I have been fascinated and a fan of encryption for years. The first encryption I used was PGP. The history of PGP encryption started back in 1991 and is interesting. I became more interested in February of 1993 when Phil Zimmermann became the formal target of a criminal investigation by the US Government for “munitions export without a license”. That’s right, encryption was classified as munitions. If you want more information on that story you will need to search the web or checkout the snipit in Wikipedia. If that story interests you, a more recent similar story is the Lavabit story…
I was a big fan of PGP desktop and PGP disk which let me add an encrypted container as a virtual disk. I used this until I found the open source TrueCrypt package which which worked similar to PGP disk. So I have been using TrueCrypt since some time in 2005. I have been very happy with the package and as far as I know my data has been secure.
On May 28th 2014, the TrueCrypt website announced that the project was no longer maintained and recommended users to find alternative solutions. It also had a cloak and dagger hidden message that TrueCrypt was no longer secure due to the NSA. For more on the TrueCrypt story you can read about it in Wikipedia here or see the current TrueCrypt page here. Since the developers of TrueCrypt are unknown we are not able to find out exactly what is going on here, but I now need to find a replacement.
Since the source code was available it is possible for others to continue where TrueCrypt left off and there are two projects that are looking to do just that. One is VeraCrypt headquartered in France and the other is Ciphershed headquarter in Switzerland.
VeraCrypt has had several releases and looks to be the most responsive. They have made several improvements to enhance encryption security and are now able to convert the old format to their new format. They are currently on version 1.0f-2 and this is the package that I am going to try. I will update this article on my experience with VeraCrypt. You can get the software and more information at the links below. If you run it let me know what you think. – Cheers.