Someone seems to be trying to spy on VeraCrypt’s security audit

At the start of this month OSTIF (the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund) announced that it had agreed a plan to get the open source disk encryption tool VeraCrypt independently audited.

The audit, which would look for security holes and weaknesses in VeraCrypt’s code, would be done in co-ordination with vulnerability researchers from QuarksLab.

So far, so good. Especially as you may remember that VeraCrypt’s predecessor, TrueCrypt, was mysteriously discontinued a couple of years back leading to all manner of conspiracy theories.

Now, the bad news… OSTIF says that its confidential PGP-encrypted communications with QuarkLabs about the VeraCrypt security audit may be being mysteriously intercepted:

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We have now had a total of four email messages disappear without a trace, stemming from multiple independent senders. Not only have the emails not arrived, but there is no trace of the emails in our “sent” folders. In the case of OSTIF, this is the Google Apps business version of Gmail where these sent emails have disappeared.

This suggests that outside actors are attempting to listen in on and/or interfere with the audit process.

We are setting up alternate means of encrypted communications in order to move forward with the audit project.

If nation-states are interested in what we are doing we must be doing something right. Right?

Let the speculation begin…


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “Someone seems to be trying to spy on VeraCrypt’s security audit”

  1. Thomas Dial

    How likely is it really that an intelligence service (or enterprising criminal) would make emails vanish from both the sender and the recipient, advertising the compromise, instead of simply copying them?

    That dog does not hunt.

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