Securing Data on HD

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by John F Kappler, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. One aspect of data security that I'm not certain about is securing
    files on my hard disk....

    If my PC was stolen or lost, and contained some data that I would like
    to keep secure, what is the best way to secure those files.

    I have considered using PGP to setup a secure disk space, but seem to
    remember that this can be cracked? Is this so? and is there a better
    method?

    TIA,

    JohnK
    John F Kappler, Aug 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 08:55:03 GMT, (John F
    Kappler) wrote:

    >One aspect of data security that I'm not certain about is securing
    >files on my hard disk....
    >
    >If my PC was stolen or lost, and contained some data that I would like
    >to keep secure, what is the best way to secure those files.
    >
    >I have considered using PGP to setup a secure disk space, but seem to
    >remember that this can be cracked? Is this so? and is there a better
    >method?
    >

    I've not heard that PGP can be cracked... and if it can I'd imagine
    it'd take some processing clout - and who's going to have the
    resources and time to do that?
    If you feel the 'powers that be' are sufficiently interested in you
    then you need to speak to a security professional rather than us lot
    ;)

    I use Marcus Hahn's Blowfish Advanced CS ( freeware, widely available
    ), which can use a selection of encryption algorithms..none of which
    have been cracked as far as I'm aware.
    It's been 100% reliable in the years I've been using it.

    Other than that, get a hard drive caddy and keep all your sensitive
    data on a removeable drive...all you have to do then is make sure the
    drive doesn't get pinched!

    Regards,



    --
    Stephen Howard - Woodwind repairs & period restorations
    www.shwoodwind.co.uk
    Emails to: showard{whoisat}shwoodwind{dot}co{dot}uk
    Stephen Howard, Aug 12, 2004
    #2
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  3. John F Kappler

    Mike Guest

    John F Kappler wrote:

    > One aspect of data security that I'm not certain about is securing
    > files on my hard disk....
    >
    > If my PC was stolen or lost, and contained some data that I would like
    > to keep secure, what is the best way to secure those files.
    >
    > I have considered using PGP to setup a secure disk space, but seem to
    > remember that this can be cracked? Is this so? and is there a better
    > method?
    >
    > TIA,
    >
    > JohnK


    Interesting. I'm no expert in this area but here's my views. One way
    would be to never store the data on your hard drive in the first place.
    Try removable storage, USB stick, CDRW, USB Hard drive etc.

    Of course at some point in time you will need to use the data so it will
    be unencrypted and loaded into an application like Word for example.
    Word creates temporary files and backups and of course if you task
    switch there will be bits of the data possibly in the swap file. Its
    unlikely that any of this will be encrypted. You will need to ensure
    that the computer is scrubbed clean after every use.

    If you want it really secure, invent you own code, write the data on
    rice paper and eat it. :)

    --

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

    Real email to mike. The header email is a spam trap and you will be
    blacklisted,
    submitted to anti-spam sites and proably burn in hell.
    Mike, Aug 12, 2004
    #3
  4. John F Kappler

    Frode Guest

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    John F Kappler wrote:
    >If my PC was stolen or lost, and contained some data that I would like
    >to keep secure, what is the best way to secure those files.


    This is where I'd normally recommend Safeboot Solo. Since it's off the
    market I'm left without any product recommendations for full harddrive
    encryption with regards to the home user. Have a look around though, you
    may find something that suits you.

    >I have considered using PGP to setup a secure disk space, but
    >seem to remember that this can be cracked?


    PGP is quite secure. Of course, it might be broken but if it is the
    security clearance to do so is high enough to not be an issue unless you
    happen to be on a top 10 wanted list or something.

    You do have to go through the hassle of keeping your confidential data
    inside virtual container drives however, compared to the "install and
    forget" approach of complete harddrive encryption.


    - --
    Frode


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    Frode, Aug 12, 2004
    #4
  5. John F Kappler

    Celtic Leroy Guest

    (John F Kappler) wrote:

    >One aspect of data security that I'm not certain about is securing
    >files on my hard disk....
    >
    >If my PC was stolen or lost, and contained some data that I would like
    >to keep secure, what is the best way to secure those files.
    >
    >I have considered using PGP to setup a secure disk space, but seem to
    >remember that this can be cracked? Is this so? and is there a better
    >method?
    >
    >TIA,
    >
    >JohnK


    John,

    This reminds me of another John I know. His deal was (sounding like a
    snake oil salesman) that "Our security can not be cracked!". First
    time I heard this I busted up laughing. Unfortunately it was during a
    meeting with potential investors, and he got really upset with me.

    Let me inform you, and a few others here that think PGP (and/or any
    other encryption process) is uncrackable. Sure, the average Joe is
    not going to be able to crack PGP (even the minor 40 bit encryption of
    SSL). But, given the resources and time, anyone with the knowledge
    can crack even the strongest of security, no matter what algorithym is
    used.

    The best method is to NEVER relax your physical security...like don't
    leave your laptop where someone can walk away with it. Keep it with
    you, keep your hands on it, and don't set it down. You state that you
    want your PC to be secure...keep it in a locked room, a locked
    cabinet, an underground bunker with three foot thick walls and a
    grounded wire mesh net (Ever watch "Enemy of the State"?). Those boys
    in black can see what is on your screen from 200 yards away through
    solid block walls (I know, I've seen them).

    Seriously now, consider this. Do not use encryption to secure your
    PC. Instead, get one of those hard drive bays that you can plug and
    unplug the hard drive (I don't remember what they are called at the
    moment). And, when you're done using the PC, unplug the hard drive
    and lock it in a safe. Obviously the safe should be difficult to
    steal too. Then you don't have to worry about scrubbing the system
    after each use, remembering password/phrases, or corrupting the data
    on a rewritable disk.

    Regards,
    Celtic Leroy, Aug 12, 2004
    #5
  6. John F Kappler

    Paddy Guest

    >
    > You do have to go through the hassle of keeping your confidential data
    > inside virtual container drives however, compared to the "install and
    > forget" approach of complete harddrive encryption.




    Not strictly true. We developed a virtual encryption product that for
    all intents and puroses can act as a full hard disk encryption tool -
    as far as the user is aware, there isn't anywhere else they can save
    the info.

    it's called Reflex DataVault have a look at www.reflex-magnetics.com
    Paddy, Aug 13, 2004
    #6
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