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Automatically Encrypt files under Linux (Suse 10.1)

Posted on 2006-10-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
The following is a conceptual question -- as opposed to a specific technical issue/bug.  I will award points to the most helpful answer within the next 48hrs.

Situation:  I run a laptop with Suse 10.1.  I store sensitive data on the machine in a specific directory and in a MYSQL database.  I feel confident that the system is secure enough from a software perspective.  However, I am worried that I might lose the laptop or that somebody could steal it from my office at night.

I think the best way to guard against exposing this data through physical loss of the machine would be to use encryption.

Do you have any elegant solutions for doing this?  Is there a way to use PGP or some other software to encrypt certain data each time the machine shuts down and descrypt it upon booting up?  Again, the data reside in a specific directory and a MYSQL database.

Thank you in advance for any help!
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Question by:cs76737
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4 Comments
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
crawfordits earned 1000 total points
ID: 17831106
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 1000 total points
ID: 17831224
TrueCrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org/  You can build from source or try the precompiled versions: http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads.php
Contents are unencrypted in memory and is never unencrypted on the HD, so if you lost power suddenly there is no plain-text copy on the HD.
-rich
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 17874423
I suggest that you use BestCrypt From ... http://www.jetico.com/

This can be configured to automatically ask for a password at startup.  Entering your password created a virtual drive - e.g. E:\ .   Store all your data on that drive.  You don't encrypt or decrypt anything - Every stored on your virtual drive/container is automatically encrypted. You only have to back up one file to back up all your data. Once you keep your passphrase long the encryption can not be broken.

I have not used the Linux version but in the windows version the encrypted container can be almost any size - 1000 gigs if you want. You can also encrypt the swap file and create hidden containers. - Its free to try fo 30 days.

I've been using it for 8 years with no complaints.
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Author Comment

by:cs76737
ID: 17878775
Thank you for the suggestions.  I split points between Crawfordits and richrumble -- both of your suggestions look good and were posted within 48hrs.  I apologize for closing this question much later than I initially stated/intended.
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