INTERLOCK - file encryption front end
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Copyright (c) F-Secure Corporation

The INTERLOCK application is a file encryption front-end developed, but not limited to, usage with the USB armory.

The goal of the package is to expose a web-based file manager for an encrypted partition running on the device hosting the JSON application server (e.g. USB armory).

The file manager allows uploading/downloading of files to/from the encrypted partition, as well as symmetric/asymmetric cryptographic operations on the individual files. Additionally secure messaging and file sharing is supported with an optional built-in Signal client.

INTERLOCK screenshot


Andrea Barisani
Daniele Bianco


The main documentation is included in the present file, additional information can be found on the project wiki.

Binary Releases

Pre-compiled binary releases for ARM targets are available here.


The application provides a web application (client-side) and its counterpart JSON application server implementing the protocol specified in the API document.

The JSON application server is written in golang. The client HTML/Javascript application is statically served by the application server, implementing the presentation layer.

The interaction between the static HTML/Javascript and the JSON application server is entirely documented in the API document.

The authentication is directly tied to Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) disk-encryption setup on the server side. A successful login unlocks the specified encrypted volume, while logging out locks it back.

Design goals:

  • Clear separation between presentation and server layer to ease auditability and integration.

  • Minimum amount of external dependencies, currently no code outside of Go standard and supplementary libraries is required for the basic server binary.

    NOTE: Signal support can be optionally enabled at compile time, it currently requires an external dependency, see related section for details.

  • Authentication process directly tied to LUKS partition locking/unlocking.

  • Support for additional symmetric/asymmetric encryption on individual files/directories.

  • Minimize exposure of sensitive data to the client with support for disposable authentication passwords, server-side operations (key generation, encryption/decryption, archive creation/extraction) and locking of private keys.

  • Minimal footprint (single statically linked binary + supporting static files) to ease integration/execution on the USB armory platform.

Supported Ciphers

Encrypted volumes:

  • LUKS encrypted partitions

Asymmetric ciphers:

  • OpenPGP (using

Symmetric ciphers:

  • AES-256-OFB w/ PBKDF2 password derivation (SHA256, 4096 rounds) and HMAC (SHA256)

Security tokens:

  • Time-based One-Time Password Algorithm (TOTP), RFC623 implementation (Google Authenticator)

Messaging and file sharing:

Hardware Security Modules:

  • NXP Security Controller (SCCv2)

    The SCCv2 support allows symmetric AES-256-CBC ciphering using its device specific secret key. This can be used to uniquely tie derived keys to the individual hardware unit being used.

    With the SCCv2, the AES-256-SCC symmetric cipher is available. This cipher is identical to AES-256-OFB, however the password key derivation includes a stage through SCCv2 encryption to make it device specific.

    The LUKS passwords for accessing encrypted volumes can also be filtered through the SCCv2 to make them device specific.

    Finally INTERLOCK TLS certificates can be stored encrypted with SCCv2 support.

Key Storage

A pre-defined directory, stored on the encrypted filesystem, is assigned to public and private key storage (see Configuration section for related settings).

The keys can be uploaded using the file manager, imported as free text or generated server-side.

The key storage directory structure is the following:


Once uploaded in their respective directory, private keys can only be deleted or overwritten, they cannot be downloaded, moved or copied.

The keys for OTP ciphers (e.g. "TOTP" implementing Google Authenticator) generate a valid OTP code, for the current time, when the key information is queried ('Key Info' action on the right click menu).

Requirements & Operation

The use of INTERLOCK is coupled with the presence of at least one LUKS encrypted partition, its initial creation is left to the user.

An example setup using cryptsetup and LVM2 follows. The example uses a microSD partition to illustrate typical USB armory setup, the partition (mmcblk0p2) is assumed to have been previously created with fdisk using the desired size and the Linux LVM type (8e).

pvcreate /dev/mmcblk0p2                   # initialize physical volume
vgcreate lvmvolume /dev/mmcblk0p2         # create volume group
lvcreate -L 20G -n encryptedfs lvmvolume  # create logical volume of 20 GB

cryptsetup -y --cipher aes-xts-plain64  \ # set-up encrypted partition
  --key-size 256 --hash sha1 luksFormat \ # with default cryptsetup
  /dev/lvmvolume/encryptedfs              # settings

cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/lvmvolume/encryptedfs interlockfs
mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/interlockfs         # create ext4 filesystem
cryptsetup luksClose interlockfs

The login procedure of INTERLOCK prompts for an encrypted volume name (e.g. encryptedfs in the previous example) and one valid password for luksOpen.

A successful login unlocks the encrypted partition, a successful logout locks it back.

Once logged in users can change, add, remove LUKS passwords within INTERLOCK. Any login password can be disposed of using a dedicated flag during login, this deletes the password from its LUKS key slot right after encrypted partition unlocking.

WARNING: removing the last remaining password makes the LUKS encrypted container permanently inaccessible. This is a feature, not a bug.

The following sudo configuration (meant to be included in /etc/sudoers) illustrates the permission requirements for the user running the INTERLOCK server. The example assumes username interlock with home directory /home/interlock and volume_group set to its default (lvmvolume).

interlock ALL=(root) NOPASSWD:							\
	/bin/date -s @*,							\
	/sbin/poweroff,								\
	/bin/mount /dev/mapper/interlockfs /home/interlock/.interlock-mnt,	\
	/bin/umount /home/interlock/.interlock-mnt,				\
	/bin/chown interlock /home/interlock/.interlock-mnt,			\
	/sbin/cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/lvmvolume/* interlockfs,			\
	!/sbin/cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/lvmvolume/*.* *,			\
	/sbin/cryptsetup luksClose /dev/mapper/interlockfs,			\
	!/sbin/cryptsetup luksClose /dev/mapper/*.*,				\
	/sbin/cryptsetup luksChangeKey /dev/lvmvolume/*,			\
	!/sbin/cryptsetup luksChangeKey /dev/lvmvolume/*.*,			\
	/sbin/cryptsetup luksRemoveKey /dev/lvmvolume/*,			\
	!/sbin/cryptsetup luksRemoveKey /dev/lvmvolume/*.*,			\
	/sbin/cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/lvmvolume/*,				\
	!/sbin/cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/lvmvolume/*.*


The INTERLOCK app requires a working Go (>= 1.4.2) environment to be compiled, or cross-compiled, under Linux (it is not supported by or designed for other OSes at this time).

git clone
cd interlock
git submodule init
git submodule update

This compiles the interlock binary that can be executed with options illustrated in the next section.

Alternatively you can automatically download, compile and install the package, under your GOPATH, as follows:

go get -u

When cross compiling from a non-arm host for an arm target ensure that the following compilation variables are set:

make GOARCH=arm \
     CC=<path_to_cross_compiler>/arm-linux-gnueabihf-gcc \


  -h                   options help
  -b=""    binding address:port pair
  -c="interlock.conf"  configuration file path
  -d=false:            debug mode
  -t=false:            test mode (WARNING: disables authentication)


  • debug: enable debugging logs.

  • static_path: directory path for INTERLOCK static HTML/JavaScript files ("static" directory included in project repository).

  • set_time: use the client browser time to set server time at login, useful on non-routed USB armory devices (unable to set the clock on their own).

  • bind_address: IP address, port pair.

  • tls:

    • on: use tls_cert and tls_key paths as HTTPS TLS keypair;

    • gen: generate a new TLS keypair and save it to tls_cert and tls_key paths when pointing to non existent files (otherwise behaves like "on"), useful for testing and TOFU (Trust On First Use) schemes;

    • off: disable HTTPS.

  • tls_cert: HTTPS server TLS certificate.

  • tls_key: HTTPS server TLS key.

  • tls_client_ca: optional CA for HTTPS client authentication, client certificate requires TLS Web Client Authentication X509v3 Extended Key Usage extension to be correctly validated.

  • hsm:

    • <model>:<options>: enable HSM support with , multiple options can be combined in a comma separated list (e.g. "mxc-scc2":"luks,tls,cipher");

    • off: disable HSM support.

    Available models:

    • mxc-scc2: NXP Security Controller (SCCv2), requires kernel driver mxc-scc2.

    Available options:

    • luks: use HSM secret key to AES encrypt LUKS passwords and make them device specific before use; LUKS login and password operations (add, change, remove) fallback, in case of failure, to plain ones in order to allow change of credentials on pre-HSM deployments;

    • tls: use HSM secret key to AES-256-OFB encrypt the HTTPS server TLS key (tls_key), automatically convert existing plaintext keys;

    • cipher: expose AES-256-OFB derived symmetric cipher with password key derivation through HSM encryption to make it device specific.

  • key_path: path for public/private key storage on the encrypted filesystem.

  • volume_group: volume group name.

  • ciphers: array of cipher names to enable, supported values are ["OpenPGP", "AES-256-OFB", "TOTP", "Signal"].

The following example illustrates the configuration file format (plain JSON) and its default values.

        "debug": false,
        "static_path": "static",
        "set_time": false,
        "bind_address": "",
        "tls": "on",
        "tls_cert": "certs/cert.pem",
        "tls_key": "certs/key.pem",
        "tls_client_ca": "",
        "hsm": "off",
        "key_path": "keys",
        "volume_group": "lvmvolume"
        "ciphers": [

At startup the interlock server dumps the applied configuration in its file format.


The application generates debug, audit, notification and error logs.

Debugging logs are only generated when "debug" is set to true in the configuration file (or command line switch). In debug mode all logs are printed on standard output and never saved.

Audit and error logs are shown live in a dedicated area on the web client ('Application logs') and saved on the root directory of the encrypted partition in the .interlock.log file.

Notifications are shown live in a dedicated area on the web client ('Current activity'), they are only kept in memory in a circular buffer and never stored on disk.

Any non-debug log generated outside an unauthenticated session is issued through standard syslog facility.

Signal support

NOTE: compilation with this feature enabled might fail as the external library API is still subject to change.

A messaging functionality, which leverages on the Open Whisper Systems Signal protocol, provides communication with other Signal, including other INTERLOCK instances using this feature.

The integration allows messaging with other Signal users as well as file sharing through attachments on chat sessions.

The feature is disabled by default and it depends on an external Go library. The library can be installed as follows:

go get -u

The functionality can be enabled by compiling INTERLOCK as shown in the 'Compiling' section, with the exception that the with_signal target should be used when issuing the make command:

make with_signal

Alternatively you can automatically download, compile and install the package, under your GOPATH, as follows:

go get -u -tags signal

The "Signal" entry must be added to the "ciphers" configuration parameter (see Configuration section), to enable it.

        "ciphers": [

A pre-defined directory structure, stored on the encrypted filesystem under the key storage path, is assigned to hold generated keys, this is automatically managed by the protocol library.

The user registration can be accomplished in the web interface, after logging in, using a dedicated action presented when the feature is compiled in and enabled in the configuration file. The registration process triggers, and prompts for, a verification code transmitted to the specified number via SMS or voice per user preference.

NOTE: Any existing Signal registration for the specified mobile number gets invalidated and taken over by INTERLOCK.

A contact is represented by a directory that can be regularly managed with the built-in file manager. The contact directory stores the chat history, attachments and is used as the entry point for starting a chat using the 'Signal' right click menu action.

The contact directories must respect to the following naming scheme and must be located under the top level signal directory:

signal/$name $number # e.g. signal/John Doe +3912345678

New contacts can be created using the file manager while incoming messages for unknown contacts trigger automatic creation of a contact directory with name 'Unknown' and the originating number.

All contact files reside on the encrypted partition managed by INTERLOCK and, being regular files, benefit from the available file operations.


Copyright (c) F-Secure Corporation

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation under version 3 of the License.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

See accompanying LICENSE file for full details.