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Preboot Authentication for Linux

Posted on 2009-07-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Is there any generic open source project for providing preboot authentication on Linux for all distributions
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Question by:tittu
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7 Comments
 
LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24786923
Pre-boot? You mean bios should do that? Or boot-loader? Or initrd script?
And You want to authenticate against?

Since You are asking about linux, I'm assuming grub bootloader or initrd.
I haven't heard about any initrd auth related customization.
You could probably force grub to ask for password.
You also could run the linux on LUKS encrypted root device, one have to unlock the root device first to get to real OS.
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Author Comment

by:tittu
ID: 24791918
I have a driver module and source code which authenticates biometric thumb impression.
I coud able to place this authentication module before the login screen.
The requirement is to place the authetication module before uncompressing the kernel or at grub stage ?
Is it possible to access driver modules in grub ?.

How do i protect the root file system theft/copying using a rescue CD with this approach ?.

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Accepted Solution

by:
diepes earned 1500 total points
ID: 24792053
Hi,
1. You will have to encrypt the HD, to protect against some one steeling the HD or using a rescue CD
     * There is a lot of howto's basic you have a small un-encrypted /boot  and all the rest (LVM) encrypted.
2. When the kernel and initrd.img load from the un-encrypted /boot they will ask for the encryption key, this can also be on a usb device.

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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24792065
No, grub isn't smart enough to run kernel modules. Sorry,it's merely boot loader.
What You probably could (but would have to build custom solution) is
- include the authentication into initrd script (after kernel is booted, before root filesystem unlocked/mounted)
- include the authentication into /sbin/init or upstart (after initrd is ready and root filesystem up).
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:dontdig
ID: 24792610
use trucypt
http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads

but firstly try on demo machine i.e virtual machine
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Author Comment

by:tittu
ID: 25366341
comment is not helpful
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Author Closing Comment

by:tittu
ID: 31600181
partially ok
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