XP secure during repair?

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Mike, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    XP Home, file system NTFS.

    XP is more secure than 98 but are the login passwords truly secure. I have 4
    passworded accounts - is it true that without the password these accounts
    are not accessible. If I take my PC in for hardware repair is there no way
    for the technician to access my hardrive and its data beyond the login
    screen. No secret admin account or account entrance that is built in or
    could they run another OS from the cd drive such as DOS or Linux and access
    the drive information that way or another way I have not considered. I ask
    this because it just occurs to me how much private and personal information
    I have on my hardrive should it need repair. Thanks.
     
    Mike, Jul 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    Actually, the password only means that they can't logon as you to that
    computer when the OS is running.

    If I take your drive and put it in another computer I can take ownership
    of all the files and do anything I want with them.

    The password is just a means to keep people from connecting directly as
    you, anyone that gains access to the drive can do anything they want.
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. Mike

    Burp* Guest

    Mike spewed out this bit, and i'll scatter a few bits myself :
    There are programs, and ways to extract your passwords and gain access to
    your porn.

    --
    Mhzjunkie

    Programmer: alt.os.windows-xp
    1 PRINT "Windows XP ERROR"
    GOTO 1
    END
     
    Burp*, Jul 2, 2004
    #3
  4. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Thanks for quick response but I was genuine. It is not porn that concerns me
    so much as notes from my wife and photographs of my children that are very
    personal and my own notes and journal and emails and financial details.
     
    Mike, Jul 2, 2004
    #4
  5. Mike

    Mhzjunkie Guest

    Mike spewed out this bit, and i'll scatter a few bits myself :
    pfffft.

    --
    Mhzjunkie

    Programmer: alt.os.windows-xp
    1 PRINT "Windows XP ERROR"
    GOTO 1
    END
     
    Mhzjunkie, Jul 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Mike

    Mhzjunkie Guest

    Leythos spewed out this bit, and i'll scatter a few bits myself :
    Ahh, shit you say ?


    --
    Mhzjunkie

    Programmer: alt.os.windows-xp
    1 PRINT "Windows XP ERROR"
    GOTO 1
    END
     
    Mhzjunkie, Jul 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    If you want to try something really scarry, protect a file so that only
    you can access it, then logon as another user, now try and access the
    file - you can't (yet), not right click on it, select properties, select
    Security (or some order like this) and then advanced and then Ownership
    and then take ownership of the file - you can now do anything you want
    with it.
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Mike

    D.Currie Guest

    I repair computers for a living, and I can tell you that I personally don't
    care what's on your computer, and I'm not going to spend my working time
    reading your documents. I want to do the repair and get the computer off the
    bench as quickly as possible.

    On the other hand, there aren't a whole lot of computer repairs I'm going to
    be able to do without access to at least one administrator account. If I
    install hardware, I'm going to have to install drivers and make sure it
    works. If it's a software problem, then I'm sure I'm going to have to access
    an account, and after that, I need to access the problematic program. So,
    yes, if you say you can't read your email, I need access to your email
    account, and I'm going to open a couple of emails. But even at that, I try
    to avoid actually reading the content. I open them to see that they do open,
    then I move on. I don't care what spam you get, or what Aunt Sally's goiter
    is up to these days.

    Even if it's something like a power supply replacement, it's nice to be able
    to get into Windows and make sure nothing else got fried in the meantime.
    Otherwise I'm going to get a call that says, "Now my modem doesn't work!" or
    something like that.

    If you don't give me access to an account, and I need it, either I'm going
    to call and ask for the password, or I'm going to get in another way so I
    can finish the repair. I'd tell you that I got into the computer, though.
    It's not like I'm sneaking around. Most people leave their computers so
    unsecured that it's simple to get in without resorting anything fancy.

    Of course, the curiousness of the repair folks is going to depend on who
    they are. If you take the computer to a shop where there are a dozen teenage
    guys who get paid by the hour, they might be interested in what music you
    have or what photos. I doubt anyone cares to read your tax documents unless
    they know you and want to see if you really can afford that BMW. Otherwise,
    it's irrelevant data. "Some guy who brought his computer in made $45 thou
    last year!" Unless they know you, who cares?

    If you have things that you don't want other people to see, your best bet is
    to keep them off of your computer. Put them on CDs or a removable/external
    drive. Then you don't need to worry about taking the computer for repairs.
    Then you just need to worry about security issues when the computer is in
    your house.
     
    D.Currie, Jul 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    I always think it's funny when people save things to DVD or CD that they
    don't want people to find, and then dispose of them in the common trash
    without breaking them - about the same as saying, here I am, see what's
    on me :)
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #9
  10. Mike

    Mhzjunkie Guest

    Leythos spewed out this bit, and i'll scatter a few bits myself :
    Stay outa the common trash.


    --
    Mhzjunkie

    Programmer: alt.os.windows-xp
    1 PRINT "Windows XP ERROR"
    GOTO 1
    END
     
    Mhzjunkie, Jul 2, 2004
    #10
  11. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    Do your two parents, both of which must be from the same tree, know that
    they left their computer on and the kids are playing with it?
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #11
  12. Mike

    Mimic Guest

    Nope. If they know how [and surprisingly many dont] they can get in and
    look at/change whatever they want :p
    Yup - "secret" admin account,
    Yup - Other OS
    Yup - Other methods

    Personally, for hardware repair you should read up and learn to do it
    yourself, most things are pretty straight forward. That and, what I do,
    keep your sensitive/important data on a second HDD, this way you can
    remove the HDD when you want repairs, and if the ass falls out of
    windows, you can format the OS HDD [or replace due to H/W failure]
    without loosing all your data.

    --
    Mimic

    "When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt."
    ZGF0YWZsZXhAY2FubmFiaXNtYWlsLmNvbQ== ( www.hidemyemail.net )
    "Without knowledge you have fear. With fear you create your own nightmares."
    "He who controls Google, controls the world".
     
    Mimic, Jul 2, 2004
    #12
  13. Thanks for the information. I was not aware that XP was so vulnerable.

    Any suggestions how you go about keeping what in on your HD on and OUT of
    your computer secure and private?
     
    Eldridge Currie, Jul 2, 2004
    #13
  14. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    I hate to suggest this, but, if you don't want someone to have it, put
    it on a removable disk and keep the disk away from people you don't want
    to have access to it.

    When we do our books, we load the files off of DVD-RW to the drive, edit
    the books, copy it back to DVD-RW and make a backup on CD-R for archive.
    We then delete the copy from the drive, at least that was the way we did
    it in the old days.

    Now, having worked on computers for decades, we don't send anything out
    for repair, not even dead drives - we just open the drive case, take it
    apart, trash it, then throw it out. This means that the data can't be
    recovered.

    If I were in your boat, needing service, but not wanting to provide
    access to files, I would have to suggest that you keep those files on
    removable storage and not take it in when you get the system worked on.
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #14
  15. Mike

    Mimic Guest

    oop, i think someones getting jealous, im sure theres plenty of room for
    both of you.

    --
    Mimic

    "When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt."
    ZGF0YWZsZXhAY2FubmFiaXNtYWlsLmNvbQ== ( www.hidemyemail.net )
    "Without knowledge you have fear. With fear you create your own nightmares."
    "He who controls Google, controls the world".
     
    Mimic, Jul 2, 2004
    #15
  16. Mike

    Leythos Guest

    It means that the poster was not rude to the person by suggesting
    anything about the content, certainly not in the condescending tone that
    you posted.
     
    Leythos, Jul 2, 2004
    #16
  17. Thanks. This makes the most sense so far.
     
    Eldridge Currie, Jul 2, 2004
    #17
  18. Mike

    Mhzjunkie Guest

    Eldridge Currie spewed out this bit, and i'll scatter a few bits myself :
    And this means what different than, "There are programs, and ways to extract
    your passwords and gain access to your porn." ?


    --
    Mhzjunkie

    Programmer: alt.os.windows-xp
    1 PRINT "Windows XP ERROR"
    GOTO 1
    END
     
    Mhzjunkie, Jul 2, 2004
    #18
  19. Mike

    D.Currie Guest

    If someone else has physical access, there's little you can do to make it
    invulnerable. Of course, it depends also on the skills of the person doing
    the peeking.
     
    D.Currie, Jul 2, 2004
    #19
  20. Mike

    Raj Lantz Guest

    Leythos wrote:
    | In article <>,
    | says...
    || And this means what different than, "There are programs, and ways to
    || extract your passwords and gain access to your porn." ?
    |
    | It means that the poster was not rude to the person by suggesting
    | anything about the content, certainly not in the condescending tone
    | that you posted.

    So then, you pinko faggot, what's your objection to porn?


    --
    For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down
    in words with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived
    it. There is, however, a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which
    are not thoughts, and to which as yet I have found it absolutely
    impossible to adapt to language. These fancies arise in the soul, alas
    how rarely. Only at epochs of most intense tranquillity, when the
    bodily and mental health are in perfection. And at those weird points
    of time, where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of
    dreams. And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see, or seem,
    is but a dream within a dream.
     
    Raj Lantz, Jul 2, 2004
    #20
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