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optional encryption of the device

Tracked by Jolla

asked 2013-12-26 01:26:45 +0200

ortylp gravatar image

updated 2015-05-03 14:50:13 +0200

chemist gravatar image

Option for encryption of $HOME and Android directories containing user data is needed.

Use case: I do not want to worry about my data stored on the device (including various access tokens and keys) in case I loose the phone or it gets stolen.

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see also keychain linked to TOH & link all/previous changes to TOH

AL13N ( 2013-12-26 01:45:17 +0200 )edit

This should be fairly easy, as Linux already has all these LUKS/dmcrypt and eCryptFS stuff done. It might however need more CPU and thus consume battery. Maybe better put it as an option users can choose it they want to.

Please add tag 'securiity'

otto ( 2013-12-26 23:34:48 +0200 )edit

Besides home directory ecryption, also include option to encrypt SD card contents. That would be something that not even Android supports yet. And please use some standard Linux crypto so that the SD card can be mounted and opened without the original phone.

otto ( 2013-12-26 23:36:42 +0200 )edit

@otto this isn't as easy as one might think, because there's a lot of catch 22's here... order of services becomes important, etc... in theory all elements are available, but i can guarantee that alot of time will be spent in order to combine it into "1 feature"

AL13N ( 2013-12-26 23:38:28 +0200 )edit

Looking at the locked bootloader shitstorm today, we need encryption ASAP to allow the boot loader opened again: vote, vote, vote!

We must not loose any more developers!

ortylp ( 2013-12-28 13:25:13 +0200 )edit

14 Answers

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answered 2013-12-26 01:34:02 +0200

Kondou gravatar image

I did spot a "jolla-devicelock-plugin-encpartition" package when rumaging through repositories, so it looks like jolla is working on something alike.

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yes, I got some unofficial confirmation on IRC, but it has low priority at the moment, so vote it up

ortylp ( 2013-12-26 01:41:00 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-08 14:30:43 +0200

chemist gravatar image

updated 2014-01-16 02:25:08 +0200

I know from @Aard that this is WIP/OnToDoList. This will take a while, crypt modules will get to the kernel soon but only for testing purpose for the mean time.

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just repeating my comment from 26th Dec... WTF?

ortylp ( 2014-01-15 22:45:35 +0200 )edit

@ortylp Sry did not read the comments and this is a valid answer and not a comment! I talked to aard myself.

chemist ( 2014-01-16 02:23:54 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-12 18:15:14 +0200

rainisto gravatar image

Thanks for the input, we will look how to imprive the situation. Most likely some future kernel will have ecryptfs support added builtin. In a meanwhile you should enable devicelock code, as that will protect most of the use cases (not sd-card, and not people with access to hardware chip readers) against theft.

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Any information if this full device encryption available on next (March) update?

jaekkay ( 2014-03-07 11:02:54 +0200 )edit

modprobe ecryptfs works. So people with developer mode can play with CLI.

rainisto ( 2014-03-17 12:51:05 +0200 )edit

Also add the ability of precting the sd card with a password in a future update please. :)

Alex ( 2014-04-18 16:53:02 +0200 )edit

any news on this? How high (or low) on the priority list is this?

velimir ( 2014-11-07 14:44:31 +0200 )edit

Is the full device encryption feature part of Sailfish OS 2?

bawaji ( 2014-11-20 07:46:20 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-02-08 18:29:58 +0200

Rolfa gravatar image

As an alternative, I suggest porting TrueCrypt to the Jolla phone (TrueCrypt runs very well on my N900).

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Truecrypt is IMHO not a good fit here as it creates containers with a fixed size. Additionally there may be license issues as the Truecrypt license allows to view the source code but prohibits changing it.

schmittlauch ( 2014-03-16 20:29:20 +0200 )edit

"WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues" see:

utkiek ( 2014-05-29 18:13:01 +0200 )edit

@utkiek " any written software on the planet" :-)

simosagi ( 2014-06-07 10:53:12 +0200 )edit

@schmittlauch@utkiek TrueCrypt should work out as intended, audit came out clean. And there are optional forks, like VeraCrypt being actively developed - it supports TrueCrypt-containers too. While dm-crypt with luks might be the best option, having support for encrypted containers made with True/VeraCrypt would be really nice to have.

tuotantoarvio ( 2015-04-23 02:12:17 +0200 )edit

why use a non-free unsupported software, when there is a free and supported one (dm_crypt/luks) in linux?

fuckup23 ( 2015-10-28 21:14:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-05-30 09:16:59 +0200

AL13N gravatar image

updated 2014-05-30 09:18:23 +0200

I may be a valid option to have a master key fallback for when people forget their passwords and want their data unlocked. I don't know if this is feasible, but Shamir Shared Secret should for example, allow the user to unlock the data, but for example at the same time, a minimum of 3 of 9 possible sailors could also unlock the data in order to reset the password or something.

At the same time, a security value stored in the NFC of TOH might be required too... this makes it sort of a 2point authentication.

I don't know if people want this, but i'm just giving the option. (complex though it might be).

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As I understand it, you want to enable Jolla to unlock our data if we forget the keys? As much as I trust Jolla, that is never a good idea. If they would happen to be compromised, all your data would immediately be compromised as well. Just as you don't give the keys of your house to the mayor of your village, you shouldn't give the keys to your data to whoever created your data carrier.

nthn ( 2014-05-30 13:41:08 +0200 )edit

I don't think having an universal master key is a good idea. Even if it is somehow split between multiple persons. This is an unnecessary security risk. So I prefer a simple encrypted drive. If the passphrase is lost all data is lost. If there are important files on the phone they should be backed up somewhere.

blubdibub ( 2014-11-21 00:57:59 +0200 )edit

How about using cryptsetup and luks? It allows for multiple key slots to unlock the encryption key itself.

That way if the user trusts Jolla, they leave the Jolla pre-shared key in slot N (ideally ability to toggle off in settings). If they do not, or if their employer wants/needs key escrow, they use cruptsetup for luksAddKey, luksRemoveKey, luksKillSlot, etc. maybe with some parts exposed via settings UI.

User key, entered via settings UI, would ideally allows setting a slot, so one can easily give e.g. a trusted spouse an unlock code.

pcfe ( 2014-11-22 18:29:04 +0200 )edit

this sounds great. I wasn't aware of this feature of cryptsetup and luks. As long as you can disable multiple keys or chose who has these keys I am all for it. Now we only need to more people to vote to increase the priority of device encryption.

blubdibub ( 2014-11-22 20:07:30 +0200 )edit

cryptsetup has (per default) eight slots for passphrases (per partition). And you are able to dump the slots and save them on an other place. So you can restore the partition if the sector with the slots are corrupt (if you are able to transfer the rest of the partition). The 'default' configuration of a secure linux system is to create a uncrypted /boot partition and a crypted / (root), swap and eventually /home partition. To unlock all crypted partitions at once, i use ond crypted partition used by LVM and place the favored partitions as logical volumes. But there are many other ways to get a secure device :-).

gabs5807 ( 2015-08-11 15:54:28 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-12-08 23:19:35 +0200

the_mgt gravatar image

Part of the SD Card specification is the ability to lock cards with a password. Nokia phones supported that. Of course, the card will probably only be readable with the phone that it was encrypted on. Sources on the web say, it might be compatible to identical devices.

I guess the NSA and the Bavarian Illuminati have a master key for that encryption, but at least your local police might not be able to search your sd card. It would be totally neat of course if all photos taken with the Jolla were stored on the locked card.

This was already proposed by @Alex in Apr 18 '14, but this feature of the SD cards seem to be neglected throughout tjc.

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Simply use Secrecy an Android app that encrypts image and file data, you would have to copy it into the container and delete the unprotected file.α#

DarkTuring ( 2016-10-28 03:25:38 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-04-06 21:39:43 +0200

gabs5807 gravatar image

This is an very old feature-request. But now, with the announcement of mobile security, it is nesseccary to give this a higher priority. What help secure data/voice transfer, when the content on the mobile device is not crypted. The linux kernel used in SailfishOS supports LUKS/cryptsetup and the dmcrypt kenel modul. The standard boot mechanism with systemd also support loading the modul during boot and ask for a passphrase to unlock the device. Unlocking the root, the home and the sim card with the same passphrase should be possible and the UI to wayland grafic engine should also be possible. I hope at SailfishOS V2.0 this feature request wil be implemented.


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answered 2015-05-03 02:38:33 +0200

pisco gravatar image

"A set of patches adding encryption to the ext4 filesystem" is announced for kernel version 4.1.  󠀠󠀠It is said to be easier on the resources than other approaches.

Any chance to benefit from it?

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No, we probably will never get 4.1, at least not for the phone.

chemist ( 2015-05-03 12:37:38 +0200 )edit

@chemist please explain ...

luchmhor ( 2015-07-03 11:03:09 +0200 )edit

As long as Qualcomm sits on their drivers we are stuck with what we have now, and as it is very unlikely that they upgrade them even themselves there won't be a newer Kernel possible.

chemist ( 2015-07-03 14:40:07 +0200 )edit

that is disappointing

strayobject ( 2015-09-16 16:46:10 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-08-24 10:31:53 +0200

cray gravatar image

I find LUKS ( to be best for my use cases. It's pretty standard so SD card can be used in any Linux system and you can select whatever file system you want on top of LUKS.

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answered 2015-08-25 00:55:35 +0200

Kieler gravatar image

Hi all you sailors,

device- and SD-Card-encryption is a MUST in my point of view. Two years ago i got a Blackberry because of this opportunity. Now i can't read the SD-Card on my Linux-PC. That's a pit.., but okay! (Maybe in a couple of years my lokal police will do. I mean, do you really use 8-char-passwords today?) If there would be an easy2use GUI for LUKS (and LVM) it would be a winning tool for linux desktop and mobile!

so, thank you very much for your great work!

p.s.: shouldn't it be possible in the future the recrypt LUKS-devices on a higher enc-level without rebuilding the whole installation?

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Asked: 2013-12-26 01:26:45 +0200

Seen: 12,076 times

Last updated: Aug 18 '16