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Filesystems:  Encryption?

Posted on 1998-06-07
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Okay, here's a simple question:

On Unix filesystems, is protected data encrypted at all?

For instance, if I had hdb1 mounted as /it, and I placed a single large file owned by root, the entire size of the partition, with some regularly repeating data onto it, and set the file as read for root only, then I removed the hard drive from the system, and used another computer to directly access the data on that drive, would I get the repeating data without having to decrypt?

Obviously, I would like this answered for most of the filesystems available to UNIX systems.

Thanks.
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Question by:mnw21
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m4rc earned 150 total points
ID: 1637277
i say, no.  there's no built in encryption in that manner.  as long as you can access the type of file system that /it was originally formatted and used with.
this is why you can take disks, floppies, tapes, cds, etc. from one machine to another.  to encrypt the data you use 'crypt' command or better, 'pgp'.
this is also why it is a security risk to leave mounting privs unmonitored or leave the machine open, because someone could come by w/ a rootdisk, reboot the machine of the floppy (or other attached drive) and login as thier root, mount your filesystems, and do anything they like.

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by:mnw21
ID: 1637278
Sounds horrendous!

Is there *any* available filesystem that does use encryption?

The main problem with PGP is that the private key must exist on your hard drive (or floppy) somewhere, and can then be accessed by someone like you say.

Anyway, thanks. Answer worthy of a "Good!"

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by:m4rc
ID: 1637279
hmmm, an interesting question.  i'd say yes, there must be encrypted filesystems, just because ive seen hacks like that for old dos, and it seems inevitable that -someone- would make something comparable for un*x.  that said, i dont know of one in particular.
using a bizzare or rarely used files system could thwart your avg person who isnt willing to do research and implement a new fs support.
aha, or, check this out:
http://131.155.140.135/~galactus/remailers/index-diskcrypt.html
has two different filesystems.  how about that, i learned something too!  :)
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by:mnw21
ID: 1637280
Cool!

Thanks.

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