Secure Your Computer, Part 4: Use Encryption to Make a Hidden Operating System

Use Encryption to Make a Hidden Operating System

Secure Your Computer, Part 4: Use Encryption to Make a Hidden Operating System

This is Null Byte's fourth part in a series about fully securing our computers (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). In our last Null Byte, we went over how to encrypt an entire operating system to protect our data, however, this doesn't fully protect us. In the case of legal extortion, the government can actually make you give up your cryptographic key to your computer so that they can look through it.

What if there is nothing incriminating on your computer? What if you want to save the embarassment of someone going through your personal files and pictures? This is something that I believe is a basic right for all people. You should be allowed to hide things that you don't want to be found, such as an e-journal. Well, TrueCrypt has a method for creating hidden volumes. You can hide an entire OS, or even just a simple file container.

How Does It "Hide" the Files?

TrueCrypt will encrypt an entire hard drive, but then encrypt the encrypted section, thus making the second layer of encryption's existence impossible to prove. This allows you to obey the law, by not having to refuse to give up a cryptographic key, because they won't even know that it's there!

I will be demonstrating this method via vTutorial on a Windows Virtual Machine.

Requirements

  • Minimal computer literacy
  • Admin privileges
  • Windows OS or a Multi-Boot

Step 1 Download & Install TrueCrypt

First we need to install the TrueCrypt software.

  1. Download TrueCrypt here.
  2. Navigate to the Downloads directory.
  3. Double-click the installer.
  4. Click Next > Next > Install.

Step 2 Create the Hidden Encrypted Volume

Now we must prepare our drive and create a hidden volume. This volume could be used to store files, if you want to make a drive partition hidden, use the appropriate tool, the methodology is the same. Follow along with me in this vTutorial.

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Image via 123rf

9 Comments

Now that is pretty cool...

Indeed it is...

I've known about this and have tried it when i used to have windows but is their anything that will do this in Linux ?

Also, there are a number of other cool encryption alternatives, such as ecryptfs.

Truecrypt works in Linux Olivia

I know it does but i heard that your not able to create a hidden os if you want to run Linux. When i had windows i had my regular installation and my hidden one. I want to do the same thing but with Linux.

Never listen to others telling you it is impossible to do something, it is always possible, they just generally don't know how to do it themselves so they say "it's impossible!"

Illicit negative fallacy?

Virtual Box will allow you to run Windows inside of Linux, so you could create a truecrypt volume and keep Windows XP inside it if you wanted. Otherwise when you installed Linux you should have selected to use LvM2 Encryption on the hard-disk before installing the Operating System.

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