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The danger in using a wiki as a collaboration tool is that other people will edit it.

Information on cryptographic file system was moved to File Systems#Cryptographic File Systems


Vendor's product overview:

Seagate FDE:

Network Appliance:

NetApps DataFort:

Decru Lifetime Key Management:

Decru Whitepaper:

Price for Decru DataFort E510 1.6 for NAS:,295796,sid6_iss346_art680,00.html

DecruDataFort E440:,10801,78766,00.html

Lenageraghty 22:08, 7 November 2005 (EST)

SAM Useful TCFS site:

Transparent CryptoGraphical file system:

TCFS intro:

--Samlam 19:56, 13 November 2005 (EST)

ERIC Seagate new offerings:

Full Disk Encryption:,1759,1825740,00.asp

Seagate product specification:

Samlam 12:10, 13 November 2005 (EST)

Cryptographcial File Systems:

File Systems#Cryptographic File Systems Readings on crytographical file systems.

Some Notes from Sam

"What is your prognosis for cryptographic file systems?" is a question we have to answer from this project (see project outline). It is important we address that.

Some Questions / Notes from BJ

I added to the existing outline below. We only get 15 pages max, so we might have to limit ourselves to 2 pages (3 tops) per EFS, so there might be too many items for each EFS listed, but I think it would be good for us to be consistent and have the same items in each EFS.

I think we should start filling out what we can in the outline during this week, so that we can "refine as we go".

Please make sure and add your citations, also. Do not worry about format; we will do that later; but make sure all the information is there.

Suggestion of outline :

  • Introduction (BJ)
    • Definition of an Encrypting File System
    • Purpose/Goal of an EFS
      • Purpose: to add an additional layer of security, controlled by the user, over that user's data
      • Goal: to allow users to feel confident the data placed in the EFS cannot be compromised.
    • Overview of General Workings
      • (description of common functionality and common processes to all or most EFS)
      • You have data in memory, you want to save it to disk, you only want "authorized" people to see it; not even system administrators and/or backup operators
      • You control access by "owning" the key
      • Key is generated (somehow)
      • There is overhead in the process of encrypting/decrypting (unavoidable)
    • Overview of Common Usage
      • Maybe some categories of users and what they are looking for:
      • "business critical applications" like databases, etc. where business relies on data being available and secure
      • "business users" like managers who want to secure employee reviews, HR people wanting to secure salary information, etc.
      • "casual users" people who just want to make sure their data is secure.
    • The currently available systems (market share?)
    • Why we choose CFS TCFS and Network Applicances
  • Study of 4 systems in depth, including why this system is selected for study.
    • CFS (LENA)
      • Overview
        • When Developed
        • Platform(s)
        • Current Version
      • Key Management
      • Ease of Use for End Users
      • Legal Issues
      • Failure Modes
      • Challenges in Installation/Use by System Administrator
      • Performance
      • Cost
      • Conclusion (?? what would that be??)
    • TCFS (SAM)
      • Overview
        • When Developed
        • Platform(s)
        • Current Version
      • Key Management
      • Ease of Use for End Users
      • Legal Issues
      • Failure Modes
      • Challenges in Installation/Use by System Administrator
      • Performance
      • Cost
      • Conclusion (?? what would that be??)
    • Network Appliance DataForte and Seagate (ERIC)
      • Overview
        • When Developed
        • Platform(s)
        • Current Version
      • Key Management
      • Ease of Use for End Users
      • Legal Issues
      • Failure Modes
      • Challenges in Installation/Use by System Administrator
      • Performance
      • Cost
      • Conclusion (?? what would that be??)
    • Windows EFS (BJ)
      • Overview
        • When Developed
        • Platform(s)
        • Current Version
      • Key Management
      • Ease of Use for End Users
      • Legal Issues
      • Failure Modes
      • Challenges in Installation/Use by System Administrator
      • Performance
      • Cost
      • Conclusion (?? what would that be??)
  • Compare the following:
    • Plausibility
    • Usability
    • Cost
  • Common Issues/Problems (ALL)
    • Impact on computer forensics
    • Impact on end-users (i.e. what if you are away on a business trip and you have to go to the hospital and all of your files are encrypted on your laptop?) (or even worse, what if you die and all your financial information is encrypted?)
    • Impact on business owners (e.g. what if an employee quits and all that person's data files, contact info, etc. are encrypted)
  • Future (ALL)
    • What would be useful to add or remove
    • How we would accomplish the changes we suggest
  • Conclusion. (ALL)

--Samlam 08:06, 17 November 2005 (EST)

Bjl170 20:23, 14 November 2005 (EST)

Lenageraghty 08:36, 11 November 2005 (EST)

some thoughts/comments on the updated outline
  • We are examining 3 cyptographical file system - why do we choose the 3 we choose ?
    • Freeware is popular CFS, TCFS is free.
    • CFS is quite often referenced. It is one of the early most widely used system.
    • Net Applicance is a commercial system. Possibly an end-to-end solution (?)
    • Scope of this project: multi-user file systems, as oppose to a single disk drive system.
    • What are some of the existing system ?

  • Betty, it was previously agreed that there are 3 EFS. Sam prefers 3 EFS to 4.
    • Is there any reason why you choose Windows ? I will write up why we choose the 3 that I know of. I am not sure why Windows. I probably write up a snippet for the 3, and you can add the reason for choosing Windows.
  • In response to :"There is overhead in the process of encrypting/decrypting (unavoidable) ", there are hardward disk systems that does it in the hardward. Seagate FDE. But I think that the 3 systems that was mentioned earlier are multi-user systems. I was just about to add to the introduction that we limit our scope to multi-user systems.
  • The bullet on "Common Issues/Problems " is probably redundant. I am not entirely sure. We shall see.
    • Perhaps it is just me, but I somehow feel that it is obvious that it makes disk forensics harder. Do we need to add more to that ? As far as the other questions go, probably the key management system would probably have addressed those problems. I am writing on CFS. It is a 10 year old system, and it already addresses those problems. I have a feeling that TCFS and DataForte/DeCru already solve these problems as well - perhaps just a matter of how covenient it is to use those.
  • A question ? Are there database software running on encrypted file systems ? I actually don't know of anyone using encrypted file system. I know of many people running databases. Just out of curiosity, are there anyone running databases on encrypted file system ? Or do people generally encrypt the fields they want to protect.

Lenageraghty 23:32, 14 November 2005 (EST)

Questions :

  • What systems are currently available ?

Lenageraghty 08:48, 11 November 2005 (EST)

Suggestions/Questions/Outline ?:

  • Solutions from other storage vendors.
  • Desirable features for a cryptographical file system.
  • cost
    • performance
    • total solution for end-users
    • Key management for cryptographical file system
    • Ease of use by end-users
    • Failure modes
    • Challenges in using/installing

Lenageraghty 22:48, 7 November 2005 (EST)

comment from TA (Joe)

That looks like some of the right inroads. Remember that the paper is not very long, so you may want to focus on the three systems and do a deep analysis. Certainly some things to think about:

      Simson's lecture where he talked about it
      Failure modes of such systems
      Challenges in using/installing

comment from teacher: Please remember that this Wiki is publically accessible on the Internet. It's great if you can improve the resource for everbody. But do try to do that, rather than just creating your own space...

Uploads / Partial drafts of writeup

File:HelixCFS.doc Lena's writeup on CFS

Devaition from outline:

  • Did not mention current release, which is not really relevant. (It is 1.4.1 if anyone is interested)
  • Describe the security provided by CFS.
  • No legal issue.
  • Not sure what is meant by failure mode: I assume lost of key ? In any case, we can use backup/restore. Failure is generally taken care of by the system administrator, so failure mode is part of "ease of user" for the system administrator in my draft. But may be at this point it is too early to decide.

Lenageraghty 23:35, 14 November 2005 (EST)

File:Init.doc Lena's snippet to be integrated into introduction (3 EFS)

File:Init2.doc Lena's snippet to be integrated into introduction (4 EFS)

File:Biblio.doc Start of a biblio.

Lenageraghty 01:08, 16 November 2005 (EST)

Initial concluding thoughts

  • Administrators / CSO charged with the operation of high security environments probably don't want to use unsupported software even if they are free. CFS is free but not supported.
  • It is uncommon to run databases on top of cryptographical file systems. Many sensitive information such as payroll/HR are stored in relational databases. Sensitive fields can be encrypted before storing into the databases. For high volume transactions such as stock trading etc, performance is important. People probably rely on auditing in attain security rather than use cyptographical file system to do so.
  • Whether Cryptographical File system will become popular depends on many factors.
    • Are there real inherent problems to Cyptographical File system ? My feeling is that if there are any deficiencies, they'll all be addressed overtime. There will always be faster hardware, better algorithm. There are already commercial systems available (e.g. DataForte)
    • Are there pressures from government or businesses that push for commercial adoption of cryptographical file system regardless of cost. (Someone in livejournal mentions that he sees more pressure nowadays.) Also, I saw something indications that government may use Seagate's FDE. (See quotes below : Seagate ‘Drives’ Notebook Encryption). Searching on the internet for full disk encryption products, there are plenty. I think that there has to be a push for disk encryption on notebook and laptops.
    • High performance and highly reliable database systems are very expensive. However enterprises and businesses pay for them because the Service Level Agreements and expectations are met by the vendors. The enterprises and businesses have a *need* for these data to be processed by the database. Is there a real *need* for cryptographical file systems. Are there other combinations that forms a viable solutions without the need for cryptographical file system. For example, if the data are protected in data centers qualified for a certain security level, would that be an acceptable solution in lieu of cryptographical file system? Where best should a CSO / head or IT spend his resources to attain the level of security required.
    • Will there be heightened security demands for individuals. Even though notebook encryption disk drive for notebook computers are more expensive than ordinary non-encryption drive, if the price is within an affordable range, users will accept the higher price for security. (FDE is $100USD for the drive) Usually for personal items, higher volume of sales implies lower price. The entry barrier will be lowered as there is more demand. Like many electronic devices such as calculator, price comes down over time.

Lenageraghty 21:57, 16 November 2005 (EST)

Harvard Style

I found something on Harvard citation style (googling)

Some quotes on news on Seagate : Nov. 17, 2005

Seagate ‘Drives’ Notebook Encryption Seagate Technology, a Scotts Valley, CA-based hard disc drive manufacturer, has developed hardware-based full disc encryption (FDE) for notebook PCs, a technology that could be attractive to government users. Company officials said its Momentus 5400 FDE 2.5-inch hard drive provides protection against unauthorized access to data on stolen or retired notebook PCs.

“We anticipate the earliest of the adopters to be in government and commercial spaces,” said Mark Pastor, Seagate’s director of strategic marketing. “It’s a very user-friendly, comprehensive approach to encrypting data on the hard drive.”

Rather than use software and make a conscious effort to protect specific data, FDE technology requires only a user key to encrypt all data on the drive, he said. The encryption functions, including the password or user key, are performed on the drive, not the operating system, providing additional security from hackers. If the notebook is disposed of or repurposed, the key that is used for encrypting the data would be removed.

“Deleting the key effectively removes the chance that data would then be readable by anybody,” Pastor said.

Seagate began putting the FDE in notebooks first because there use is growing and because their portability makes them vulnerable to loss or theft. But Pastor said Seagate also sees a need for hardware-based FDE in desktop and handheld device environments.

Seagate expects the first Momentus 5400 FDE hard drives to start shipping early next year. In the meantime, it is working with vendors to further develop the product for their needs. Lee, MA-based Wave Systems and Utimaco Safeware AG, of Oberusel, Germany, have announced they are incorporating the FDE hard drives in their products.

Quoted from (Online, Nov 13)

Draft: Introduction


As multi-user, networked computing systems become more prevalent, the problem of protecting sensitive data from unauthorized disclosure and tampering becomes increasingly important. In 1998, Information Security magazine’s annual survey of security breaches concluded that 54% of all reported security incidents involved unauthorized access by employees. Only 12% of the reported incidents involved a security breach by an outsider[1]. By 2004, a similar study indicated that in the UK, 51% of reported security incidents involved insiders[2]. However, according to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group survey, less than seven percent of stored backups are encrypted , and less than that are encrypted “at rest” (on disk)[3].

Since Cryptographic File Systems (CryptFS) ensure data integrity and security without requiring user interaction to explicitly encrypt and decrypt the data, it would seem obvious that companies would implement a CryptFS on all systems, and yet they are not. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group survey, less than seven percent of stored backups are encrypted , and less than that are encrypted “at rest” (on disk)[3].

This paper describes the Cryptographic File System and the CryptFS “space”, analyzes three Cryptographic File Systems in detail, and then describes why encrypting files on disk is not more common. Then, a process whereby the adoption rate in business of CryptFS is presented.

Definition of a Cryptographic File System

A Cryptographic File System (CryptFS) is a file system which stores and retrieves all data from the disk in encrypted form, and encrypts/decrypts the data within the address space of the requesting process. Since the data is stored in encrypted form on the disk, all copies of the data, including backups, are ensured to be encrypted also. The purpose of such a file system is to add an additional layer of security, controlled by the user, over that user's data. This is accomplished by making the user storing data be responsible for managing the cryptographic keys with which the data will be encrypted and decrypted. The goal of a CryptFS is to allow the users storing data to feel confident that the data placed in the CryptFS cannot be compromised, and that access to the “cleartext” (unencrypted) data is controlled by the user through controlling access to the cryptographic keys.

{ this probably needs a lot more }

Review of the Literature

An initial survey of the current Cryptographic File Systems commonly in use today reveals that there are both hardware- and software-based systems. These implementations provide support for single- and multi-user situations. Single-user solutions were not considered as part of the CryptFS space, since by definition, the user is responsible for all facets of the system, including hardware installation, software installation, determining which files should be encrypted, etc. Hardware solutions were also not in the scope of the CryptFS space, as the implementation and cryptographic key management of hardware solutions are, in a multi-user system, typically out of the control of any single user, and therefore are transparent to the user.

Once the CryptFS space was limited to software solutions for multi-user systems, several other limiting criteria were developed. To ensure that cost was not going to be a limitation in adoption, open source (“free”) solutions were reviewed. To ensure that full support was not a limitation, purchased products providing full support were also reviewed. Ultimately, three systems were chosen: CFS, TCFS and Network Appliances’ DataForte. CFS and TCFS where chosen for two main reasons: there is readily-available research material for them, and they are open-source projects where the software distributions are easily accessible and freely available for use. Conversely, Network Applicance’s DataForte is a commercial system capable of being used as all, or a component of, an end-to-end solution for users willing to pay for such a system.