79.4 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

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.

For the 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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