Feeds

TrueCrypt hooked to life support in Switzerland: 'It must not die' say pair

But what about the licence?

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Two programmers hope to resurrect development of disk-encryption tool TrueCrypt after its original developers quit the project.

The official TrueCrypt.org website abruptly shut up shop last week ostensibly because its secretive maintainers felt they could no longer keep the software secure.

They blamed the Microsoft's discontinuation of official support for Windows XP, withdrew previous versions of the utility, and released a new version of TrueCrypt, v7.2, which can only decrypt data.

Now Thomas Bruderer and Joseph Doekbrijder have stepped forward with plans to revive the project through the truecrypt.ch site, which is offering downloads of TrueCrypt 7.1a – which can encrypt and decrypt data, and was the latest version prior to 7.2.

Meanwhile, a separate effort to audit the TrueCrypt source code is ongoing. Last month professional auditors, bankrolled by donations from users, found “no evidence of backdoors or intentional flaws” after examining the blueprints, and announced that the second phase of the investigation will go ahead as planned: they will now review its random number generators and cipher suites.

"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," the Open Crypto Audit Project stated. "We are considering several scenarios, including potentially supporting a fork under appropriate free license, with a fully reproducible build," it added.

Others continue to view TrueCrypt's custom licence as a potential obstacle in the way of reviving development of the software. The most troublesome part of the licence reads:

The name of Your Product (or of Your modified version of This Product) must not contain the name TrueCrypt (for example, the following names are not allowed: TrueCrypt, TrueCrypt+, TrueCrypt Professional, iTrueCrypt, etc.) nor any other names confusingly similar to the name TrueCrypt (e.g., True-Crypt, True Crypt, TruKrypt, etc.)

Meanwhile, as the domain name suggests, the TrueCrypt.ch project is hosted in Switzerland in order to, hopefully, avoid any legal problems:

If there have been legal problems with the US, the independent hosting in Switzerland will guarantee no interruption due to legal threats.

The pair said their primary aim was to "make the product available again", closely followed by its second priority of "finding interested and capable persons volunteering to help identify and solve legal issues and identify security threats".

The real reasons why TrueCrypt.org pulled the plug remain unclear. In the absence of any convincing explanation, conspiracy theorists have suggested TrueCrypt was shut down, Lavabit-style, in response to pressure from the feds or spy chiefs, or possibly due to an internal power struggle. Perhaps we'll never know. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.