Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Full disk encryption for all!

To echo Bruce Schneier's comments, it's important to encrypt the data on your laptops. Yes, the laptops get stolen, they get lost and your private data is on them. So if you scramble up that data (using an encryption product), then you are somewhat insulating yourself from having that data stolen.

A new attack was introduced by Ed Felten and his band of merry Princeton grad students a week ago, which showed how to steal the encryption key and gain access to hard drive data, even if the data is encrypted. Let's just say, this is not an attack that most of you need to worry about. You are still much better off encrypting your data, than not encrypting your data.

I personally use the FileVault capability within Mac OS X. There are a bunch of 3rd party utilities, but FileVault works fine for me. I don't see any reason to make it harder than it needs to be.

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