Full Disk Encryption

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Full Disk Encryption or Whole Disk Encryption is a phrase that was coined by Seagate to describe their encrypting hard drive. Under such a system, the entire contents of a hard drive are encrypted. This is different from Full Volume Encryption where only certain portions, such as a partition or volume is encrypted.

Some examples of full disk encryption:

Hardware Solutions

Embedded into internal HDD

Hitachi Bulk Data Encryption ("BDE")
  • FIPS 197 (Federal Information Processing Standard 197 certification issued by NIST)
  • AES-128
Seagate Full Disk Encryption ("FDE")
Seagate's encrypted drives are only available as OEM products. Seagate provides no software to utilize encrypted drive features (such as key management). There is a proprietary Windows-only API, but it is not available to the public.
  • FIPS 140-2 (Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification issued by NIST)
Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drives ("SED")
  • AES-256 (certification issued by NIST)

Supplemental Hardware / External Chassis

Addonics product lines
Apricorn product lines
Eracom Technology DiskProtect
iStorage DiskCrypt Mobile
Network Appliance (Decru)
http://www.forensicswiki.org/images/6/6f/Securing_Storage_White_Paper.pdf (Decru white paper)

Software Solutions

BitArmor DataControl
FDE tool that protects fixed and removable media.
Part of Windows Vista that uses AES 128 or 256 bit encryption
Cryptographic Device Driver. Provides transparent full disk encryption for NetBSD.
Supports various ciphers: AES (128 bit blocksize and accepts 128, 192 or 256 bit keys), Blowfish (64 bit blocksize and accepts 128 bit keys) and 3DES (uses a 64 bit blocksize and accepts 192 bit keys (only 168 bits are actually used for encryption).
Checkpoint Full Disk Encryption
Free solution provided under GNU General Public License.
Transparent on the fly encryption for MS Windows and Windows Mobile PDAs. Also supports mounting Linux dm-crypt and LUKS volumes
GEOM Based Disk Encryption. Provides transparent full disk and swap encryption for FreeBSD. Supported ciphers: AES (128 bit).
Supports hidden volumes and Pre-Boot Authentification.
Since data loss can occur on unexpected shutdowns, GELI is recommended instead of GBDE.
Cryptographic GEOM class. Provides transparent full disk encryption for FreeBSD. Supports various ciphers: AES, Blowfish and 3DES.
Supports hidden volumes and Pre-Boot Authentification.
FileVault Disk Encryption
Jetico BestCrypt
Transparent file system and swap encryption for Linux using the loopback device and AES.
Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) or dm-crypt
Transparent file system and swap encryption for Linux using the Linux 2.6 device mapper. Supports various ciphers and Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS).
Pretty Good Privacy Whole Disk Encryption provides transparent whole disk encryption with Pre-Boot authentification for Windows. Also supports MacOS X 10.4 (non-boot disks only).
Can use OpenPGP RFC 2440 keys and X.509 keys for authentification.
Supports USB Tokens for authentification.
Supported ciphers: AES (256 bit keys).
SafeGuard Easy
Certified according to Common Criteria EAL3 and FIPS 140-2
Encryption algorithms supported: AES (128 and 256 bit) and IDEA (128 bit)
Provides complete hard drive encryption including the boot disk.
SECUDE provides a software and hardware solution for full disk encryption.
Securstar DriveCrypt
Transparent full disk encryption for Linux and Windows. Supports AES (256 bit), Serpent and Twofish.
Supports hidden volumes within TrueCrypt volumes (plausible deniability).
Fork of TrueCrypt project. Support for for Linux, Windows, and MacOS.
The -K option of OpenBSD vnconfig(8) associates and encryption key with the svnd device. Supports saltfiles. Supported ciphers: Blowfish.

Full Disk Encryption Analysis Tools

Due to continual updates and variances to full disk encryption software, there is varied coverage of each software by digital forensics tools. Additionally, each forensic tool may only support limited versions of the encryption software, as noted in the table below:

Solution Check Point (Pointsec PC) Credant Mobile Guardian Dell Data Protection GuardianEdge Encryption Plus/Anywhere GuardianEdge Hard Disk Encryption FileVault Disk Encryption Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) McAfee Endpoint (SafeBoot) Microsoft BitLocker Sophos SafeGuard Easy Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise Symantec/PGP Whole Disk Symantec Endpoint TrueCrypt WinMagic SecureDoc
EnCase Forensics v6 No No No Yes Yes unknown unknown Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
EnCase Forensics v7 6.3.1 to 7.4, 8.0 5.2.1, 5.3, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 6.1 through 6.8, 7.3 8.3 7 and 8 (No 64-bit support) 9.1.5, 9.2.2, 9.3.0, 9.4.0, 9.5.0, 9.5.1 unknown unknown 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, 7.x Windows Vista, 7, 8, Server 2008 4.5, 5.5, 5.6, 6.0 4.5, 5.5, 5.6, 6.0 9.8, 9.9, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 7.0.2 through 7.0.8, 8.0, 8.2 No 4.5, 4.6, 5.x, 6.x
EnCase Forensics v8 Yes See Dell Data Protection Yes Yes 9.2 to 9.5.1 (corresponding SEE 7.0.2 to 7.0.6) unknown unknown online + offline Yes Yes SGN 5.50, 5.60 9.8+ 7.0.2 through 7.0.6, 8.0, 11.1.1 No Yes
AccessData FTK v6 R73 7.4.5, 7.6.150 w/ token See Dell Data Protection Credant 5.4-7.7, 9.2 Server See Symantec Endpoint See Symantec Endpoint unknown unknown 4.x, 5.x, 6.x [1] Vista, 7, 8 4.40.9 5.40, 5.50 10.0 only 8.0.1, 8.1.1, 9.1.6, 9.3.0, 9.4.1, 9.5.3 unknown No
X-Ways unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown
Other Applications unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown libfvde; BlackLight libluksde unknown dislocker, libbde unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown

See Also

Full Volume Encryption

BitLocker Disk Encryption

External Links