Ok, So I spent the other day helping our office manager to do something with her computer. Basically, her Sony Viao had shipped with 2 partitions, a 40 and a 30 GB partition, and she wanted it to be one partition. So basically, I told her I’d do it, but needed to back up her stuff. So I asked her if I could work out her password myself to get into it to back it up. She said yes. So out came the live-cd of the program I used (I only ever use it legally) and I amn’t mentioning the name because it is a worrying piece of software I don’t want just anyone to know about. Then, 300 seconds later, I had her windows password.
So I’ve been concious about hard security on my laptop for ages. If someone steals my laptop, then they can access everything, including my cookies and stuff. So, well, I have a few methods of securing my laptop to make it harder for someone to hack into it with hard access to my laptop. Not impossible to do it, but harder.
So, first of all, I have a BIOS password, and a different BIOS editing password, and it only boots to my harddrive as standard, so they have to know 1 password to get it to boot into my computer, and another one to change it so that it can boot from a cd, to run the hacking software or whatever.
However, the problem with a BIOS, is that it can be cancelled with just taking out the BIOS password, and put it back in, and the password is lost. So, then I obviously need a way of stopping someone loading up this live-cd and in 300 seconds having my root password, which is, incidentally different from my normal user profile. So, I decided to encrypt my disk. There is a program built into linux which allows you to encrypt a filesystem, so making it really really hard to decrypt it without the encryption key.
So, it isn’t fully secure, but then again, no computer system is.