At last: Android devices to get full disk encryption

Marlinspike, who has developed a number of innovative IT security services, including the WPAcracker.com website, is co-founder and CTO of Whisper Systems, a US-based security software development firm that is developing WhisperCore, an FDE app for Android devices.

Currently in beta test and available for the Google Nexus S handset, the app is billed as integrating fully with the Android operating system and encrypt all data held on the phone.

Initial reports suggest that the software encrypts and decrypts data on-the-fly, before I/O-ing it into (and out of) other apps.

According to the CNET newswire, the app "presents a simple and unobtrusive interface to users, while providing powerful security and management APIs for developers."

Reporting on the app, journalist Elinor Mills quotes Marlinspike as saying that the app supports data encryption on the Android's SD card storage system, and is free for consumer users.

A commercial version of WhisperCore for Android is also in development, although pricing as yet to be determined, says Marlinspike.

"Once the app is installed on the phone, the user sets a passphrase, which is used to generate a key that encrypts all the data on the disk", says CNET, quoting the security researcher as saying that the software uses 256-bit AES in XTS Mode, a technology seen on Truecrypt and LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup).

News of WhisperCore's development could come as a surprise to other vendors, Infosecurity notes, as at least two security firms, including Sophos, have a similar smartphone encryption technology also in development.

Research in Motion, meanwhile, offers an on-smartphone AES and Triple DES transport encryption system based on Symantec (PGP) technology within its BlackBerry Enterprise Server offering.

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