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20

(Disclosure: I'm the author of the functionality that you're asking about (good question!).) Ubuntu's Encrypted Home Directory feature uses eCryptfs as the filesystem encryption technology. eCryptfs is a layered filesystem built directly into the Linux kernel. It mounts one directory on top of another. The top directory is really just a "virtual" ...


12

AES has fewer rounds than Serpent so AES should be faster. The number of rounds by itself is meaningless. Some ciphers have a few complex rounds and others have many simple rounds. See my answer to Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds? for a related explanation. There is no speed decrease with bigger key size in Serpent while there is in AES. The ...


11

Suppose you use the sector number times the number of AES blocks per sector as the initial value for CTR. If you successively store the content $M$ then $M'$ in the same sector $n$ then $E^{CTR}_n(M) \oplus E^{CTR}_n(M') = M \oplus M'$ (where $E^{CTR}_{n}$ is the encryption function with CTR mode and IV started for sector number $n$). CTR mode fails ...


9

Free space and used space look exactly the same to someone who only sees one version of the ciphertext. First, the basic idea of a secure block cipher is that you learn nothing about the plaintext block simply by observing the ciphertext block. You may be able to learn something about the plaintext from the surrounding context, such as by collecting more ...


5

I think the thing you are looking for is "escrow" as in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_escrow. Be aware though that the security of your system is reduced to the hardness for an attacker to find the master password which might be much easier than breaking the disk encryption scheme


4

You can use the ecryptfs-add-passphrase command to add a passphrase to your kernel keyring, which will also print the signatures (hashes) to standard out. Once you've added a passphrase to the keyring, you might want to clear it, using the keyctl command. eCryptfs uses a PBKDF2-like, key strengthening algorithm of 65536 rounds of SHA512. (Disclosure: I am ...


4

The key is not stored with the encrypted data, the encrypted key is. This is part of the header. In short, when the volume is created a random key (the master key) is generated and this random key is encrypted using a key derived from the passphrase, and spread out (using an algorithm called 'afsplit'). This key derivation is designed to take a relatively ...


3

$GF(2^{128})$ is a finite field with $2^n$ elements. There are a number of ways to represent this field. For example, a binary vector of length 128, or polynomials of degree 127 where the coefficients are 0 or 1. You could even choose to represent them as integers between $0$ and $2^{128}-1$. These are the elements of the finite field. In addition to the ...


3

eCryptfs information leakage can occur through various channels. The most serious and common leakage point has been the swap. As mentioned, Ubuntu now encrypts that, but I am told that hibernate is broken with that enabled. Other distros don't necessarily go out of their way to make sure swap is encrypted when eCryptfs is used. eCryptfs makes no special ...


2

So I answered this on security SE, then quickly realised I'd totally misread the question and explained everything you already know. The question in my mind can be summarised succinctly by - does encrypting data on a per-file basis as opposed to a whole disk basis add any risk to the cryptographic security of the whole (negating for a moment the fact that ...


1

One answer would be nonce space: adding a tweak significantly increases the number of different nonce-tweak options you're allowed, thus increasing the maximum data that can be safely encrypted with a single key. Update: In his modes paper, Rogaway quotes an earlier source the CTR was dismissed due to trivial malleability. This makes a lot of sense, since ...


1

If you don't mind that the ciphertext is longer than the plaintext, GCM is perfectly fine for storage encryption. Every time you write a block to disk, choose a fresh nonce and write the resulting ciphertext to disk. (You can ask for even stronger security properties, but then everything gets more expensive. Basically, build a tree structure for tags. Reads ...


1

A good solution would be to hold the master password encrypted by a N+P sharing scheme, where a certain amount of perhaps board members, or third parties, would need to come together to be able to reconstruct the master password. c++ cryptopp does secret sharing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamir%27s_Secret_Sharing) through ...



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