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Old 09-27-2016, 05:02 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Distribution: Debian, CentOS/RHEL
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Encrypted HDD/flash drive or HDD/flash drive encryption


I will be storing sensitive work-related data on an external HDD and on a flash drive, and I am trying to look around for a solution how to do this. From google, I can see a lot of HDD and USB flash drive products with "built-in" encryption and security features, such as Ironkey's. Then I also have the option to encrypt the drives myself using LUKS or any other encryption tools.

I would like suggestions from people who actually use encrypted external HDDs and flash drives to protect confidential/sensitive company data. Again, mine's some work related stuff (private keys, HOWTO's, etc.) and some private stuff (Cornhub tutorials, IYKWIM ).

Of course, I am looking for free tools.

I expect to open these HDDs and flash drives only on my work laptop (running Windows 7) and on my personal laptop (running Windows 8.1 and OpenSUSE).

Thanks in advance.
Old 09-27-2016, 07:41 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Brunswick, MD
Distribution: gNewSense 2.3 (deltah) i386
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Eric Hameleers (search 'slackware alienbob') has written some instructions for installing Linux on an encrypted drive (I use Slackware64-14.0); if you are using Linux at all, as in your information from Linux goes to Windows sometimes, you can follow the instructions only until they tell you to set up the encrypted system.


IF you are using Windows only, occasionally to use Linux, you can use something like VeraCrypt (this can be compiled on Linux and Windows; you can download it from their website; of course read the documentation to ensure your drive is encrypted as you desire)

GnuPG ( is another tool, although I do NOT think it does what you want it to (you want encryption with volumes, such as the portable hard drive? GPG works with encrypting files; I am uncertain, though, if it does drives)

There may be other tools; I am, though, uncertain of their existence or whereabouts, so here are some that could help:

Eric Hameleers' instructions:

VeraCrypt website:


I am uncertain of the tools, as I have primarily set up using LUKS

I hope this helps
Old 09-27-2016, 08:24 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2011
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We use software encryption systems at work. Hardware encryption systems are too expensive and don't provide much benefit. Another problem with hardware encrypted devices is that if a device needs an update due to a security bug, you need a replacement for the whole device.

Here, portable drives and flash units that must store sensitive material are overwritten with pseudorandom data, and then a LUKS container is created in them with an encrypted filesystem inside. These devices can be used both at the workstations at the office or on the personal computers of the authorized people - all of them running Linux at the moment.

If you need a multiplatform solution, one that can run on both Linux and Windows, LUKS is not going to cut it. You might use VeraCrypt instead.

File level encryption, such as the one provided by OpenPGP, is ok but very impractical if all you want to do is to have a safe vault. OpenPGP is something you use for isolated messages or files.
Old 09-27-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
Registered: Sep 2011
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I always used to use double zipped password protected files. That is zipped with a password, then zipped again with a different one.
No propriety software needed.
Old 09-27-2016, 07:42 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2008
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There always seems to be some defect in how secure this stuff is. Wonder how secure the encryption wizard is in the TENS linux?

Not sure how good the hardware based ones are. There was a report of one very well known brand having a major flaw. Some of the hardware types could be used in linux under wine.


encryption, flash drive, hdd, luks, usb

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