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Laptop Security?

 
 
Paul Anderson
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      06-11-2004
I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data (credit card, banking,
private documents etc) can be viewed. I have read that the password protection in Windows
is next to useless.

I have looked around for software to protect my personal details stored in Windows. But I
can only find software that will provide me with a separate drive or folder that is secure
to store documents within.

Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the operating system so all
my data stored on the disk is secure. Is there any software out there that can do this?

Thanks, Paul.
 
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Giel
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      06-11-2004
"Paul Anderson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:40c9df3f$0$6339$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data (credit

card, banking,
> private documents etc) can be viewed. I have read that the password

protection in Windows
> is next to useless.
>
> I have looked around for software to protect my personal details stored in

Windows. But I
> can only find software that will provide me with a separate drive or

folder that is secure
> to store documents within.
>
> Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the

operating system so all
> my data stored on the disk is secure. Is there any software out there that

can do this?
>
> Thanks, Paul.

Search for harddisk encryption programs, i believe even symantec has
something.
But i've no experiance with them.

my best guess is to tie a bomb on it with a securitycode.

Giel

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*Vanguard*
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      06-11-2004
Paul Anderson said in news:40c9df3f$0$6339$(E-Mail Removed):
> I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data
> (credit card, banking, private documents etc) can be viewed. I have
> read that the password protection in Windows is next to useless.
>
> I have looked around for software to protect my personal details
> stored in Windows. But I can only find software that will provide me
> with a separate drive or folder that is secure to store documents
> within.
>
> Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the
> operating system so all my data stored on the disk is secure. Is
> there any software out there that can do this?
>
> Thanks, Paul.


In another discussion, a user mentioned using SafeBoot. It replaces the
bootstrap program in the MBR (master boot record) on the hard drive.
The entire drive gets encrypted. This is different than using EFS
(encrypted file system).

EFS will encrypt the files so someone moving the drive to another
computer under which the account SIDs are not defined won't be able to
bypass the permissions assigned to those SIDs. Using accounts to assign
permissions is only obeyed within the instance of Windows in which those
persmissions were defined (except for Administrator which gets the same
SID, security identifier, under each NT-based version of Windows).
Obviously permissions come into play only if NTFS was used; FAT
partitions don't know permissions. Unless the hacker has the exported
certificate (and can import it) then decrypting the encrypted files
would be more work than its probably worth.

However, if the hacker manages to get your login info (username and
password) then all EFS-protected files and folders become usable to the
hacker. SafeBoot, or anything usurping the bootstrap code, doesn't rely
on the operating system for its primary protection. But because it
usurps the bootstrap code in the MBR means you cannot use other MBR
usurping programs, like a boot manager, GoBack, disk overlay, and other
MBR-residing utilities (although, according to SafeBoot, it moves out
the prior bootstrap program and will load it after it loads its own
bootstrap program).

While it may sound better to step back even further and use password
protection in the BIOS (presuming that it cannot simply be cleared by
shorting a jumper on the motherboard to clear it out back to the default
of no password), that would not protect the hard drive from getting
moved into another system that could read the files. I suppose it is
possible to move the protection back into the hardware if that hardware
uniquely encrypted all storage media unless otherwise specified (like
you need to share a CD-R or floppy). Since your sensitive data is very
likely just on the hard drive than it is sufficient to use a bootstrap
security product that encrypts your drive.


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Jeffrey Schwartz
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      06-12-2004
On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 17:44:27 GMT, "*Vanguard*"
<(E-Mail Removed)-Reply.obey-signature.invalid> wrote:

>Paul Anderson said in news:40c9df3f$0$6339$(E-Mail Removed):
>> I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data
>> (credit card, banking, private documents etc) can be viewed. I have
>> read that the password protection in Windows is next to useless.
>>
>> I have looked around for software to protect my personal details
>> stored in Windows. But I can only find software that will provide me
>> with a separate drive or folder that is secure to store documents
>> within.
>>
>> Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the
>> operating system so all my data stored on the disk is secure. Is
>> there any software out there that can do this?
>>
>> Thanks, Paul.

>

snip
>
>While it may sound better to step back even further and use password
>protection in the BIOS (presuming that it cannot simply be cleared by
>shorting a jumper on the motherboard to clear it out back to the default
>of no password), that would not protect the hard drive from getting
>moved into another system that could read the files. I suppose it is
>possible to move the protection back into the hardware if that hardware
>uniquely encrypted all storage media unless otherwise specified (like
>you need to share a CD-R or floppy). Since your sensitive data is very
>likely just on the hard drive than it is sufficient to use a bootstrap
>security product that encrypts your drive.


It might also depend on who made the laptop, when I was working for
IBM a while back all the laptops had 3 (I think) BIOS passwords. 1)
power on, 2) entering the BIOS, and 3) harddrive. On some/all of the
models the power on password could be bypassed but the BIOS and
harddrive passwords could not be bypassed. Even if you took the part
out of the machine and installed it in another one.

The downside was if you forgot either of the 2 passwords the system
would be useless.

Check with the mfg or the manual to see if it has something like that.

Jeff
 
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N1POP
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      06-12-2004
Jeffrey Schwartz <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> It might also depend on who made the laptop, when I was working for
> IBM a while back all the laptops had 3 (I think) BIOS passwords. 1)
> power on, 2) entering the BIOS, and 3) harddrive.


Certain models from Dell also have this feature. The password is stored on
the drive itself and cannot be bypassed. Even Dell won't assist unless you
can prove beyond doubt that you are the rightful owner of the laptop/hard
drive combination (serials for both laptop and HD must match is the first
step).
 
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Jim Watt
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      06-12-2004
On 12 Jun 2004 19:01:10 GMT, N1POP <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Jeffrey Schwartz <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
>news:(E-Mail Removed) :
>
>> It might also depend on who made the laptop, when I was working for
>> IBM a while back all the laptops had 3 (I think) BIOS passwords. 1)
>> power on, 2) entering the BIOS, and 3) harddrive.

>
>Certain models from Dell also have this feature. The password is stored on
>the drive itself and cannot be bypassed. Even Dell won't assist unless you
>can prove beyond doubt that you are the rightful owner of the laptop/hard
>drive combination (serials for both laptop and HD must match is the first
>step).


its actually part of the ATA3 feature set so any manufacturer using
modern drives can implement it and its very hard to get round.
Indeed IBM say it can't.
--
Jim Watt
http://www.gibnet.com
 
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Rod & Jarie
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      06-12-2004
Paul
Two products that I support for security
PGP Desktop you can created PGP Disk that will protect your Documents
And PointSec for complete protection


"Paul Anderson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:40c9df3f$0$6339$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data (credit

card, banking,
> private documents etc) can be viewed. I have read that the password

protection in Windows
> is next to useless.
>
> I have looked around for software to protect my personal details stored in

Windows. But I
> can only find software that will provide me with a separate drive or

folder that is secure
> to store documents within.
>
> Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the

operating system so all
> my data stored on the disk is secure. Is there any software out there that

can do this?
>
> Thanks, Paul.



 
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athegates
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      06-13-2004
Whole disk encrption is the best answer to the issue. Since your point on
windows security is not hammer proof if laptop is lost/stolen.

I'd suggest Drivecrypt plus as my personal preference.

Dan

"Paul Anderson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:40c9df3f$0$6339$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> I want to make sure that if my laptop is stolen no private data (credit

card, banking,
> private documents etc) can be viewed. I have read that the password

protection in Windows
> is next to useless.
>
> I have looked around for software to protect my personal details stored in

Windows. But I
> can only find software that will provide me with a separate drive or

folder that is secure
> to store documents within.
>
> Ideally I would like to prevent access to ANY files including the

operating system so all
> my data stored on the disk is secure. Is there any software out there that

can do this?
>
> Thanks, Paul.



 
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