TrueCrypt is regarded as important enough (see tweets above from the Open Crypto Audit and Linux Foundation projects) to be kept alive by the Internet community as a whole.

So, thanks guys . . . we'll take it from here.
Note that once TrueCrypt has been independently audited
it will be the only mass storage encryption solution to have
been audited. This will likely cement TrueCrypt's position
as the top, cross-platform, mass storage encryption tool.

My two blog postings on the day, and the day after, TrueCrypt's self-takedown:

My third and final posting about this page, in order to allow feedback.
The posting generated many interesting comments:

And then the TrueCrypt developers were heard from . . .
Steven Barnhart (@stevebarnhart) wrote to an eMail address he had used before and received several replies from “David.” The following snippets were taken from a twitter conversation which then took place between Steven Barnhart (@stevebarnhart) and Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green):
  • TrueCrypt Developer “David”: “We were happy with the audit, it didn't spark anything. We worked hard on this for 10 years, nothing lasts forever.”
  • Steven Barnhart (Paraphrasing): Developer “personally” feels that fork is harmful: “The source is still available as a reference though.”
  • Steven Barnhart: “I asked and it was clear from the reply that "he" believes forking's harmful because only they are really familiar w/code.”
  • Steven Barnhart: “Also said no government contact except one time inquiring about a ‘support contract.’ ”
  • TrueCrypt Developer “David” said: “Bitlocker is ‘good enough’ and Windows was original ‘goal of the project.’ ”
  • Quoting TrueCrypt Developer David: “There is no longer interest.”
TrueCrypt v7.1a installation packages:Downloads
•  TrueCrypt Setup 7.1a.exe   (32/64-bit Windows)222,771
•  TrueCrypt 7.1a Mac OS X.dmg52,134
•  truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x64.tar.gz54,652
•  truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86.tar.gz34,778
•  truecrypt-7.1a-linux-console-x64.tar.gz25,140
•  truecrypt-7.1a-linux-console-x86.tar.gz20,138
The TrueCrypt User's Guide for v7.1a:
•  TrueCrypt User Guide.pdf121,283
The TrueCrypt v7.1a source code as a gzipped TAR and a ZIP:
•  TrueCrypt 7.1a Source.tar.gz20,629
•  TrueCrypt 7.1a Source.zip26,683

Verifying the TrueCrypt v7.1a Files
(Because caution is never foolish.)
    Many sites attempt to assert the authenticity of the files they offer by posting their cryptographic hash values. But if bad guys were able to maliciously alter the downloaded files, they could probably also alter the displayed hashes. Until we have secure DNS (DNSSEC, which will create a secured Internet-wide reference for many things besides IP addresses) the best we can do is host confirmation hashes somewhere else, under the theory that as unlikely as it is that this primary site was hacked, it's significantly less likely that two unrelated sites were both hacked.

    So, for those who double-knot their shoelaces, Taylor Hornby (aka FireXware) of Defuse Security is kindly hosting a page of hash values of every file listed above. And, being the thorough cryptographic code auditor that he is, Taylor first verified the files GRC is offering here against several independent archives:

Additional online TrueCrypt sites and repositories:

Thoughts about a next-generation encrypted-data logo:

Graphic designer William Culver spend a bit of time thinking about a logo for whatever TrueCrypt becomes in the future. The theme of an infinity symbol is meant to convey the endless lifetime of this terrific data encryption solution. As is made clear on William's page for this, he's releasing all copyright:

truecryptlogo_256
256 x 256 pixels
truecryptlogo_32
32 x 32 pixels

Additional Miscellany:



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Last Edit: May 12, 2015 at 08:21 (108.16 days ago)Viewed 1,412 times per day