750 words about Encryption

First thing in the morning the site said, 750 words it said. How am I going to get there, 200-250 words has been an average-sized post for me. Then I remembered that I email a long-standing friend of mine who has moved to the US … and have been doing every day for the past 7 years … pretty much the first thing I do, semi-religiously, morning coffee-style. Checking some of those emails, damn it, 200-300 words. The other thing I’ve just realised, using full screen view to write a WordPress post, ya can’t see the word count … outstanding!

So I thought I’d talk a little about encryption … in clear-text … geddit? What? Yes, they’re words! An increasing number of our customers are walking around our county with either a laptop or an external device; hard drive or USB or both and have asked can we encrypt amd password protect their data. Yup, enter the encryption saviour True Crypt. This bad boy is open source and therefore non-chargeable, although a donation wouldn’t go a miss, just once in a while, you never ring any more, sniff. A tiny download (< 4MB) and it’ll encrypt a USB, an external Hard Drive, a partition or an entire operating system and it works on all versions of Windows (except 8, although that’s in the pipeline), MAC OS X (104+) and Linux. Oh and did I mention it’s free? What is not to like?

The online documentation is excellent, you get a copy of the whole thing as a PDF if you download and install the package. There is a part of the doc. that kinda makes me chuckle. The section entitled Plausible Deniability is priceless. It starts “In case an adversary forces you to reveal your password … ” Wow! Fortunately my company doesn’t operate in a part of the world or even this country that would need to heed those instructions. Kudos to those of you that do.

Ok, right there! That was annoying. To avoid needless typing I copied and pasted the words about plausible whatnots from the True Crypt site … and it copied the formatting. Turning that section of the post a delicate shade of orange (in an outrageous French accent please) until I switched to HTML view and removed the naughty little SPAN it had sneakily brought with it switching everything from then on into color: #ea7521. Reach for your colour palettes girls and boys.

Welcome back to the apres-Continue Reading part of the day. This is really hard. I’ve passed on pretty much all the info you’ll need to get you off the ground with True Crypt and I’ve barely reached 400 words 🙁 and I’m still having to regularly toggle between full-screen modes to even tell you that. Oh and it’s raining, not that you care.

The whole process is controlled by a wizard and most of the default settings will give you perfectly adequate protection. I’d like to draw your attention to Step 11 though. I’m not sure if they’re having a tiny IT laugh here but the footnote to the Volume Format section actually says:

“Move your mouse as randomly as possible within the Volume Creation Wizard window at least for 30 seconds. The longer you move the mouse, the better. This significantly increases the cryptographic strength of the encryption keys (which increases security).”

I think therefore I am, heuristic eh? I copy and pasted that lot via Notepad. Now I’m a bit of an “end-user” when it comes to encryption but can someone please let me know if this is in any way kosher?

Off now to go and research a possible contract for a Harbour Management System (HMS tee hee), ah, ahoy me hearties I believe? So what are you waiting for, go encrypt something!

And that my fine feathered bat-friends is 600 words – or at least it was until wrote this 🙂

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