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Scott Brown is a professional software developer and computer security expert. He has extensive industry and field experience in system administration, application development, and security management.

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Scott works with individuals and businesses in the SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, and worldwide online to protect their vital data, fortify their security posture, and realize the maximum potential of their technology investments.

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TrueCrypt 7.1a Released

A minor update to the TrueCrypt free open-source disk encryption tool arrived today, version 7.1a, some five months since the release of the previous stable version. I have upgraded several systems to the new version without issue, including two laptops with pre-boot authentication and full disk encryption, and a media server where I use TrueCrypt to create and work with encrypted file-container volumes as part of my backup process. …

TrueCrypt Benchmark, Hardware-Accelerated AES Enabled

A Look at the Performance Impact of Hardware-Accelerated AES

In 2010, semiconductor manufacturers began migrating the algorithmically intensive portions of the AES cipher on-die in the form of the AES-NI instruction set. Many cryptographic APIs and applications have enabled support for this new technology, and none hesitate to tout the promise of major performance improvements. Intel demonstrates 3x to 10x acceleration versus pure software implementations, while the authors of TrueCrypt set the expectation of 4x to 8x speed gains. Can these performance boosts be recognized in practice, and how much of these gains can be captured in present day, real world scenarios? …

TrueCrypt 7.1 Released

Sparse remarks in the changelog for today’s updated release of the TrueCrypt free open-source disk encryption tool, version 7.1, the first new release in nearly a year. Primarily it looks like they have added support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. I venture the usual assessment that this update may safely be viewed as optional for users already running at least TrueCrypt 7.0, the most recent major release, absent those experiencing any specific issues. …

SSH Scans by Region

Network Attackers: Where In The World 3

Two previous rounds of analysis using IP geolocation with Whois (Part 1 and Part 2) revealed that 40% to 45% of network intrusion attempts arriving at my public-facing SSH port could be traced back to Chinese hackers, and 20% to 25% to attackers in Russia and Eastern Europe. The tally is now in from a third round of observations, boasting a significantly longer integration period (more than four months versus about six to seven weeks in the earlier rounds) and yielding plenty of interesting and even unexpected results. …

TrueCrypt 6.3 Released

The latest maintenance release of disk encryption tool TrueCrypt made general availability today, adding most notably updated operating system support, including support for Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6. The release notes don’t indicate anything terrifically critical, so this release may be viewed as optional for users already running at least TrueCrypt 6.1a, the last “highly recommended” maintenance update. That being said, I’ll be immediately updating all installations. …