Encrypted Backup Solution "Home Paranoia Edition"

A third step in the process is to utilize a great open-source application called TrueCrypt to provide encrypted containers to store personal information. This easy process includes visiting the TrueCrypt Web site at http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads to download the latest package (truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86.tar.gz, at the time of this writing), and run the following commands and script:

tar -xvf truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86.tar.gz
sudo ./truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86
select ? Install TrueCrypt at the gui menu. 

Figure 4. TrueCrypt Installation Button

The next step is to create an encrypted container. This container will store personal identifiable information (PII) or any file that you want to keep safe on your local computer, and it will create another layer of security. The process for creating a basic container is by selecting the default options during initial installation (Figure 4). Once the software is installed, starting the application is a breeze using the command truecrypt & or via the GUI menu system by selecting the create volume button.

Figure 5. TrueCrypt Create Volume Button Screen

Figure 6. After the create volume button is selected, you will be presented with two options for creating an encrypted file container or creating a volume within a partition/drive.

There are two options when creating a volume: choosing an encrypted file container or a volume within a partition/drive (Figures 5 and 6). You also will have a choice of using a standard TrueCrypt volume or a hidden TrueCrypt volume (Figure 7). The idea behind a hidden container is to reveal an outside container password, and your hidden container encrypted within the outside container.

Figure 7. The next menu item gives you the option of creating a standard or hidden volume.

On the next menu, simply select an encryption algorithm, hash algorithm and size of container. Multiple books and papers provide specific information on the differences between these algorithms and hashes (AES with a 256/14 rounds and Sha-512 default hashing function). The size of your container depends on the amount of information you want to protect (Figure 8).

Figure 8. After the standard volume is selected, the next options are to select the encryption and hash algorithms, and size of the volume.


Tim Cordova is a computer geek who had a Commodore 64 at age 9, and has a love for Linux, family, information security and longboard surfing.