The FBI has admitted defeat in attempts to break the open source encryption
used to secure hard drives seized by Brazilian police during a 2008
The Bureau had been called in by the Brazilian authorities after the
country’s own National Institute of Criminology (INC) had been unable to crack
the passphrases used to secure the drives by suspect banker, Daniel Dantas.
Brazilian reports state that two programs were used to encrypt the drives,
one of which was the popular and widely-used free open source program TrueCrypt.
Experts in both countries apparently spent months trying to discover the
passphrases using a dictionary attack, a technique that involves trying out
large numbers of possible character combinations until the correct sequence is