TrueCrypt for Windows: No major flaws found in first phase of security audit

The popular open-source encryption program has "no evidence of backdoors or intentional flaws" that could be exploited for surveillance.

The first round of results are in, and so far TrueCrypt, the popular open-source encryption program, has a relatively clean bill of health. Security firm iSec Partners recently carried out the first phase of the TrueCrypt audit on behalf of the Open Crypto Audit Project (OCAP).

OCAP is the official name for the group behind, a project inspired by the revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance activities. OCAP was created by Matthew Green, a cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Kenneth White, Principal Scientist at Social & Scientific Systems.

For its report, which was released on Monday, iSec took a look at TrueCrypt's latest Windows edition (version 7.1a). Specifically, the firm looked at the TrueCrypt for Windows' kernel code, bootloader, filesystem driver, and related code. Overall, iSec says it "found no evidence of backdoors or intentional flaws."

But TrueCrypt didn't escape completely unscathed from iSec's audit. The company said it did find 11 flaws in the software ranging from low to medium severity. The good news, however, is that none of the flaws were immediately exploitable, iSec explained in a blog post.

Besides those minor flaws in the Windows version of TrueCrypt, iSec also said the TrueCrypt code was not well maintained. While that's not a major problem right now, poorly maintained code can still make it difficult to find and correct bugs, iSec said. Sloppy code also makes it harder for future developers who join the TrueCrypt project to become familiar with the code.

Looking at the Windows implementation was an important first step for OCAP's TrueCrypt audit. "The reason we focused on Windows first is because the kernel drivers and bootloaders are a very special skill," White told PCWorld. "But also because the Windows port really is the only one that offers the best protection." Unlike the Linux and Mac programs, Windows has the only version of TrueCrypt that offers whole disk encryption for PC drives containing an operating system. Later on, White said that OCAP may look at the Linux and Mac versions of TrueCrypt.

For its next phase of the project, OCAP will look at TrueCrypt's underlying cryptographic code. White says OCAP is close to finalizing its plans for TrueCrypt's formal cryptanalysis including the roster of experts who will be working on it. "Truly some of the best minds in the field of cryptography will be working with us on this," White said.

The group hopes to announce its plans for Phase II in the next week.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityencryption

More about LinuxNational Security AgencyScientific Systems

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Ian Paul

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts