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optional encryption of the device

Tracked by Jolla

asked 2013-12-26 01:26:45 +0300

ortylp gravatar image

updated 2015-05-03 14:50:13 +0300

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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )edit

14 Answers

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answered 2016-08-17 22:33:46 +0300

hoschi gravatar image

updated 2016-08-17 22:36:54 +0300

For the next official device I want ask for hardware-based encryption through the memory itself.
Rational: As fast, as without encryption. Works transparently, for all operating-systems (rescue-system, adb, sailfish and so on). Laptops and most modern SSDs with ATA-Secure have shown, it works.

Please note, you don't need unlock the key for the drive during runtime (i.e. devicelock) only during power-up. During runtime the the device-lock protects your device.

Benefit for Jolla: Less code to develop, less surface to make mistakes.

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answered 2015-08-25 00:55:35 +0300

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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answered 2016-04-09 22:40:53 +0300

otto gravatar image

Implement the encryption using whatever seems to be the most compatible standard Linux toolset for btrfs/systemd etc (probably LUKS/cryptfs or ecryptfs) but most importantly, utlize the SIM card for secure key storage. SIM cards are very suitable for that and this is an excellent opportunity unlike laptops, where SIM cards (=smart cards) are rare.

See technical description at

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answered 2014-05-30 09:16:59 +0300

AL13N gravatar image

updated 2014-05-30 09:18:23 +0300

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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2013-12-26 01:26:45 +0300

Seen: 11,521 times

Last updated: Aug 18 '16