One of the official webpages for the widely used TrueCrypt encryption program says that development has abruptly ended and warns users of the decade-old tool that it isn’t safe to use. The advisory, which Ars couldn’t immediately confirm was authentic, touched off a tsunami of comments on Twitter and other social media sites. For more than a decade, the open source and freely available TrueCrypt has been the program of choice of many security-minded people for encrypting sensitive files and even entire hard drives. Last year, amid revelations that the NSA can decode large swaths of the Internet’s encrypted data, supporters ponied up large sums of money to audit TrueCrypt. Results from phase one of the audit released last month revealed no evidence of any backdoors. Additional audits were pending.
Doubters soon questioned whether the redirect was a hoax or the result of the TrueCrypt site being hacked. But a cursory review of the site’s historic hosting, WHOIS and DNS records shows no substantive changes recently. What’s more, the last version of TrueCrypt uploaded to the site on May 27 (still available at this link) shows that the key used to sign the executable installer file is the same one that was used to sign the program back in January 2014. Taken together, these two facts suggest that the message is legitimate, and that TrueCrypt is officially being retired.