Pinephone: Steganography Encrypted Volum ...

Pinephone: Steganography Encrypted Volumes

Apr 11, 2021

Lately I've been asked by Supporters how we can further secure our Pinephones. This brings an opportunity for a fitting video, for the purpose at hand (using an example).

While many of us may already use LUKS hard drive encryption, it pays to have an additional layer. Especially when you understand weaknesses inherent to (most default) drive encryption.

One reason I started such a privacy Blog/Channel is to provide resources that may help honest people and journalists in their extremely important work. I want to live in a world (I think we all do) where we not only have a right to know what is going on, but we have journalists with the security/privacy confidence to investigate. Without the right tools/OPSEC, fear silences journalism before the work begins.


Say a Journalist is (insert dangerous overseas location here) on a sensitive assignment. Or perhaps a programmer is creating her/his next great invention and lives in fear of competitor theft. In these cases (and more) one needs to be aware once one unlocks the disk for their operating system, that disk remains open (until unmounted). In the case you encrypt partial partitions of the disk (/boot not encrypted in most cases opening opportunity for evil maid attacks) and that device is stolen while powered on/mounted, everything on it would be accessible/editable to the thieves (ie: Proprietary Code thieves).

Journalists need to be especially careful. Their job not only requires one to be aware of the journalistic process, but also security procedures to enhance job safety/protect sources. Not everyone appreciates their work. They become common targets for attackers.

One method to help journalists protect investigative work is encryption. But not all encryption setups protect equally. There are many facets to using encryption properly, and today we cover one potential trick.


Once a disk is mounted/unlocked, it remains accessible to read in clear text by potential burglars with physical access. How would one approach important work (ie: the example here: Journalism/programmers) in a safer way?

ZuluCrypt provides an easy to use, open source front end to strong encryption methods, and is trusted by many Linux Distributions from Parrot to Whonix. In this video we talk about how one can create a "hidden" encrypted volume inside a video file (Steganography). While this increases the size of the video file, it allows for a virtual locked partition until one is ready to access it.

See the Pinephone in action using ZuluCrypt accomplishing the above in a small example:

I wanted to provide small example of a unique security feature, available on an application for Pinephone operating systems (and many desktop/laptop Linux operating systems + Windows).

At the same time it is important to mention a phone is only as safe as the user (and on average tends to be less safe by default than a proper PC setup).

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