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Thread: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    How secure are my files in Ubuntu? If lets say I want to keep certain documents hidden from others, is there a way to protect them better than what NTFS currently offers?

    By saying NTFS I mean that in a Windows based machine, one could always unscrew the hard drive and load it onto another computer as a slave or via USB, take ownership, and download the files. I heard that on Linux you can password protect certain files / directories and if you forget your password, you've lost your data for good.


    Thanks

    DJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJRepresent View Post
    By saying NTFS I mean that in a Windows based machine, one could always unscrew the hard drive and load it onto another computer as a slave or via USB, take ownership, and download the files. I heard that on Linux you can password protect certain files / directories and if you forget your password, you've lost your data for good.
    What you are talking about is file encryption. I personally use 'cryptkeeper', which is a frontend to 'encfs'. You could do this on windows with software like TrueCrypt. (or BitLocker in some versions of Vista)

    Be aware that some programs might cache copies or metadata in other places. This is why people opt for full disk encryption, which I won't cover here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Ubuntu

    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    There is always Truecrypt and GPG.
    I use GPG to encrypt my files, though.
    "Security lies within the user of who runs the system. Think smart, live safe." - Dr Small
    Linux User #441960 | Wiki: DrSmall

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    Unless they're encrypted, your files are no more secure than they would be on Windows or Mac. Physical access is root access.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    This site is a good reference since it summarizes some file encryption techniques:
    http://www.movingtofreedom.org/2007/...ora-gnu-linux/

    Notice whole disk encryption is a separate option and not discussed here.

  6. #6
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    Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (testing)

    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    with the alternate install cd you can fully encrypt your system upon installation....

    If you choose to do that... also make backups of your data... in case your harddisk fails at critical points you may not gain access to the encrypted data at all.

  7. #7
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    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    Just a question...

    If your harddrive fails at critical point on an non-encrypted disk -- wouldn't you be unlikely to recover files from it either?? Or is the recovery of files using disk encryption much more sensitive to hard drive encryption?

  8. #8
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    Re: How secure are my files in Ubuntu?

    Well, if you have a bad block on a non encrypted drive, then it will affect one for maybe a few other files... however if you have a bad block on a critical part of the encryption partition you may not be able to unlock all encrypted data any longer.

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