FBI fails to decrypt suspect’s hard drives – after 12 months of trying‎

After 12 months of failed attempts to crack the encryption that protects information held on 5 hard drives that belong to a Brazilian banker suspected of money laundering, the FBI has returned the drives to the experts of the Brazilian National Institute of Criminology (INC).

The contents of the drives – protected by a combined use of TrueCrypt (free open-source full-disk encryption software) and an unnamed algorithm though to be base on the 256-bit AES standard – are still a mystery. Both the INC and the FBI tried for months to break the encryption by using various dictionary-based brute-force attacks, since there is no law in Brazil that could be used to compel the suspect banker or the TrueCrypt Foundation to give up the access codes to the discs.


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