VeraCrypt 1.20 featuring 64-bit optimization, support for Secure Desktop for password entry on Windows, and more, was released on June 29, 2017.
The encryption software was one of the programs that came to life after the developers of the open source encryption software TrueCrypt stopped development under mysterious circumstances.
VeraCrypt is based on TrueCrypt source code, and compatible with encrypted containers and drives as a consequence.
The software is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and also open source.
The new VeraCrypt 1.20 comes with 64-bit processor optimizations for all supported operating systems. The developers have improved the implementation for Sha-512 and Sha256 which results in a 33% speed increase on 64-bit systems. Additionally, a 64-bit optimized assembly implementation of Twofish and Camelia is included in VeraCrypt 1.20 which makes Camelia 2.5 times faster if AES-NI is supported by the processor, or 30% faster if it is not.
Other major changes for all operating systems include the use of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) for improved security, and the integration of a local HTML user guide instead of a PDF document.
The Windows version of VeryCrypt 1.20 has received quite a few changes of its own on top of that. It supports Secure Desktop for password entry in the new version which isolates the dialog from the rest of the desktop and other processes on the operating system.
The feature is not enabled by default, and VeryCrypt users need to enable it before they can make use of this. This is done under Settings > Preferences > Use Secure Desktop for password entry.
The option is available as a command line parameter as well. Use /secureDesktop yes to enable the feature.
Other major changes on Windows include support for the ReFS file system on Windows 10 when normal volumes are created, and the use of enhanced NX pool under Windows 8 or newer for additional driver security.
The new version fixes some performance regressions as well: the performance impact of checks for disconnected network drives has been reduced, and a high CPU usage case was fixed when mounting favorites.
The handling of EFI systems has been improved on top of all that. Windows users may edit the EFI configuration file manually. The developers fixed a bug in the EFI system description when using the EFI Rescue Disk, and fixed an incorrect warning about Windows not installed on boot time with EFI system encryption.
The changes are smaller in the Mac OS X and Linux versions of the application. The minimum version of Mac OS X has been raised to OS X 10.7 for instance, and both Linux and Mac versions check TrueCryptMode in the password dialog when they are opening containers with the .tc extension.
The project moved away from CodePlex as Microsoft plans to shut the site down this year. The main address of the VeryCrypt project is https://www.veracrypt.fr/ now.
There was a forum thread on SourceForge about issues with 32-bit versions of VeraCrypt 1.20 on Windows, and it may have been pulled because of that. No confirmation has been given though.
Update: VeraCrypt 1.21 has been released. It fixes the issue of version 1.20.
Now You: which encryption software do you use, and why?Advertisement
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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.