Feeds

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

But what about the licence?

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.