78.4 Disk Encryption using VeraCrypt
It is good practise to ensure all of your local storage is encrypted at rest. If your computer or storage is physically stolen then the thieves need to be quite challenged to access your data. The veracrypt application provides a solid platform for securing data on disk. It is a fork of veracrypt, developed and maintained in France to avoid a license issue in the US, and is updated to resolve and security problems.
VeraCrypt will encrypt a drive and also supports the creation of a hidden drive which lives stealthily within an encrypted drive, supporting plausible deniability as its existence can not be detected. If you are being extorted in order to provide access to your data, you can plausibly decrypt the outer volume whilst retaining the protection of the hidden volume. There is no evidence from the disk itself of the existence of the hidden volume.
VeraCrypt can be installed from a Ubuntu PPA as veracrypt:
wajig addrepo ppa:unit193/encryption wajig install veracrypt veracrypt
Plug in the disk drive (e.g. a USB disk drive) that is to be used for
the encrypted file system. From the command line enter the command
veracrypt or else choose it from the application
menus. On the VeraCrypt GUI click the
Create Volume button to bring
up another window. Choose to
Create a volume within a partition/drive. Next choose the
Hidden VeraCrypt volume
option. Next identify the Volume Location, which might be the device
/dev/sdb1. Note that all data on the device will be lost following a
device format. The administrator password will be requested so that
the formatting can begin.
Outer Volume Encryption Options stay with the defaults,
namely AES as the
Encryption Algorithm and RIPEMD-160 as the
Hash Algorithm. Provide an
Outer Volume Password. Then with the
Outer Volume Format move the mouse around randomly within the window to
create entropy for the encryption keys. Then click
Format and the
disk will be formatted appropriately. This can take multiple hours for
larger disk drives.
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