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nihilist@mainpc - 2024-01-31

Plausible Deniability Setup

VeraCrypt is a free open source disk encryption software for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. It is based on Truecrypt, This tool will be used for Plausible Deniability.

But why is Plausible Deniability important first of all ? From a legal perspective, depending on jurisdictions, you may be forced to type your password into an encrypted drive if requested. All it takes is for an adversary to be able to prove the existance of an encrypted drive to be able to force you to reveal the password to unlock it. Hence for example the regular LUKS encryption is not enough, because you need to be able to deny the existance of the encrypted volume. If that is the case, we have to use Veracrypt, which is an encryption tool used to provide protection (which is Plausible Deniability) against that scenario where you're forced to provide a password.

Initial Setup

DISCLAIMER: we're using only harddrives (HDDs) here, because using SSDs are not a secure way to have Plausible Deniability, that is due to hidden Volumes being detectable on devices that utilize wear-leveling


regarding wear leveling:
"Also as mentioned earlier, disabling Trim will reduce the lifetime of your SSD drive and will significantly impact its performance over time (your laptop will become slower and slower over several months of use until it becomes almost unusable, you will then have to clean the drive and re-install everything). But you must do it to prevent data leaks that could allow forensics to defeat your plausible deniability. The only way around this at the moment is to have a laptop with a classic HDD drive instead."

Let's install the .deb package for veracrypt:

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ wget

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ sudo dpkg -i veracrypt-1.26.7-Debian-12-amd64.deb

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ sudo apt install -f

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ sudo dpkg -i veracrypt-1.26.7-Debian-12-amd64.deb
[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ which veracrypt

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~/Downloads]
→ veracrypt

Now from there we can create encrypted volumes (either as files or as entire drives). In this case we'll create an encrypted file:

Here we select that we want a Hidden veracrypt volume aswell (which will be able to deny it's existance).

Then we want it to be a simple file in my home directory

Leave the default settings for the encryption

As a test we'll make a 1Gb volume, can be smaller or as big as all the available space.

Now here we want to remember our first password A, for the decoy volume, This is the password you'll type when you're forced to give out your password.

Here we can select the FAT filesystem

Then move your mouse to make sure the randomness of the encryption is best, then let it complete the formatting. If you are creating a large encrypted volume, it will take time to overwrite all the data. DO NOT SELECT QUICK FORMAT, or you risk having the hidden volume being discoverable by an adversary.

Now that's completed, we then create the Hidden Volume, which we'll open only when we are all alone, the existance of this volume must never be revealed to anyone except you.. then we repeat the previous steps:

Here we select the size we need for the hidden volume.

And here we use the second password, this is the one you must remember in order to access the data you want to hide from an adversary. Then we repeat the previous steps to create the volume:

Mounting the Volumes

Now let's mount both volumes to see the difference:

Here when we type the first password we see that the volume is mounted as normal type:

Then dismount the volume, and mount the hidden volume next with the second password:

And here you see that the volume mounted is now of the "hidden" type


Until there is Nothing left.

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