Encryption service TrueCrypt has told customers to stop using the software, explaining that it is no longer secure following the end of support for Windows XP. The firm recommends using Bitlocker instead.
"WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues. This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt," the firm said.
"The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP.
"Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. You should migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks or virtual disk images supported on your platform."
Users were confused by the posts initially, and there was talk of a hack. Now the uneasy consensus is that the announcement is genuine. Graham Cluley, security expert, advised users to cautiously accept it as fact.
"Initially there were suspicions that the TrueCrypt webpage could have been defaced, or that a rogue member of the TrueCrypt team could have mischievously updated the site with the abrupt message," he wrote.
"But as more time goes on, there is a growing consensus that TrueCrypt's anonymous developers might have genuinely decided to close the project - albeit in a somewhat bizarre fashion. Until the situation is clearer, however, you might be wise to be wary of downloading that software."
Cluley told us later that, with the situation still unclear, exercising caution is likely to be best practice. "It's bizarre. Whether hoax, hack or genuine end-of-life, folks clearly aren't going to trust TrueCrypt any more," he said.
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