Cryptographic & Steganographic File Systems for Linux

Ian Goldberg iang at
Sun Apr 7 17:22:58 EDT 2002

In article <20020406093954.6956530706 at>,
Alessandro Bottoni  <alessandro.bottoni at> wrote:
>I'm having a look at a few cryptograpic and steganographic file systems for 
>Linux (like CFS, TCFS, PPDD, EHD, LoopAES and StegFS, sfspatch, JPHS and so 
>on) and I have a few (beginner) questions about the state of this art.
>1) Missing "dumb-user level" distribution packages
>I noticed that most of those systems came as patchs for the linux kernel and 
>that most of them require a lot of other modules/patches to be installed on 
>the host system That makes very difficult for every "real user" (I mean: a 
>computer user that is not a C programmer and/or an experienced Unix system 
>administrator) to install and use such systems on "real world" computers (I 
>mean: laptops and desktop PCs that must be used for real, mission critical, 
>day-to-day work). As long as I have seen, the only system that can be built 
>and installed as a dynamically-loaded kernel module is StegFS.
>Is there any (dependable) crypto/steganographic file system that can be 
>installed, as an external kernel module on a "regular" Linux system, by mean 
>of a self-contained RPM, DEB or something like that? Even a self-contained 
>tar.gz, with the usual "/.configure", "make", "make install", would be a good 
>solution, assumed that it does not require a dozen of libraries installed on 
>the host system (Of course, commercial systems like BestCrypt are welcome 
>only if the corresponding source code is available for checking: NSA 
>backdoors can be everywhere...).

I use loop-aes, and it's just what you describe: an external module that
you compile separately ("make") from your kernel.  The kernel should
automagically load the module for you when needed, even.

I've used it on RH 6.2 on both 2.2.x and 2.4.x kernels, with no

   - Ian

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