Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor

I recently read an article about a product called Forensic Disk Decryptor from Elcomsoft. This thing can access Bitlocker, PGP, and TrueCrypt volumes. It does this by grabbing the keys required to decrypt the data. There are three main ways the software can grab the key: from RAM, a hibernation file, or through a FireWire attack.

Note that you need to use some other third party tools for some of these attacks. For exampl, you need to use a separate tool to get a RAM memory dump for the program to scan. Also you need some extra software to mount a Firewire attack.

The fun part of this is that once you get the key, this software will mount the encrypted volume as a drive letter in unencrypted format. It will also not modify the encrypted volume it is cracking. This is access without a trail. The software looks like it costs a couple hundred bucks. There has been some discussion about this release. Most of the talk hinges around the fact that they are really just mining the keys. Once you have those keys, accessing the encrypted data is really not much of a hack.

Bureau of Prisons

Recently I went to the bookstore to do a little Christmas shopping. In the corner of the magazine section I spotted a stack of 2600 magazines. Ahh I remember reading those diligently in the past. They have such a good feel to them. I bought a copy and am half way through the thing. I need to actively pace myself so I don't read it cover to cover in one sitting.

So far the most interesting article was on the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The author describes the hoops inmates need to jump through to get computer access. They need to pay for it. Pay for the time. Pay for each page printed. You cannot email anyone directly in prison. You must go through a proxy where your correspondence is monitored and approved on an email by email basis.

Of course the author described some of the details of the systems used to provide net access to prisoners. LOL. Looks like he found a few holes to avoid payment and/or censoring. He had better be careful. I think he gets released soon. No need to further delay his release for something small such as hacking the printer.

This perspective helps me realize how lucky we have it. I often grumble about having to change the printer paper or toner. Or I need to occasionally reboot the wireless router to get back on the Internet. If you are in prison, you got to do a lot to be able to get even restricted access to the net.