If you open the TrueCrypt website right now you are redirected to a page right now stating that TrueCrypt is not secure and recommending that you switch to Microsoft's BitLocker.
It is not clear why the message is displayed on the page, and rumors range from a sad goodbye message by the TrueCrypt authors to a hack or NSA intervention.
As far as facts are concerned, we know the following: The new TrueCrypt 7.2 version has a valid signature that was used to sign older versions as well which may either mean that a key was stolen from a developer, or that a developer used the key to sign the new version.
The new version uploaded to the site appears to be free of malicious code but displays warnings about TrueCrypt being insecure. While that is the case, it is highly suggested to avoid it at any cost.
So what can you as a TrueCrypt user do right now?
If you are running an older version and not version 7.2 you could wait for things to unfold. It is probably the easiest option right now, and unless you are in a situation where you need to be sure that the encryption used is not vulnerable to attacks, waiting a couple of days for official statements or additional information is probably the best course of action.
If you do not want to wait for whatever reason, you may switch to a different encryption program.
First thing you may want to do is decrypt the hard drive. This is only possible for the system partition and not for other partitions or hard drives.
What can you do if you have encrypted a non-system partition?
Unfortunately, not a lot. The only feasible solution that I'm aware of is to mount the drive on the system and copy the files stored on it to another hard drive.
This works only if you have enough free storage space on other hard drives available for the operation. TrueCrypt does not support the decryption of non-system partitions, and there does not seem to be another way around this limitation.
The program can encrypt system partitions and non-system partitions supporting all recent versions of the Windows operating system, third-party boot loaders and a lot more.
DiskCryptor supports several encryption algorithm and combinations, hardware AES acceleration if supported by the system, and full support for external storage devices.
This is my favorite right now as it comes closest to TrueCrypt's functionality.
The program cannot encrypt partitions but only individual files. While not a full alternative to TrueCrypt, it can be used to encrypt important files on the system. The program uses AES 128-bit encryption and supports key-files as well.
3. AES Crypt
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile operating systems. It supports file-based encryption only which means that you can right-click files on your system to either encrypt or decrypt them.
Bitlocker is part of Windows Enterprise and Ultimate editions only, and Pro versions on Windows 8. Claims that Bitlocker has a built-in backdoor for law enforcement and other agencies have never been proven, but it does contain recovery key functionality which can be used to decrypt drives protected by it and may be stored on Microsoft servers and not locally.
Specifically designed to protect data that you synchronize with cloud services such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. It uses 256bit AES and will detect supported cloud providers automatically after installation. Not available for Linux.
6. BestCrypt Container Encryption (commercial)
The program is not free. It supports Windows, Mac OS and Linux, and can create encrypted containers on your drive similarly to how TrueCrypt handled encrypted containers. Supports the creation of multiple encrypted containers which can all be mounted as virtual drives on the system.
Additional features include enhanced hidden containers, full version of wiping and archiving programs, and options to encrypt the Windows swap file.
Supports several algorithms including AES, CAST, Serpent, Twofish and Blowfish.
7. Challenger (free for personal use)
The program can be used to encrypt individual files, folders or drives on Windows. The project website lacks information about ciphers and encryption algorithms used.
Only available for Linux. Supports TrueCrypt disk formats and others. Source code available.
Now you: Have another alternative not mentioned in the guide? Share it with everyone in the comment section below.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.