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Is anyone else encrypting thier hard drives?

 
 
BillRM
 
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 01:17 pm
I am using truecrypt a free program to encrypted all my hard drives at AES 256 levels and was wondering if anyone else is using truecrypt, bitlocker, pgp .........to protect their computers drives or not.

How about other lessor steps such as using the AT lock function available in the bios of all most all laptops to lock the hard drives?

Am I the only computer security nut on this website or not?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 6,944 • Replies: 148
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 02:38 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Am I the only computer security nut on this website


Most likely.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 02:55 pm
@Butrflynet,
Quote:
Most likely.


That amazing to me as many hundreds of thousands or more laptops go missing at US airports alone every year with all the personal informations that they normally contain on their hard drives.

You seems to be far more likely to loss a laptop in traveling then your wallet and my netbook contain far more information including all my credit card numbers and banking and other passwords then my wallet.

It would be a security nightmare if my drives was not protected and my computer lost.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 04:07 pm
@Butrflynet,
Unless you keep nothing at all on your laptop that you would not care sharing with strangers taking at the very lest the precaution of locking of the hard drive by a password in bios seem very wise.

However that is not hundred percent protection because there are firms that will break such protection for around a 100 dollars or so.

Whole disk encryption with a good pass phase in the gold standard in protection of your information.

I find it remarkable that not only is such precaution rarely taken by individuals but governments employees and private firms had lost unprotected laptops with all kind of private information on them.


http://www.tripinsurancestore.com/blog/12000-laptops-lost-weekly-at-us-airports/

12,000 Laptops Lost Weekly At U.S. Airports
by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on July 11, 2008

12,000 Laptops Lost Weekly At U.S. Airports

Jul 3, 2008 By David Hughes (Aviation Week)

A new study sponsored by the Dell computer company estimates that more than 12,000 laptop computers are lost or stolen each week at U.S. airports, and only 33% of those that turn up in “lost and found” are reclaimed.

The other 67% remain in the airport awhile before being disposed of, meaning there are “potentially millions of files containing sensitive or confidential data that may be accessible to a large number of airport employees and contractors,” the study issued on June 30 reports.

Ponemon Institute LLC, a for-profit research organization and consultancy that focuses on privacy issues, began the lost laptop study, and Dell later agreed to became a sponsor. However, Dell did announce a new computer security service it plans to offer to corporations on June 30, showing that it does have a dog in this fight. Ponemon does research on the trust in privacy and information security practices in the banking, retail, telecommunications and airline industries as well as in government. The chairman and founder of the Institute, Larry Ponemon, was previously global managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he founded the firm’s privacy practice. Researchers visited 106 airports in the U.S. and surveyed 864 business travelers.

The research numbers are believe able, according Airports Council International North America. Charles Chambers, senior vice president of security for ACI-NA, says based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation, thinks the 12,000 per week prediction is plausible. He notes that the percentage of laptops lost is small when viewed in terms of the total number of passengers traveling. Only less than one half of one percent of the roughly 3.5 million business travelers flying each week would have to lose their laptops to reach the 12,000 number, he notes.

Ponemon did field research at 106 airports in 46 states, interviewing several people at each location because missing laptops that are recovered can end up with the airport, with airlines, police or even be kept in a frequent flyer lounge until a passenger returns to claim it.

The study states that the major (Class B) airports with the biggest problems are Los Angeles International, where 1,200 laptops are lost or stolen each week, and Miami International, with 1,000. New York City airports weigh in at positions three, five and six with John F. Kennedy International having 900 laptops lost or stolen each week, Newark Liberty International 825, and LaGuardia 630. There are 36 Class B airports in the U.S. and the average loss is 286 laptops per week.

Not surprisingly, 40% of laptops are lost at security checkpoints where procedures require passengers to separate from their property during electronic screening and pat downs. The Transportation Security Administration did not reply to a request for information on how many laptops go missing each year at airport security checkpoints.

More than 53% of business travelers say their laptops contain confidential or sensitive information, but 65% of these people admit they don’t take steps to protect it. Yet the average business cost when confidential personal information is lost or stolen is $197 per record, according to another Ponemon study.

(Steve’s note: read my July 7, 2008 post to learn how to “Guard Your Laptop While Traveling“)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 04:52 pm
I don't own a laptop.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 04:59 pm
@Butrflynet,
Quote:
I don't own a laptop.


Well then your risks is a great great deal less of having informations stolen that could be of harm to you from your computer.

It is not zero however because someone could still break into your home and walk away with your computer.

Think about what kinds of informations you keep on your home computer and would it be a big headache and worry if it would end up in unfriendly and dishonest hands or not.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 07:54 pm
@BillRM,
You mean someone might steal all the photos that I put up on Facebook?

I password protect my computer, so they would have to get past that.
I password protect files that have personal and financial info.

Unless you are doing backups on a regular basis, encrypting everything puts you in the position of not being able to rescue anything from a crashed disk.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 08:03 pm
A password in BIOS doesn't do very much. It means that it will take about 10 minutes or less to get your information. If you have information worth protecting you should use an encrypted drive.

I use an encrypted drive for work. I don't use one on my personal laptop because there isn't anything worth stealing (since no one wants to see my naked pictures of myself).

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 08:45 pm
@parados,
Quote:
password protect my computer, so they would have to get past that.
I password protect files that have personal and financial info.

Unless you are doing backups on a regular basis, encrypting everything puts you in the position of not being able to rescue anything from a crashed disk.


I am assuming in my reply that you are using a win machine like 90 percents of us are doing.

Password protecting a window machine either in the Bios or your account in windows is worthless as anyone with a little knowledge IE myself for example can bypass those forms of protection in roughly 30 seconds or so.

Note if the bios support it and it does not normally do so on desktops you can password lock the hard drive and that can be a problem. But one that can be deal with also.

Now individual file protection? Are you using the build in WFE as that is only available on some versions of windows and is good but no where near as good as 256 AES. Second you have the problem that window leak informations all over the place as in the pagefile and the hibernation files and a millions and one others places

Second external drives are dirt cheap and very large and I do a complete backup roughly every month and a half and my doc files backups in between. Note I just check and found I am behind as far as my desktop backups is concern by 20 days or so and will need to do it as soon as I go to bed.

In any case such backups should be done as a matter of course with all computers no matter if the hard drives are encrypted or not.

Now on top of that you are wrong in if the OS will not boot because of a problem with the encrypted hard drive you can then just boot from truecrypt rescue CD that is created every time you do a whole disk encrypted.

It will completely remove the encryption on all parts of the disk that still can be read and write to. After that you are in the same shape as if the drive crash on a system that is not encrypted in the first place.

Now as far as you not having anything worthwhile on your computer that need real protection that is not normally the case for most of us and once more your passwords are almost completely worthless as a mean of protection.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2011 08:46 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I use an encrypted drive for work


What program do you used PGP disk?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 12:47 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
I am using truecrypt a free program to encrypted all my hard drives at AES 256 levels and was wondering if anyone else is using truecrypt, bitlocker, pgp .........to protect their computers drives or not.

How about other lessor steps such as using the AT lock function available in the bios of all most all laptops to lock the hard drives?
Am I the only computer security nut on this website or not?
It is obvious to me that u r better informed on this subject than I am.
If I knew how to do it and if I understood all pro and con
reasons to do it, then I probably woud do it,
if it is safe.

Can u tell us anything about it???????
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 03:13 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
It is obvious to me that u r better informed on this subject than I am.
If I knew how to do it and if I understood all pro and con
reasons to do it, then I probably woud do it,
if it is safe.

Can u tell us anything about it???????


David everything had benefits and draw backs however over a numbers of years I had run truecrypt on all my family computers with whole drive encrypted without any great problems of any kind.

Is it safe? Well there is no question that you could run into problems however it is a very well design and mature system with a large numbers of people running it day in and day out.

Reason to do it is that you is that you never need to have any great worry that all the informations on your computers might fall into unfriendly hands to be used against you.

Just before I leave for a trip such as to my last trip to Cancun I made a complete backup of my netbook and if the netbook would had been lost or stolen during my travels all I would had been out is the price of replacing the hardware and the few hours if would had taken to install my backups to a replacement netbook.

Now there is a numbers of similar software systems/packages such as PGP Disk and Microsoft own bitlocker however PGP is not free and bitlocker is only available on some later versions of Windows.

Then truecrypt is open source with experts able to look and they do look at the source code for problems and making if very unlikely that a hidden back down can be placed in it, not so in the case of PGP or Microsoft bitlocker where the source code is not available and you need to trust them that they had not placed a back door for the government benefit or that they had not missed a problem or weakness in their program.

Last but not least truecrypt is cross platform with versions running under all the later windows os beginning with all versions of XP to windows 7 and linux and mac for that matter.

To sum up as a user for many years with at the moment five family computers running truecrypt day in and day out I am very happy with it.

However the first time on the first computer that I installed it on I did frankly hold my breath as it encrypted my drive.

Now I just assume that there will be no serous problems when I placed in on a new computer and so far I had always been correct.

Take a look at their website truecrypt.org for more information and their software if you wish to download it.

Sorry if this all sound like an adv for truecrypt but I do love that program.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 06:18 am
@BillRM,
David wrote:
It is obvious to me that u r better informed on this subject than I am.
If I knew how to do it and if I understood all pro and con
reasons to do it, then I probably woud do it,
if it is safe.

Can u tell us anything about it???????
BillRM wrote:
David everything had benefits and draw backs however over a numbers of years I had run truecrypt on all my family computers with whole drive encrypted without any great problems of any kind.

Is it safe? Well there is no question that you could run into problems however it is a very well design and mature system with a large numbers of people running it day in and day out.

Reason to do it is that you is that you never need to have any great worry that all the informations on your computers might fall into unfriendly hands to be used against you.

Just before I leave for a trip such as to my last trip to Cancun I made a complete backup of my netbook and if the netbook would had been lost or stolen during my travels all I would had been out is the price of replacing the hardware and the few hours if would had taken to install my backups to a replacement netbook.

Now there is a numbers of similar software systems/packages such as PGP Disk and Microsoft own bitlocker however PGP is not free and bitlocker is only available on some later versions of Windows.

Then truecrypt is open source with experts able to look and they do look at the source code for problems and making if very unlikely that a hidden back down can be placed in it, not so in the case of PGP or Microsoft bitlocker where the source code is not available and you need to trust them that they had not placed a back door for the government benefit or that they had not missed a problem or weakness in their program.

Last but not least truecrypt is cross platform with versions running under all the later windows os beginning with all versions of XP to windows 7 and linux and mac for that matter.

To sum up as a user for many years with at the moment five family computers running truecrypt day in and day out I am very happy with it.

However the first time on the first computer that I installed it on I did frankly hold my breath as it encrypted my drive.

Now I just assume that there will be no serous problems when I placed in on a new computer and so far I had always been correct.

Take a look at their website truecrypt.org for more information and their software if you wish to download it.

Sorry if this all sound like an adv for truecrypt but I do love that program.


Thank u, Bill.
That is very good of u.
Is truecrypt effectively an anti-virus program??
I have Microsoft Security Essentials at work on it now.

Do u recommend a better anti-viral program ?

As per your advice, I will indeed
go to truecrypt.org thanx again.





David
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 06:35 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Thank u, Bill.
That is very good of u.
Is truecrypt effectively an anti-virus program??
I have Microsoft Security Essentials at work on it now.

Do u recommend a better anti-viral program ?

As per your advice, I will indeed
go to truecrypt.org thanx again.


Truecrypt is not a anti virus program of any nature and in fact one of the means of attacking it is to get malware such as a keylogger onto your system.

Now I do not know what OS you are running but if you are running XP or Vista there is a program call sandboxie that I strong recommend to run your browser in a sandbox with, as it prevent malware from the internet from getting onto your system if your anti virus protection fail. Find it with a google search on it name.

I do not use it as I just happen to used avg the free version however Microsoft Security Essentials is fine and free anti virus protection so I would see no need to change away from that.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 06:52 am
@BillRM,
I have XP.

I shoud add sandboxie to Microsoft Security Essentials, correct ??
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 06:54 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Footnote with sandboxie you do need to set it up to allow downloading of programs into your doc areas or do your downloading when you are not in sandboxie.

If you can used it, as if you are running win 7 it will not work, and wish to try it I will aid you in the set up.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:13 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
I shoud add sandboxie to Microsoft Security Essentials, correct ??


Sandboxie is not something you add as to an anti virus program but used it as another layer of security as it is a means of isolating your browser from your system so if a virus/malware attack from the internet get by your anti virus protection it does not matter as when you close your browser and sandbox the malware is gone also as it never did in fact reach beyond the sandbox into your system.

Hmm let me try to explain this way the sandbox is like it own little temporary world apart from your system however any program running in the sandbox think it is running on your system in a normal manner however anything it does inside the sandbox does not affect your system beyond the sandbox.

Malware could get into the sandbox and it think it had install all kinds of evil software on your system but as soon as you close the browser and the sandbox the malware and anything it think it had done to the system is gone.

That is why you need to allow downloads to be placed in your doc area as otherwise any downloads that the browser had done remain inside of the sandbox even those the browser think it had place the files on your hard drive as normal and when you end the sandbox you wipe the files also.

Nothing get out of the sandbox to the rest of the system unless you allow it out
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:29 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I use an encrypted drive for work. I don't use one on my personal laptop because there isn't anything worth stealing

Same here. My company uses PointSec as the encrypting software. My personal laptop has recent family pictures (frequently backed up) and my music library. My browser history is only going to make them laugh reading A2K entries, but if they are really sharp they might be able to extract a password or two from it. Encryption is not a bad idea. Maybe for the next laptop.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:35 am
@engineer,
Hello engineer you do not used your personal computer for online bankings and bill payings?

How about doing such tasks as doing your income tax?

In any case it nice to hear that businesses are beginning to used encrypting.

Footnote way not just at least set your bios to lock your hard drive with a password on boot up?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:43 am
@BillRM,
Although I acknowledge the risk that information might be stolen from my hard drive, I am not encrypting it. The reason is that there's another risk to consider: What if my hard disk crashes, if I am the one who needs to recover information from it? If the hard drive is encrypted, that can be an ordeal because its content is now gibberish.

That said, I'm seriously considering encrypting my email with PGP (or rather GPG, its open-source alternative). There's no good reason I haven't done that, just procrastination.
 

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