Internet privacy and security course
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Your TrueCrypt is spying on you

Chapter 37

Your TrueCrypt is spying on you

Always verify that the software you install comes from trusted sources. TrueCrypt is not an exception to this rule. As it is no longer possible to download a safe version of the program on the official site, we recommend you download it from a trusted source or… 

You may have serious problems. In 2015 the cybersecurity firm ESET unveiled its research into the Win32/Potao malware family served by a trojanized Russian version of encryption software TrueCrypt. The malware is downloaded from the site that was probably set up specifically to spread the infected version of the program. As this material was getting out, the site Truecryptrussia showed up third on Yandex in response to the query “TrueCrypt”. Of course, Truecryptrussia is only of the many websites that spread malware.

In their findings, ESET detailed that the malicious software Potao is a cyber-espionage toolkit designed to extract various confidential information and then send it to perpetrators.


Download software only from official or very reliable sources.

Suppose you type “TrueCrypt” into the search box and download the infected version. Then you use it to encrypt your most sensitive files in the hope of securely protecting them, while they are actually being delivered to perpetrators and along with them all kinds of other important data including your passwords, browser history, and the files on the hard drive.

After you installed the compromised TrueCrypt version, the perpetrators can now watch you using the camera, listen to you through the microphone, see your monitor. You wanted to protect your sensitive data while in reality you installed a perfect spy on your computer.

According to the experts, the malicious version of the TrueCrypt encryption program was used in the interests of the law enforcement and government organizations of the Russian Federation. However, that is merely an allegation.

If you have already downloaded TrueCrypt from a shady source, we strongly recommend you reinstall the system and rethink your security views. First, you have to accept the fact your personal information is no longer only yours. Second, you have to realize that since you installed the modified version of TrueCrypt you could be spied on all this time.

Be aware that running a scan on your computer with your antivirus won’t help you. In the next chapters of the course you are going to learn why.


An antivirus is useless if you have installed professional spyware.