Technology

truecrypt_20080206.jpg

TrueCrypt 5.0 was released yesterday and OS X has been added to the list of supported operating systems, making it the only open source volume encryption utility that works in Linux, Mac and Windows. It’s a really slick utility for creating an AES-256 or Serpent encrypted volume that you can drop sensitive files inside.

You can use TrueCrypt to create an encrypted volume image inside a file, or you can encrypt a whole disk image or partition. The OS X version uses MacFUSE to provide user-mode mounting of the encrypted disk. The main application window, pictured above, gives you a simple interface for creating and mounting encrypted images.

Once an image is mounted, you can use it like a normal hard disk. Unmount the disk and you’re left with a file full of random gibberish. FAT is the only filesystem that’s available through the interface, but once the disk is mounted, you can reformat it with Disk Utility to use XFS.

There are a couple of things worth noting. In the Windows and Linux versions a special bootloader is available that lets you encrypt your entire system drive. It doesn’t look like that option is available in the OS X version. Also, when I tested the latest OS X binary this evening, the “hidden volume” plausible deniability feature wasn’t working. Hopefully that will be added in a future release. Until then, TrueCrypt is better suited for storing tax documents and things you wouldn’t want visible to a laptop thief, rather than the details of where you’ve hidden the bodies.

TrueCrypt – [via] Link

10 thoughts on “TrueCrypt for OS X

  1. I just fired up VMware and took a look with IE6 – and there’s no hard edge to the blub – there’s just some blue dots at the bottom and nothing else at all – no bulb!

    This might not be as good a solution after all.

  2. Why would you not mention the GIMP as a way to convert PNG’s to indexed mode. The GIMP gives you a nice choice of dithering and pallet choices. I use this very often not to support broken software like your talking about, but to get the PNGs to compress further.

  3. John, don’t blame the program for simple operator error. It looks like during the quantization process the solid blue in the bulb was indexed to a partially transparent color. The program needs to convert the thousands of colors in the image down to 256, so you can expect something like this, especially when the transparent parts are the same color as the non transparent parts… my mistake.

    In real-world use, you probably will be using the PNG-8 images to provide drop shadows and overlays over the rest of your html and image content. In this scenario, when loaded in IE6 (or under) everything appears correct except that the shadows are missing. It really is a graceful downgrade, but you do need to be careful with what happens during the quantization process.

  4. Aron, does GIMP have a full RGBA palette for PNG8? I thought it only provided all or nothing transparency in the palette tool (though it loads the images correctly). The pngnq site mentions that a GIMP plugin is high on the list for a future release.

    On the compression side, you might want to also check out the pngcrush utility:
    http://pmt.sourceforge.net/pngcrush/

  5. also – because the alpha support was so poorly implemented in IE 6 and 7, if you change (via css) the alpha property of a png w/ alpha transparency – or even its parent element for that matter – the transparency will be lost. This affects 8 or 16. This caused me a great deal of frustration on a web project this last summer. For the issues with IE 7, I blame this guy: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/04/26/412263.aspx . According to him, the whole thing is just a PoS.

  6. The Sitepoint article PNG8 – The Clear Winner and Eriestuff Cross-Browser PNG alpha-transparency were great articles too, but I ran into the same problems with PNGnq as you did.
    Fireworks works fine, kudos to former Macromedia for that. As it’s the only program, it means you can’t edit your PNG in any other program after that, so you’d better keep the original and prepare it in another graphic program if you don’t like working with Fireworks …
    And yes one or two hundred dollars is a little expensive for a conversion program, if you haven’t already bought a thousand dollars Adobe suite (for Photoshop and Illustrator) !

  7. This is exactly what I need. If only I had a clue what you were talking about it would be so helpful.

    I’ve downloaded the files but really don’t understand how the UNIX operates on my mac, so I can’t install or utilize.

    If I could figure out how to put the files where you suggest, I would be able to access the command line through terminal, but I have no idea how to do this.

    Too bad for those of us that just like to use our computers.

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