TruCrypt & "washing" free space

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by CustomHVAC, Feb 14, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. CustomHVAC

    CustomHVAC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Posts:
    57
    When you use programs like window washer or tracks eraser to wash free space, will they wash the free space in a trucrypt volume when the volume is NOT mounted?

    Example.......... A 2 gigabyte trucrypt volume is on drive "D" , After deleting files from the Trucypt volume, how do i "wash" the free space in the volume? (The volume stays the same size with or without any files in it - I know this is normal)
    Do I mount it, then wash D? or is it mounted through C? & is that where I should wash? mounted? unmounted?


    ANY help would be greatly appreciated !!
    Thanks
     
  2. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Posts:
    3,502
    Never bothered (since it's encrypted anyway), but i would think it's only logical that:
    -if you mount it, then if the eraser can see the volume, it can erase the free space (not so sure here)
    -if you don't mount it, the volume is just a file, with the size you set. Eraser cannot wipe free space in it. There is no free space for eraser there.

    Anyone can correct me at anytime.
     
  3. KookyMan

    KookyMan Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Posts:
    367
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Keep in mind that all freespace on truecrypt volumes is already filled with random data, and then encrypted.
     
  4. dantz

    dantz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Posts:
    994
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I'm pretty sure that if someone were able to mount your TrueCrypt volume then they would be able to use standard file-recovery tools to recover some or all of your deleted files.

    Since the unmounted volume is already protected by strong encryption, this issue doesn't usually come up. However, if you believe that somebody might have copied your password and you are concerned that they might mount your volume and snoop around in there looking for deleted files, then you can run just about any file-wiping utility on the contents of the mounted volume.

    However, if I had that level of concern I would probably just delete the entire volume and start over with a new one.
     
  5. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Posts:
    3,139
    Location:
    Clover, SC
    Most of what you're asking is pretty well-covered in the TC documentation:

    http://www.truecrypt.org/faq.php :

    "Q: Which type of TrueCrypt volume is better – partition or file container?

    A: File containers are normal files so you can work with them as with any normal files (file containers can be, for example, moved, renamed, and deleted the same way as normal files). Partitions/devices may be better as regards performance. Note that reading and writing to/from a file container may take significantly longer when the container is heavily fragmented. To solve this problem, defragment the file system in which the container is stored (when the TrueCrypt volume is dismounted)."

    "Q: Can I use tools like chkdsk, Disk Defragmenter, etc. on the contents of a mounted TrueCrypt volume?

    A: Yes, TrueCrypt volumes behave like real physical disk devices, so it is possible to use any filesystem checking/repairing/defragmenting tools on the contents of a mounted TrueCrypt volume."

    "Q: Do I have to "wipe" free space and/or files on a TrueCrypt volume?

    Remark: to "wipe" = to securely erase; to overwrite sensitive data in order to render them unrecoverable.

    A: If you believe that an adversary will be able to decrypt the volume (for example that he will make you reveal the password), then the answer is yes. Otherwise, it is not necessary, because the volume is entirely encrypted."

    (So to answer your question - yes, the TC volume has to be mounted to perform a free-space wipe of it).

    I really hope you're reading the User Manual included with the program. Pay special attention to the "Security Precautions" sections.

    And, yes, I do both defragment and "erase" free space in mounted TC volumes without ill-effect (your mileage may vary). Does it do any good? Who knows - who cares - it's just FUN! Pete
     
  6. CustomHVAC

    CustomHVAC Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Posts:
    57
    Thanks for ALL the help!!

    I'm learning more & more everyday !
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.