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|Shmoo Group[ citation needed ]
|2.0pre1 / February 2002
|CLI / Bourne shell
|Documentation: Modified BSD license
Software: Original licences
Tinfoil Hat Linux (THL) was a compact security-focused Linux distribution designed for high security developed by The Shmoo Group. The first version (1.000) was released in February 2002. By 2013, it had become a low-priority project. Its image files and source are available in gzip format. THL can be used on modern PCs using an Intel 80386 or better, with at least 8 MB of RAM. The distribution fits on a single HD floppy disk. The small footprint provides additional benefits beyond making the system easy to understand and verify. The computer need not even have a hard drive, making it easier to "sanitize" the computer after use.
The logo of Tinfoil Hat is Tux, the Linux mascot, wearing a tinfoil hat.
The Shmoo Group website says "It started as a secure, single floppy, bootable Linux distribution for storing PGP keys and then encrypting, signing, and wiping files. At some point, it became an exercise in over-engineering."
Tinfoil Hat uses a number of measures to defeat hardware and software surveillance methods like keystroke logging, video camera, and TEMPEST:
THL can be used on most modern PCs using the x86 processor architecture. For example, one might install it on a computer that is kept in a locked room, not connected to any network, and used only for cryptographically signing keys. It is fairly easy to create the Tinfoil Hat booting floppy with Microsoft Windows. Verifying the checksum can pose a greater challenge. The text of the documentation is salted with a few jokes, the humor working in stark contrast to the serious and paranoiac tone of the surrounding text. The very name of the distribution pokes fun at itself, as Tinfoil Hats are commonly ascribed to paranoiacs as a method of protecting oneself from mind-control waves.
Tinfoil Hat Linux requires one to work in a text-only environment in Linux, electing to start users with a Bourne shell, the text editor vi, and with no graphical user interface. It uses BusyBox instead of the normal Util-Linux, the GNU Core Utilities (formerly known as FileUtils, ShellUtils, and TextUtils), and other common Unix tools. Tinfoil Hat also offers the GNU nano text editor.
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GNU Privacy Guard is a free-software replacement for Symantec's PGP cryptographic software suite. The software is compliant with, the IETF standards-track specification of OpenPGP. Modern versions of PGP are interoperable with GnuPG and other OpenPGP-compliant systems. GnuPG is however expected to break compliance with the upcoming revision of OpenPGP and thus with other implementations that will continue to comply.
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This is a technical feature comparison of different disk encryption software.
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GPG Mail is a commercial extension for Apple Mail which comes as part of GPG Suite, a software collection that provides easy access to a collection of tools designed to secure your communications and encrypt files. GPG Mail provides public key email encryption and signing. It integrates with the default email client Apple Mail under macOS and the actual cryptographic functionality is handled by GNU Privacy Guard.
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VeraCrypt is a free and open-source utility for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). The software can create a virtual encrypted disk that works just like a regular disk but within a file. It can also encrypt a partition or the entire storage device with pre-boot authentication.
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