[dm-crypt] Question about backdoors and the NSL

Arno Wagner arno at wagner.name
Fri May 30 15:13:26 CEST 2014


On Fri, May 30, 2014 at 11:07:12 CEST, web1bastler at googlemail.com wrote:
> Hello dear cryptsetup team,
> I want to ask if you received a national security letter because I want to
> know if my LUKS encrypted volumes are still safe. 

First, you should know that your question is not very bright.
Recipients of valid NSLs are not allowed to talk about them or 
admit they have gotten one. Hence what do you expect as answer if
there were an NSL?

But second, Milan and I are not located in the US, so I doubt
that they could legally give either of us an NSL and even if
they did, I doubt it would have any effect. But please notice
that I am not answering your question, to be sure you have to 
verify what I just said yourself.
> I heard about what happened to True Crypt just recently and there has been
> some speculation whether the developer has gotten a nsl or something else.
> I knew for quite a time that American agencies such as the NSA ask
> developers to build in backdoors into their encryption programs or even HW
> encryption chips.
> I think it’s ridiculous that those agencies get so many rights that they
> can even stomp on the freedom of a person in a different country which is
> totally not democratic.
> So I want to know if my sensitive data is still safe on a LUKS encrypted
> volume.

It should be. But also note that it depends on more than cryptsetup.
cryptsetup is just a set-up front-end from dm-crypt and the kernel
encryption code. On the other hand, the only thing that could have
a relvant backdoor there is the crypto-RNG, and there is reson to
believe the kernel folks are taking that one pretty serious and
it likely is not compromised.

> I’m thanking you in advance and it would be nice if you could reply in
> about 1-2 weeks
> Yours sincerely,
> web1bastler

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Arno Wagner,     Dr. sc. techn., Dipl. Inform.,    Email: arno at wagner.name
GnuPG: ID: CB5D9718  FP: 12D6 C03B 1B30 33BB 13CF  B774 E35C 5FA1 CB5D 9718
A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. -  Plato

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