"True Crypt" Encryption Software Stumps MCSO Detectives in Child-Porn Case

true-crypt-screenshot.JPG
Image: truecrypt.org
If you want to hide data on your computer, a free open-source program called "True Crypt" apparently is one way to do it.

According to the booking sheet of suspected child-porn suspect James DeSilva, forensics detectives from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office were stumped when they tried to see what was on DeSilva's computer.

But the detectives shouldn't feel too bad -- even the NSA, FBI, and CIA reportedly have been frustrated by widely available encryption software.

In the case of DeSilva, detectives determined in 2011 that he was sharing child-porn images and videos online and traced his computer ID back to his El Mirage home, where a search warrant ultimately was served.

Here's where it gets interesting, from a techie versus law enforcement perspective: "James had his entire computer system encrypted with True Crypt and refused to reveal the password for MCSO forensic technicians to gain access to his stored digital media files," court records state. "James further stated during the interview that he had possession of bomb-making/terrorism-type videos and information, which is why he encrypted the system, out of fear of being caught federally. MCSO...technicians have not been able to crack the encryption and James DeSilva retained an attorney who advised him not to disclose the password to this computer system."

DeSilva's not your average computer user: He works for the IT department of the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

desilva-james.jpg
MCSO
James DeSilva, state employee and child-porn suspect.
True Crypt works by creating encrypted, hidden data on a hard drive. Experts say that and other encryption software can be super-tough for anyone, including law enforcement analysts, to crack. A 2011 article in the scientific journal "Digital Investigation" suggests more decryption research needs to be done.

Whatever DeSilva has on his computer's hard drive, he's looking at big trouble just for the files he shared online. Sheriff's Office detectives were able to compare 70 files he shared with identifiable code on his computer, records state. They found apparent matches of "hash values" on the computer with shared images and video of kids between ages 4 to 11 engaged in sex acts. (He was arrested Monday at his home following a grand jury indictment on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.)

The files he's hiding may be as bad -- and may even represent a public security risk -- if DeSilva's to be believed.

For computer users and businesses, encryption may just be a way to prevent theft of such information as credit card numbers. There's a comforting power and freedom behind the idea of creating files that no one else, not even the seemingly all-powerful government, can see. But in terms of which individuals actually need unbreakable encryption, potential perverts, criminals, and terrorists are clear benefactors of the technology.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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29 comments
fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

It seems to me that too many people are obsessed with uncle joe and the resident nit-wit.  Although this article had nothing to do with either, the preponderance of posts reflect said obsession.

DNichols
DNichols

What happened to Arpaio's Sick Child Molester Minute Man Pal Simcox's Computer?!

Any ideas Joe?!

I know Arpaio, ya don't Recall.

DNichols
DNichols

The M.C.S.O. and Arpaio are sending mixed messages?

Arpaio, and the M.C.S.O. ignore over four hundred, and fifty cases of Child Abuse including Rapes?!

Arpaio has his Pet Butt Monkey that Arpaio sponsored into the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to grant "Amnesty/a Plea Deal " to a Real Child Molester Sicko, thier joint B.F.F. Minute Man Leader Sicko Chris Simcox?!

Now they want to get this guy?

This guy must not be a Racist, or a Buddy of Joe's.

Hint M.C.S.O. All Child Abusers, ect. are Bad, even your Sick Racist Buddies!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

See!  Bob Ramby could not only hack MCSO computers after he left, but I'm sure he could have helped whatever moron now runs MCSO's IT department!  Is that still Hendershott's son, BTW?

jyd1753
jyd1753

I totally agree with jjv58. While this type of technology can be used for criminal purposes, that possibility is far outweighed by the need to keep private information private. Something that not even the govt. (which is not on your side, and is spying on you everywhere you go) can get to is reassuring, especially after the Eric Snowden revelations. Remember guns can be used to commit crimes as well. But that does not mean the govt should be messing with your second amendment rights. 

robert_graham
robert_graham

They'll get him and they should! I am wondering why this rag is coming to his defense?

jjv58
jjv58

While I believe child porn vermin are the absolute lowest common denominator polluting our society....I also believe that our computers are an extension of of minds and thoughts. Whats on your computer, like whats in your mind should be protected. Once you share outloud or online, THAT action should be punishable. They have that information, it should be plenty to send him to prison, (Hopefully to general population, his type is popular) for a long time. Whats in his head or by extension his computer is undoubtedly sick but irrelevant.

Just glad I`ll be dead soon....government overreach, intrusion and corporate buying of our "Representatives", is both sad and shameful...........................

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@jyd1753  The reality is, NEVER do anything on the net that would make you look bad if it was found.  No matter what you use to encrypt something, if there is a need, it will be decrypted by someone else...

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@robert_graham  So, aren't you worried that your server might have pre-teen Arpaio fucking a baby goat on it?

NWEng
NWEng

@robert_grahamPlease point out and highlight the sentences/paragraphs where PNT is defending this guy.  Or is this another baseless drive-by claim to which you won't respond?

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@NWEng he wont respond. anytime you ask him to point out anything that supports his statements................he clams up or tries to direct you to one of the sites he has .......................which also have no supporting evidence

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham actually that doesnt sound supportive of the chomo.................it sounds supportive of the encryption company that is helping people keep their private lives private..............(something you should have used before you pissed off a certain someone on this site)........................thanks for the privacy tip Ray

NWEng
NWEng

@robert_graham @NWEngIt's open source, any idiot that can spell "google.com" can find it if they wanted without the link.  That wasn't even a good try, your original statement about PNT defending the guy is baseless, without facts, wrong, incorrect, slanderous, etc., take your pick.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham @Flyer9753 @NWEng  

"First, giving out a link to the software is encouraging it."


WOW!!!! You actually got something right!!!!! Congrats!!!!!


You are right, it's encouraging privacy, something EVERYONE, even degenerate psychotics like you are guaranteed under the laws of this country.


Nothing else.



danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_grahamcracker I've seen the list of sites he has registered  to his name.................................he evidently isnt full time

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham the peyote? or your Arpaio crush sites? i said no to both in case you didnt understand

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham i dont know, but if i want to visit a psychotic dreamland, I'll take peyote instead of visiting your site....................thanks anyways

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@robert_graham @danzigsdaddy @NWEng  just 12/7? the other 12/7 are sitting in Joe's lap? that would be neglecting all your fans for your numerous sites Robert

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