The Controversial Speck Encryption Code Will Indeed Be Dropped From The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 September 2018 at 08:46 AM EDT. 24 Comments
While Google got the NSA-developed Speck into the Linux kernel on the basis of wanting to use Speck for file-system encryption on very low-end Android (Go) devices, last month they decided to abandon those plans and instead work out a new "HPolyC" algorithm for use on these bottom-tier devices due to all the concerns over Speck potentially being back-doored by the US National Security Agency.

After Google reverted their plans to use Speck for file-system encryption, it was called for removal from the Linux kernel with no other serious users of this code... Speck had been added to the crypto code in Linux 4.17 and then to the fscrypt bits for file-system encryption with Linux 4.18.

But during the Linux 4.19 merge window that ended a week ago, the removal of Speck never occurred.

While it didn't happen for this current kernel cycle, I noticed today that the speck removal patch has been merged into the development crypto code base by subsystem maintainer Herbert Xu. The patch merged overnight strips the kernel of Speck.

This along with the start of other early crypto code will end up being merged into the next kernel cycle though the patch is also marked for stable back-porting to currently supported stable series.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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