Mint: a great OS, but ...

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5cents
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by 5cents »

Fred wrote:Decemberdoom has a good suggestion. I have used TrueCrypt before and have been happy with it. In Linux you can't currently encrypt the system partition however. This isn't a big problem with Linux as it would be in Windows. Data is scattered all over the Windows partition. In Linux you should have no data in the OS proper anyway, so it is easy to encrypt the data partition or partitions and still be safe. There is nothing in the OS itself worth protecting. OSs are a dime-a-dozen. :-)

Fred
I have to say I'm not so familiar with Linux security, but how about this scenario:

If someone has physical access to your computer when you're away, isn't it possible he could install a keylogger to your Linux OS and grab the passwords to your encypted partions/containers when you open them? Then next time when you're away, copy the encypted files or grab the whole computer..

I think the lack of easy(-on-install) full disk/OS encryption in Linux distributions has kept many chronic Windows users from migrating to Linux. Some bigger distributions are already offering this option on install, so why not Mint?
FedoraRefugee
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by FedoraRefugee »

5cents wrote:
Fred wrote:Decemberdoom has a good suggestion. I have used TrueCrypt before and have been happy with it. In Linux you can't currently encrypt the system partition however. This isn't a big problem with Linux as it would be in Windows. Data is scattered all over the Windows partition. In Linux you should have no data in the OS proper anyway, so it is easy to encrypt the data partition or partitions and still be safe. There is nothing in the OS itself worth protecting. OSs are a dime-a-dozen. :-)

Fred
I have to say I'm not so familiar with Linux security, but how about this scenario:

If someone has physical access to your computer when you're away, isn't it possible he could install a keylogger to your Linux OS and grab the passwords to your encypted partions/containers when you open them? Then next time when you're away, copy the encypted files or grab the whole computer..

I think the lack of easy(-on-install) full disk/OS encryption in Linux distributions has kept many chronic Windows users from migrating to Linux. Some bigger distributions are already offering this option on install, so why not Mint?
I suppose it would depend on whether the keylogger was hardwars or software based, but either way it is a moot point!

If it were hardware based then encrypting the OS itself would do no good. All you need is physical access to the computer.

If it were software based then the hacker would have to install the keylogger. This would require a user password and a root password (assuming the machine was turned off and you have your security set to acceptable levels considering the threat, ie. no sudo permissions for installing).

But most of us are simple home users, heck, it is hard to get many to even see the wisdom of running a secure password! This scenario is unlikely at best. But...It was a good thought! :D
Biker
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by Biker »

5cents wrote:
I have to say I'm not so familiar with Linux security, but how about this scenario:

If someone has physical access to your computer when you're away, isn't it possible he could install a keylogger to your Linux OS and grab the passwords to your encypted partions/containers when you open them? Then next time when you're away, copy the encypted files or grab the whole computer..

I think the lack of easy(-on-install) full disk/OS encryption in Linux distributions has kept many chronic Windows users from migrating to Linux. Some bigger distributions are already offering this option on install, so why not Mint?
Doesn't matter how good your security is, if someone has physical access to your machine, it's at risk. Disk encryption, passwords, etc. are all good things, and keep casual snoopers at bay. But give a determined and knowledgeable person psychical access to the machine, all bets are off.
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opticyclic
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by opticyclic »

I think we are drifting away from the key point here.
Regardless of whether having an encrypted drive makes a difference or not to thieves or even if having it is of questionable value at all; clearly some users do want it and would appreciate it.
The fact that Ubuntu has the option to do it means that the potential is there to do it in Mint.

If the check box in the installer was unticked by default then all the people who don't see the value in it wouldn't be affected and could carry on as if nothing happened.
However, providing the option would please all the people that do want it.

To me, this is a no brainer and should be included in the installer.

The only reasons I can think of for not having the option are
1) The encryption software is massive and wont fit on the CD (don't know how big it actually is)
2) Encryption laws in some countries might start having a go at Mint and make distributing Mint difficult (not likely if Ubuntu already do it)
3) It is much to much work to implement (not convinced that this would be true)
den1m
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by den1m »

markfiend wrote:Image
http://xkcd.com/538/
Good point, which is why truecrypt should be used since it gives you deniability. Even law enforcement will have trouble getting what they want if you use that software.
jjthomas
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Re: Mint: a great OS, but ...

Post by jjthomas »

Put me down I would like to have the ability to encrypt the system during installation.

I do not live in a crime ridden neighborhood, I live on a busy street and I have a working burglar alarm. So, although theft is not likely, I still encrypt my system via LVM. However, thief is not impossible. As a matter of fact, in reality, someone could bust my window, grab my laptop and be halfway down the street before the alarm company could dial 911. In that scenario, the insurance will replace my laptop and I don't have to worry about someone taking my identity. The data is inaccessible.

Other than parking in the handicap parking, at work, the other day (had surgery on my foot and didn't really want to go through the whole get a handicap parking permit thing, and boss said it was okay for the day), I don't do activities that would necessitate law enforcement officials poking around in my computer. And if they have interest, I'll happy give them the number for my lawyer.

I do have a very secure password. (mY^p@ssw0rD!isC3ed) But I still want to be able to encrypt the hard disk.

I am running CentOS on my server, I would like to be able to put LinuxMint on it. But the lack of being able to encrypt the hard drives during install is prevent me from doing so. It will be upgrading my laptop to LinuxMint 9 :)

-JJ
PS The posted password in not one I am using anywhere.
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