Audit of TrueCrypt disk encryption software reveals low source code quality

by
in security on (#3HZ)
Back in October 2013, Kenneth White and Matthew Green kicked off the idea to do a full and complete audit of TrueCrypt, the most popular disk encryption package out there. They raised over $60,000 dollars and 33BTC to this end, and got underway.
The first part of the audit - the in-depth source code review - was performed by a security firm and completed on April 14 of this year ( report ).
The results are interesting to read. No bogeys have been found so far, though 11 medium-to-minor items were identified. But the authors did note:
Overall, the source code for both the bootloader and the Windows kernel driver did not meet expected standards for secure code. This includes issues such as lack of comments, use of inse-cure or deprecated functions, inconsistent variable types, and so forth.

The next stage, cryptanalysis , has begun and is proceeding.
I'm sure plenty of people are thinking, "How about doing the same thing for OpenSSL?" I'd personally prefer to see this sort of effort going into improving the OpenSSL software.

Comments? (Score: 2, Informative)

by fatphil@pipedot.org on 2014-04-17 16:50 (#13W)

"... expected standards for secure code. This includes issues such as lack of comments ..."

I've worked in some security-related areas, and I hate 99% of comments. Make the code intrinsically readable and obvious. If you have to explain your code, then it's not written clearly enough. And heaven forfend that the comment says something nice and reassuring, yet the code itself actually has a flaw - that comment would be worse than useless, it's downright dangerous.
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