Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Beans
    494

    How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    A person here in the United State allegedly had a laptop in the repair shop and the data from the laptop is being used against him.

    Now, this worries me as a Linux user and as a regular citizen who should have the right to privacy, and as such, I don't want snoopy computer shop technicians doing the same to me in the future when I have to bring my laptop for repairs.

    Are there ways to protect myself from this? Ways to protect my data from being copied off my laptop without my consent?
    Last edited by QIII; October 16th, 2020 at 01:45 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary reference to US politics.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Galiza
    Beans
    3,161
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    Short answer: Full drive encryption.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Beans
    494

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticWarrior View Post
    Short answer: Full drive encryption.
    Is that the same encryption option I get when I install Ubuntu?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Beans
    2,952
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    If it's practical, could you remove the hard drive before taking it to the shop? Some people, when they buy a new PC also buy a spare hard drive. Maybe set up the new PC with the original hard drive then remove the original hard drive and install the extra. Install any O.S.(s) you like. If the PC needs to be shipped out for repair re-install the original hard drive. That wouldn't work if the hard drive was the issue but if the hard drive were the problem I would probably image the original hard drive if it were readable - maybe a couple images - then wipe the hard drive before taking it to the shop. As far as protecting against the machine being stolen, full drive encryption as CelticWarrior says.
    Last edited by kurt18947; October 16th, 2020 at 01:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Beans
    494

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    If it's practical, could you remove the hard drive before taking it to the shop? Some people, when they buy a new PC also buy a spare hard drive. Maybe set up the new PC with the original hard drive then remove the original hard drive and install the extra. Install any O.S.(s) you like.
    The option of removing my SSD before bringing it to the repair shop did cross my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    That wouldn't work if the hard drive was the issue but if the hard drive were the problem I would probably image the original hard drive if it were readable - maybe a couple images - then wipe the hard drive before taking it to the shop.
    But Ubuntu would alert me if there was a problem with my SSD right? And I've read somewhere that, if the problem is the drive, it usually better to buy a new drive instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    As far as protecting against the machine being stolen, full drive encryption as CelticWarrior says.
    Is that the same option presented to me when I install Ubuntu? When I install Ubuntu, there's an option to encrypt, is that the same thing? I'm upgrading to 20.04 next month.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    i believe the encrypt option will encrypt home (your data) not full drive (so OS is not encrypted). i could be wrong.

    full drive encryption will offer some protection.

    know that physical access is access. latest GPU for example are quite fast in brute force attacks. to get the data one would image the drive and then attempt to crack the encryption. long passwords or better yet keys separated from drive are a good idea in these cases. they will make it much hardware for hackers.

    at the same time be aware that when you encrypt the data you need to have good backups. any small disk error (that can usually be easily resolved on non encrypted file system) and your data is gone.

    IMO on laptop the encryption is still good thing to have. especially, if you use after sales service.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    Full disk backup (newer kernel -> suitable for newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup: Rescuezilla

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Beans
    33

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    Quote Originally Posted by ardouronerous View Post
    Is that the same option presented to me when I install Ubuntu? When I install Ubuntu, there's an option to encrypt, is that the same thing? I'm upgrading to 20.04 next month.
    Yes. But I think you need to do a clean install to be able to use the encryption.

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    i believe the encrypt option will encrypt home (your data) not full drive (so OS is not encrypted). i could be wrong.
    Ubuntu removed home folder encryption (ecryptfs), in favour of full disk encryption (LUKS), due to security concerns. So if he's installing 20.04, he'll be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    at the same time be aware that when you encrypt the data you need to have good backups. any small disk error (that can usually be easily resolved on non encrypted file system) and your data is gone.
    A very good idea. I have two encrypted removable drives, and use rsync to backup everything important to them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Switzerland
    Beans
    2,612
    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    Quote Originally Posted by ardouronerous View Post
    Are there ways to protect myself from this? Ways to protect my data from being copied off my laptop without my consent?
    I do all computer repairs myself. YouTube can tell me how if I happen to not know something.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Beans
    136

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    As mentioned, drive encryption is the answer. I have a Windows 10 drive I inherited that is encrypted. Can't access it, can't format it, it is basically a useless block without the encryption password.

    The "bad" (ish) news is, you can only do this as it's formatted, it requires a complete erase of the drive in any OS.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Beans
    129

    Re: How we I protect my hard drive from being copied without my consent?

    another thought , take it to a reputable repair shop
    xubuntu 20.04 LTS (focal fossa)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •