No More Encryption with Truecrypt

Truecrypt was a well-loved open source encryption tool that sputtered to an end when its anonymous developers said they’d no longer support it.  Following a code audit, which came up clean, there was a collective sigh of relief that the last known good version could still be used.

No longer.  Two security holes have been reported and the project’s at the end of its road.  If you haven’t already moved on, it’s time.

If you’ve got Windows Professional or better (Ultimate, Enterprise, etc.), you can use Microsoft’s built-in encryption Bitlocker.  Confusingly, you’ll see Bitlocker in Windows 10 Home but can’t activate it (there’s even a service running).  Mac users have FileVault 2.

Other alternatives include Veracrypt, a fork of Truecrypt, and Bestcrypt.  Bruce Schneier, the security expert, prefers the latter.  I’ve been using Veracrypt since a few months ago.  Since it is based on Truecrypt, it had the same vulnerabilities but the new developers have patched it.  Truecrypt users will find it looks and feels the same and will open Truecrypt containers.  Full disk encryption on Windows 10 is fine, if a bit slow (although I can’t say it’s slower because I didn’t use it on Windows 7).  I’m looking at Tru Pax for creating new containers, as it will create the container to fit the files you have, rather than asking you to create a container based on an estimated size.  It just announced compatibility with Veracrypt for this feature.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.