Full Disk Encryption Survey

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Saqib Ali, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Saqib Ali

    Saqib Ali Guest

    Please vote for you favorite Full Disk Encryption FDE solution at the
    following URL:

    Please consider the following when voting:
    1. Easy of use
    2. Transparency to the user
    3. Directory integration (e.g. integration with Active Directory or
    4. Key Management (Backup, recovery, archiving)
    5. Password recovery
    6. Cost
    7. User Interface
    8. Reliability
    9. Performance
    10. Overall Functionality
    Saqib Ali, Jul 9, 2007
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  2. Saqib Ali

    Vanguard Guest

    in message

    In order for any product to be favorite requires that user also report
    what OTHER similar products they trialed or used. A user that has only
    used one FDE product doesn't have a favorite. I have one sister, so the
    joke goes "you're my favorite sister". You do not let the user report
    what other FDE products they have used or how many total FDE products
    they have used (which must be greater than one). The survey is
    worthless without this info.
    Vanguard, Jul 9, 2007
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  3. Saqib Ali

    benb Guest

    I'll be keeping an eye on this survey, as I'm currently researching an FDE
    solutions for about 20 of our users laptops. So far I've downloaded and
    tested PGP WDE, next is CompuSec, I have a trial of SafeGuard Easy on order
    (hopefully arrive in the post next week), and I'm arranging a conference
    call with someone from PointSec to setup a trial of that product.

    If anyone has any experience with any of the or other products, I'd be
    interested in your views. Our requirements are:
    Full Disk Encryption
    Pre Boot Authentication
    Activate Directory Integration
    Easy Deployment (MSI/group policy)
    Automated Encryption (no user intervention)


    benb, Jul 12, 2007
  4. Saqib Ali

    Sebastian G. Guest

    benb wrote:

    Trivial: CompuSec is insecure by design. Just create a password reset floppy
    on a second machine, start the recovery at the first, insert it, and there
    you go. A trivial proof that they must have stored the key on the encrypted
    disk as well.

    SafeGuard Easy... well, has this shit become working now? On two test
    machines I saw the boot loader completely crashing, totally ignoring any
    keyboard response, or not accepting any of the correct passwords.
    Hm... what about actual security? In terms of encryption this means to only
    Open Source software, due to a matter of trust and verification of the
    implementation. CompuSec has already been mentioned. SafeGuard Easy has been
    proven to be horrible insecure, f.e. not properly locking memory regions
    and then letting the keys being swapped out.
    Sebastian G., Jul 13, 2007
  5. Saqib Ali

    Arthur T. Guest

    In Message-ID:<>,
    Before you try out CompuSec, you might want to look at some
    previous posts about it in this newsgroup. Here's part of one of

    Message-ID: <>
    Of course, even 128-bit encryption is overkill since the
    password is a maximum of 16 alpha-numeric characters. I work that
    out to be just over 95 bits worth.

    Also, there's something akin to a back-door in Compusec. In
    their Yahoo support group, one message said:
    Arthur T., Jul 13, 2007
  6. Saqib Ali

    benb Guest

    Yeah I tested it at home last night and didn't like it at all. There are a
    number of other failings as well. Such as only allowing 1 user login, if a
    consultant sends a machine in for repair, it would be useful to be able to
    login without them having to expose their password. Another is only allowing
    alphanumerical charactors in the login name, our users logon to the domain
    as joe.bloggs, but they couldn't use this to login to CompuSec as it
    contains a period, so its another username for them to remember. There is no
    windows/directory service synchronisation, so it means another password for
    users to remember, increasing the likihood of users writing down passwords
    Thanks for the warning, I was going to install it on my laptop to test, but
    I think I'll use a spare now, until I know it works! I've heard from other
    people that it is stable, and offers all of the requirements listed below.
    I assumed that most of the products mentioned used at least AES 128, and so
    were fairly equal in that respect. Certainly all the datasheets for PGP WDE,
    SafeGuard Easy, PointSec & CompuSec state that they are capable of AES 256,
    and PointSec & SafeGuard say they are FIPS 140-2 compliant.

    My major reason for looking into this is in the event that one of our
    consultants has a laptop stolen, and someone might be able to retrieve
    clients confidential information from the hard disk. We're not a goverment
    organisation, bank or anything, but it would damage the company's reputation
    if a client were to find their information had been lost/made public!

    benb, Jul 13, 2007
  7. FWIW, no problems at all with SGE 4.2 at our company, and Utimaco lists
    a number of reference customers - some of which DID get to check the
    security of SGE in much more detail than for example Sebastian ;-)

    (For example, the German Army uses it, and to do so required permission
    from the government data security agency...)

    Which is totally and utterly meaningless in a switched-off laptop, which
    is what SGE is designed to protect. All full-disc-encryption packages
    have the "weakness" that they allow data to be accessed when the laptop
    is on (even any Linux implementation) - after all, that's what they're
    designed for.

    How about stopping being a troll and actually sticking to the topic,
    They are. Sebastian means that there might be a chance to recover the
    key when the laptop is running - which however is meaningless in any
    realistic scenario, because if the laptop is stolen while switched on,
    the files are accessible anyway®, even if the most secure unobtainium-
    derived open-source software is used (that of course was compiled by a
    self-written compiler, as you can't trust the compiler software

    Which is something those packages WILL protect you against, provided
    the user didn't stick a post-it with the password to his laptop.

    And even then, some packages (SGE, for example) allow you to require
    authentication with a USB token (Alladin eToken, for SGE) instead of
    username/password - which of course would mean that you have to teach
    the user NOT to carry the token in the laptop bag ;-)

    Juergen Nieveler
    Juergen Nieveler, Jul 13, 2007
  8. Saqib Ali

    Sebastian G. Guest

    Juergen Nieveler wrote:

    It was one example from the non-FDE products from Ultimaco provides. Over
    the years we've seen many such implementation errors, and one really can't
    reasonably trust the vendor for now having created a proper implementation.

    The issue about checking the correctness of the implementation. That means
    not just the cipher, but also the key management (including key creation and
    key destruction) and the rest (f.e. that it doesn't store a backup of the
    key somewhere else). Didn't we learn something from PGP 5.x?
    Sebastian G., Jul 13, 2007
  9. AFAIK the BSI checked SGE before allowing the Bundeswehr to use it for
    confidential documents, and so did NATO.

    Of course, it all depends on your personal level of paranoia - even if
    a product is secure enough to encrypt state secrets and
    multi-billion-dollar trade information, is it secure enough for you? ;-)

    Juergen Nieveler
    Juergen Nieveler, Jul 13, 2007
  10. Saqib Ali

    Sebastian G. Guest

    Two words: Microsoft Windows
    Sebastian G., Jul 13, 2007
  11. Saqib Ali

    Ari Guest

    Why the hell would I want that?
    Free OK? Truecrypt
    Ari, Jul 21, 2007
  12. Except that we're talking about FULL disk encryption

    Juergen Nieveler
    Juergen Nieveler, Jul 23, 2007
  13. Saqib Ali

    ric Guest

    I'd bring to the table Pointsec - we use this and it's good and scales
    to the enterprise for key recovery etc, and also potentially MS
    Bitlocker in Vista. Not used the latter, obviously treat with
    caution, but it does seem to be ticking the boxes so far from brief
    conversations with our architects...
    ric, Jul 24, 2007
  14. Saqib Ali

    Ari Guest

    In-excluding OS?
    Ari, Jul 24, 2007
  15. Haven't been able to verify it (I only have Vista Home Premium), but
    I've heard that Bitlocker only encrypts the system partition, not any
    additional partitions.

    Can anybody confirm or deny this?

    Juergen Nieveler
    Juergen Nieveler, Jul 24, 2007
  16. Excluding the OS is a bad idea IMHO.

    It is often argued that encrypting known files is bad because of known-
    plaintext-attacks, however not encrypting the system partition allows
    an attacker to inject files while the machine is not running.

    Simply mount the HD on another machine, put the files onto the disk,
    and make sure that the files are run on startup by putting a link into
    the startup-folder of the user profile.

    Juergen Nieveler
    Juergen Nieveler, Jul 24, 2007
  17. Saqib Ali

    Ari Guest

    Fair enough.
    Please repeat, I missed the point, Thx for the info.
    Ari, Jul 25, 2007
  18. I hate to blow my own trumpet but have you thought about SafeBoot

    In my biased opinion it works better than the other products you're
    looking at - for only 20 machines you'll not need some of the more
    advanced stuff like AD integration, webhelpdesk etc, but you might
    find those features technically interesting.

    SafeBoot Simon, Jul 25, 2007
  19. Saqib Ali

    Ari Guest

    You really don't hate too?
    Ari, Jul 25, 2007
  20. It galls me to have to lower myself to marketing.. but hey, whatever
    helps.. ;-)
    SafeBoot Simon, Jul 27, 2007
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