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gotime
05-11-2010, 8:26 AM
So I live with roommates that I for the most part trust, but who knows about their friends and whatnot. I'd like a program that asks for a password on start-up and if it's entered incorrectly, will wipe all data off the HD. Anyone have experience with a program like this?

SixPointEight
05-11-2010, 8:30 AM
don't drink and compute lol. That'd be a bad night.

ocabj
05-11-2010, 8:45 AM
Don't substitute host based security for physical security. If you want to protect the physical system and it's data, lock it up.

choprzrul
05-11-2010, 9:09 AM
Don't substitute host based security for physical security. If you want to protect the physical system and it's data, lock it up.

^^This^^ ++ Download Truecrypt http://www.truecrypt.org/ and install it. It will not erase your drive if the password is incorrect, but rather it will simply keep them out of your computer. It encrypts the entire drive and prompts you for your pass phrase right after the BIOS screen on bootup. The software is free. Here is a tutuorial on how to implement: http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/Disk-encryption.html

**EDIT** Do not even think about doing this without making a recovery disk first. It will be the only way back in to your computer if you forget the password or the master boot record becomes corrupt.

JDay
05-11-2010, 4:20 PM
Encryption is the only answer.

Cyclepath
05-11-2010, 6:34 PM
I am using Windows7 Bitlocker. It is disk encryption similar to Truecrypt. I have to insert a USB thumb drive with the statup key everytime I turn the computer on or when it comes out of hibernatiion. If the computer is lost all data is encrypted so it cannot be read. If you have a computer with TPM, a password can be used at startup.

Cokebottle
05-11-2010, 7:30 PM
Encryption is still only as strong as the password.

Get one of these:
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=529421&CatId=285
http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/skuimages/large/K450-8012.jpg

When you shut the computer down, remove the drive and put it in the safe with your guns, or take it with you.

Ed_in_Sac
05-11-2010, 7:47 PM
I concur with making your drive removable and locking it up in a safe when not in use. Nice thing is that you can use a second hard drive and pop it in there with just a OS and a few programs but no personal info. They will just think you are not into computers much if they do break into your system.

sfwdiy
05-11-2010, 8:46 PM
Encryption is still only as strong as the password.

Get one of these:
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=529421&CatId=285
http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/skuimages/large/K450-8012.jpg

When you shut the computer down, remove the drive and put it in the safe with your guns, or take it with you.

I'd like to see you make that work with a laptop. :p

All joking aside there are some very good whole-disk-encryption products out there. TrueCrypt is good and free if you're on Windows. BitLocker works too, and offers the use of TPM authentication.

If you're running a Mac the only WDE solution I'm aware of out there is PGP for Mac. You can always enable Filevault in a pinch, but Filevault really dicks up a number of other things like Time Machine and it only encrypts the home folder.

Why do you want the data to be deleted if the wrong password is provided? If the encryption method is sound and you have a quality passphrase the CIA ain't getting in there. Well, they'll send you to Pakistan where you'll get beat with a length of rubber hose 'til you give up the passphrase, but that's a whole different discussion. :D

--B

JDay
05-12-2010, 12:56 AM
I am using Windows7 Bitlocker. It is disk encryption similar to Truecrypt. I have to insert a USB thumb drive with the statup key everytime I turn the computer on or when it comes out of hibernatiion. If the computer is lost all data is encrypted so it cannot be read. If you have a computer with TPM, a password can be used at startup.

You want to enable the PIN in Bitlocker if you have a TPM, otherwise theives can still get to your data after booting the system. I also like to turn the encryption strength up a little higher to AES 256 from the default of AES 128.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd835565%28WS.10%29.aspx

patriot_man
05-12-2010, 6:58 AM
A pack of C4 in the case

gotime
05-12-2010, 8:37 AM
What's the performance degradation like for day to day tasks? I would imagine with every file being encrypted, things would run a little slower.

webster223
05-12-2010, 9:31 AM
Forget erasing the drive--is there a way to permanently slag the whole computer if it's stolen? I don't have anything particularly sensitive on my machine; I'd just like to be able to keep a thief from benefiting from its use.

smird
05-12-2010, 9:43 AM
Well, they'll send you to Pakistan where you'll get beat with a length of rubber hose 'til you give up the passphrase, but that's a whole different discussion. :D

--B
http://www.joethepeacock.com/uploaded_images/security-721962.png

Crazyhorse
05-12-2010, 12:12 PM
Wow just get a 16g thumb drive for your "Special Pictures" and no one will laugh at you.

You guys are digging too deep on this one.

JDay
05-12-2010, 8:23 PM
What's the performance degradation like for day to day tasks? I would imagine with every file being encrypted, things would run a little slower.

Its in the 1-3% range. You wont even notice it if you have even a 4 year old system. Some laptop hard drives even offer built in hardware based encryption.

JDay
05-12-2010, 8:26 PM
Wow just get a 16g thumb drive for your "Special Pictures" and no one will laugh at you.

You guys are digging too deep on this one.

That doesn't help if your laptop full of trade secrets from work and/or personal financial information gets stolen now does it?

sfwdiy
05-13-2010, 1:09 PM
That doesn't help if your laptop full of trade secrets from work and/or personal financial information gets stolen now does it?

+1.

I have a load of personal financial info, photos etc. on my laptop as well as all kinds of customer data and other things covered by NDAs. If that data was obtained by the wrong people I'd be boned.

What's the performance degradation like for day to day tasks? I would imagine with every file being encrypted, things would run a little slower.

I run PGP WDE 10. I used to have it on my 2.16 ghz Core Duo Macbook Pro, and I didn't notice any degradation in performance. On my new 2.53 ghz Core i5 Macbook Pro none of PGP's processes ever register a single percent of processor usage. It's a non-issue.

--B