Securing Documents when getting repairs

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by itsme, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. itsme

    itsme Guest

    I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But I
    can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just password
    protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person using
    windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?
     
    itsme, Oct 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Remove the hard disk. Any reputable service center can install a replacement hard disk for
    temporary purposes.

    Dave




    "itsme" <> wrote in message news:...
    | I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But I
    | can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    | diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just password
    | protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person using
    | windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?
    |
    |
     
    David H. Lipman, Oct 9, 2004
    #2
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  3. itsme

    donnie Guest

    On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 16:28:43 -0400, "itsme" <>
    wrote:

    >I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But I
    >can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    >diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just password
    >protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person using
    >windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?
    >

    #######################
    If he boots it w/ a boot disc, I believe he can get into your files.
    I would back up the files on other hard drives, either another PC or a
    shell acount. Then you can delete them from the laptop and restore
    them later.
    If you prefer to leave them on the laptop, look at the attrib command.
    attrib +h mydocu~1 might hide it.
    donnie
     
    donnie, Oct 9, 2004
    #3
  4. itsme

    Jay Calvert Guest

    donnie wrote:
    > On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 16:28:43 -0400, "itsme" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But I
    >>can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    >>diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just password
    >>protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person using
    >>windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?
    >>

    >
    > #######################
    > If he boots it w/ a boot disc, I believe he can get into your files.
    > I would back up the files on other hard drives, either another PC or a
    > shell acount. Then you can delete them from the laptop and restore
    > them later.
    > If you prefer to leave them on the laptop, look at the attrib command.
    > attrib +h mydocu~1 might hide it.
    > donnie
    >

    It all depends what operating system you have on your laptop and what
    kind of security settings you have. If you are running XP or 2000, it
    is possilble to reset the Administrator account password, you cannot get
    into the system without reseting the password, therefore you will know
    if somebody has been in your machine if the password for the
    Administrator account was changed. That is of course if the only other
    accounts on your system is yours, the guest (which should be disabled or
    removed) and the Administrator. If any have been changed you can
    confront them with legal action.

    If you are still on 98 then, you are wide open. Follow Dave's advice
    and remove the HD. As Dave said, they should be able to get a
    replacement. Explain the situation to them, they will understand

    Jay
    http://habaneronetworks.com
     
    Jay Calvert, Oct 9, 2004
    #4
  5. itsme

    someone Guest

    "itsme" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But

    I
    > can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    > diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just

    password
    > protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person

    using
    > windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?


    Take it to a quality repair shop.

    I see confidential files all the time.

    Nothing ever leaves my office to anyone but my client! The names of my
    clients are confidential.

    The other advice in this thread are good - back up your files to another hdd
    and removing the hdd for service are valid.

    As this is a laptop - how secure is your laptop on a daily basis?

    someone2
    >
    >
     
    someone, Oct 9, 2004
    #5
  6. itsme

    Moe Trin Guest

    In article <z2J9d.654405$M95.291972@pd7tw1no>, Jay Calvert wrote:
    >donnie wrote:
    >> On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 16:28:43 -0400, "itsme" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>>I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen. But I
    >>>can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    >>>diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just password
    >>>protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person using
    >>>windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?

    >>
    >> If he boots it w/ a boot disc, I believe he can get into your files.


    >It all depends what operating system you have on your laptop and what
    >kind of security settings you have.


    Physical access beats five aces.

    I know it might come as a shock to you, but it only takes a few minutes
    to open the case, REMOVE THE HARD DRIVE, and install it into another
    computer that is running a different operating system that doesn't give
    a d4mn about your so-called security settings. If the drive is not
    encrypted with a strong algorithm, the data is now 0wn3d. Oh, and do
    you remember the old 'diskcopy' command that has been in MS-DOS since
    version 1.0? Most operating systems have such a command, and it's not
    restricted to floppy drives, AND doesn't care about security settings.
    It's just copying bits from one drive to another.

    Is that _LIKELY_ to happen? I dunno - I don't know what repair shop
    the original poster is using. Assuming a reputable facility, the answer
    is "probably not" - the repair shop likely has more than enough work to
    do than to have the spare time snooping your disk. But don't _EVER_ think
    that something is secure when it's not in your physical possession.

    Old guy
     
    Moe Trin, Oct 9, 2004
    #6
  7. itsme

    andy smart Guest

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

    itsme wrote:
    | I have to bring my laptop in for a repair. Something with the screen.
    But I
    | can assume that the repair person will want to boot up my computer to do
    | diagnostics. I want to secure my documents. I thought I could just
    password
    | protect my user name and then setup another user for the repair person
    using
    | windows xp. But how secure is my stuff? Can he get into my files?
    |
    |
    If you don't want to go for removing the hard disk... then ....

    1st, go for a VERY reputable repairer
    2nd, remove to a backup any files you really don't want to be there,
    then use a file shredder to remove all trace of them on the laptop
    3rd, use something like gnupg to encrypt the rest
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
    Version: GnuPG v1.2.5 (MingW32)
    Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

    iD8DBQFBajDBqmlxlf41jHgRAlywAJ49Uwq3okqIpLNvx1YvK4632UOSKgCggVPl
    1t4oqV+oFHqC39jOMQX9sfw=
    =7TEa
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
     
    andy smart, Oct 11, 2004
    #7
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