Encrypting Files Question

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cn1ght
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Encrypting Files Question

Post by cn1ght » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:24 pm

I am currently switching between Windows and Mint and have a question about encrypting files on Mint. I have spreadsheets, PDFs, and other important files (including, but not, limited to tax returns) which I put into encrypted folders so I need to have a way to create encrypted folders for new data (example, new tax returns).

So, on Windows I downloaded and use 7Zip because people online told me to, it was free, and it uses very strong encryption. Mint has a built-in archive manager which can compress and encrypt fies with a password, however I do not see what encryption type it uses. Does it use AES-256 or something else? Is there a different preferred tool to encrypt files I should be using instead?

Thank you.

Mattyboy
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by Mattyboy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:40 pm

Take a look at this thread viewtopic.php?f=47&t=267186&p=1454756#p1454756

You can use LUKS in Linux.

I use both LUKS and Veracrypt. The British Government GCHQ advised against using LUKS because it could not confirm how trustworthy the encryption was..... meaning they couldn't hack it or threaten open source vendors into handing over 'back doors'... meaning LUKS is a good choice. Veracrypt is also good, in my opinion, offering different OS support on the same files. Either is a good choice.

DavePlummer
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by DavePlummer » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:43 pm


Meeshka
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by Meeshka » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:26 pm

Like Mattyboy, I use two methods. One for encrypting my home partition (during OS installation), and Veracrypt for backups to a flash drive.

cn1ght
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by cn1ght » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:45 pm

At a glance it looks like Veracrypt does not use a single encryption such as AES-256, but instead uses a different algorithm and runs the data through that algorithm 327,661 times (source, wikipedia). So, I strongly doubt what Mattyboy implied of it being an unknowably strong encryption, it just takes a long time to break similar to AES-256. For the time being I just want to get secured backups so rather than having multiple encryption types for files I will stick with AES which I have been using and look into Veracrypt later.

So, I already have the p7zip (linux port) on my machine apparently... However there is no UI and viewtopic.php?t=231120 says that the Archive Manager can use 7zip... However, I am unclear on how to get Archive Manager to use 7zip. I can compress files with a password into a .7z format, however I have no idea if that actually is using 7zip or just a file extension.

Mattyboy
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by Mattyboy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:03 pm

cn1ght wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:45 pm
At a glance it looks like Veracrypt does not use a single encryption such as AES-256, but instead uses a different algorithm and runs the data through that algorithm 327,661 times (source, wikipedia). So, I strongly doubt what Mattyboy implied of it being an unknowably strong encryption,
Not quite sure where I implied that but anyway...

Veracrypt supports AES 256 bit key 128 bit block encryption.
Screenshot from 2018-04-08 20-01-08.jpg

cn1ght
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by cn1ght » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:36 pm

My comment about what you said of Veracrypt was because I misread what you typed. You made a statement about British Government GCHQ unable to confirm how trustworthy LUKS was due to not being able to crack it and I misread it as you saying that they could not confirm that Vercrypt is secure due to being unable to hack it. It looks like Veracrypt uses what is basically standard encryption techniques. By saying that it could not be hacked makes it sound as if it is unhackable when we already know theoretically how long it would take to hack AES-256 or multiple iterations of an algorithm with current tech. I was wrong, I misread what you typed.

Ah, thank you for showing that Veracrypt can do AES encryption! I missed that when I glanced at what it can do. I need to be more thorough next time as that makes 2 mistakes in the same comment I made. I appreciate your help, thank you very much for the info and for your patience.

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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by Mattyboy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:38 pm

:). You're welcome.

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phd21
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by phd21 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:42 pm

Hi cn1ght,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum!

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" and "lsusb" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

1.) +1 for using VeraCrypt a superb and very secure encryption option.

2.) FYI: If you were using an archiving application before, which is easier to use than VeraCrypt, you can still do that in Linux as well. There is already an archiving application installed in all editions of Linux Mint. If you go into "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" and search for "archiv" or "zip", there are many archiving packages for various archive types which can be installed including "7zip" (regular or self-extracting).

You can also install and use the superb "PeaZip" archiving application in Linux and or MS Windows which can use various archiving types like 7zip (.7z) and others.

PeaZip for Linux x86-64 | Replace WinRar WinZip free
http://www.peazip.org/peazip-linux.html

Direct link to download "peaZip", save file and double-click to install.
https://osdn.net/dl/peazip/peazip_6.5.1 ... -2_all.deb



3.) You can also use your GPG/PGP encryption key(s) (or create them) to encrypt folders and files as well your emails. Install and use "GPA" and or "Kleopatra", or from the console terminal prompt. LibreOffice files can also use your GPG/PGP encryption keys. In fact, there are usually right-click options in the file managers to "encrypt" a file. To encrypt a folder, you would normally archive that first, then encrypt that archive file.

How to easily encrypt/decrypt a file in Linux with gpg - TechRepublic
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ho ... -with-gpg/

3 Easy Ways To Encrypt Files On Linux
https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-li ... -on-linux/

berkeley- How do I encrypt a file or folder in my home directory?
https://statistics.berkeley.edu/computing/encrypt


Hope this helps ...
PeaZip_MainScreen_with_PasswordOptions.jpg
PeaZip - Main screen
PeaZip_AdvancedOptions.jpg
PeaZip - default Advanced options for 7zip
KDE_FileManager_Right-Click_ArchiveOptions1.jpg
KDE_DolphinFileManager_Right-click_Encryption
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phd21
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by phd21 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi cn1ght, and anyone else interested in this,

I just found this article

SiriKali works on Linux, MacOS and Microsoft Windows and can use various encryption options.
https://mhogomchungu.github.io/sirikali/
  • "eCryptFS" is the default secure Linux encryption and is in the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" (reboot after installing).
  • "gocryptfs" has to be downloaded, it is already compiled, see below.
  • "CryFS" has to be downloaded, compiled, and installed, or use my 64-bit deb file below (reboot after installing)..
  • "SecureFS" has to be downloaded, compiled, and installed, or use my 64-bit deb file below (reboot after installing).
SiriKali wrote: SiriKali is a Qt/C++ GUI application that manages "eCryptFS", "cryFS", "encfs (Bad do not use)","gocryptfs" and "securefs" based encrypted folders. These projects are compared in the link.
Encrypted container folders have an advantage over encrypted container files like the ones that are created by zuluCrypt,TrueCrypt,VeraCrypt among other projects that use file based encrypted containers.

Advantages are:
The encrypted container folder can freely grow and shrink as files are added,removed,grow or shrink. File-based encrypted containers are limited to the size of the container and the size is set when the container is created and does not change to reflect the amount of data the container is hosting.


Disadvantages are:
The encrypted container folder does not hide the space usage of its contents and an adversary can derive meaning from space usage of the encrypted container folder. File based container hides the space utilization of the volume and the only thing an adversary can see is the fixed size of the container.

Only for Linux Mint 18.x and newer
64-bit download, save and double-click to install
https://download.opensuse.org/repositor ... _amd64.deb
32-bit download, save and double-click to install
https://download.opensuse.org/repositor ... 0_i386.deb

"gocryptfs" - Encrypted overlay filesystem written in Go.
https://github.com/rfjakob/gocryptfs

"gocryptfs" downloads, save the linux 64-bit file (gocryptfs_v1.4.4_linux-static_amd64.tar.gz), right-click it extract here,
https://github.com/rfjakob/gocryptfs/releases

From within the "gocryptfs_v1.4.4_linux-static_amd64" folder open a terminal, and run this command.

Code: Select all

sudo cp gocryptfs /usr/bin

cryfs/cryfs: Cryptographic filesystem or the cloud (and your system). I was able to install "cryfs" in Linux Mint 18.x Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial by downloading and compiling it. For an easier installation, my 64-bit deb file is below.
https://github.com/cryfs/cryfs

CryFS: A cryptographic filesystem for the cloud
"CryFS encrypts your files, so you can safely store them anywhere. It works well together with cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive and others."
https://www.cryfs.org/

This is a CryFS deb file (64-bit) created on my Linux Mint KDE 18.3 system, save file and double-click to install.
https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?code ... ailSqJ0EsX


"securefs" - Filesystem in userspace (FUSE) with transparent authenticated encryption. this was not available in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM), but you can download, compile it, & install it. Or for an easier installation, use my link to my compiled 64-bit deb file below.
https://github.com/netheril96/securefs

"securefs" deb file (64-bit) that I just created from the compiled source code, save file and double-click to install it, restart.
https://my.pcloud.com/publink/show?code ... ANMf5Wu8Yy
securefs wrote:securefs is a filesystem in userspace (FUSE) with transparent encryption (when writing) and decryption (when reading).

securefs mounts a regular directory onto a mount point. The mount point appears as a regular filesystem, where one can read/write/create files, directories and symbolic links. The underlying directory will be automatically updated to contain the encrypted and authenticated contents.

There are already many encrypting filesystem in widespread use. Some notable ones are TrueCrypt / VeraCrypt, FileVault, BitLocker, eCryptFS, encfs and gocryptfs. securefs differs from them in that it is the only one with all of the following features:

Authenticated encryption (hence secure against chosen ciphertext attacks)
Probabilistic encryption (hence provides semantical security)
Supported on all major platforms (Mac, Linux, BSDs and Windows)
Efficient cloud synchronization (not a single preallocated file as container)


=================================================================================================
What is the difference between Linux kernel subsystem dm-crypt and ecryptfs? - Stack Overflow
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/182 ... d-ecryptfs

Disk encryption - ArchWiki - good info and chart comparison.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/disk_encryption

EncryptedFilesystems - Community Help Wiki
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EncryptedFilesystems
4 Reasons Why You Should Not Encrypt Your Linux Partitions (not the same with folders or vaults (files))
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-reasons ... artitions/
for newer KDE distro users
Plasma Vault Makes It Easy to Create Encrypted Folders on the KDE Desktop - OMG! Ubuntu!
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2017/06/pla ... lder-linux

Hope this helps ...
SiriKali_Encryption1.jpg
SiriKali Encryption
Last edited by phd21 on Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 24 times in total.
Phd21: Mint KDE 18.3 & 19, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Joe2Shoe
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by Joe2Shoe » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:21 pm

I encrypt my home folder. I also use LUKS encryption on a separate partition that has vital data stored, which I can encrypt/decrypt at will. I also backup the LUKS container to a USB flash drive and/or external HDD, after editing any of the info in that container.
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Re: Encrypting Files Question

Post by lsemmens » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:04 pm

cn1ght wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:24 pm
I am currently switching between Windows and Mint and have a question about encrypting files on Mint. I have spreadsheets, PDFs, and other important files (including, but not, limited to tax returns) which I put into encrypted folders so I need to have a way to create encrypted folders for new data (example, new tax returns).

So, on Windows I downloaded and use 7Zip because people online told me to, it was free, and it uses very strong encryption. Mint has a built-in archive manager which can compress and encrypt fies with a password, however I do not see what encryption type it uses. Does it use AES-256 or something else? Is there a different preferred tool to encrypt files I should be using instead?

Thank you.
Am I right in thinking that you are looking for a cross platform solution? I don't think that LUKS could be used in that scenario, nor could bitlocker (the Windoze variant). Veracrypt seems to be the go to cross platform solution allowing you to be as secure as you feel necessary. 7Zip, I believe, is cross platform as are many of the zip variants, though security of those may not be as strong.
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