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password in target disk mode

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John Barnard
password in target disk mode
on Apr 17, 2008 at 12:31:32 am

I noticed my password doesn't protect my computer when it's operating in target disk mode. In other words, all my data is accessible by the machine at the other end of the firewire cable. Is there a way of changing this?

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Simon Carlson-Thies
Re: password in target disk mode
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:18:14 am

The only way I am aware of is to encrypt files on your disc, or create a hidden partition. The problem with any security solution on a computer is as soon as you allow access to the hard drive that is not through the network or other OSX security all bets are off. The question would in this context be what do you want to prevent access to? Personally if I have sensitive files, I keep them on a separate encrypted drive using 128-AES encryption and a 32 character randomly changed password.

Hope this helps






Simon Carlson-Thies,
Complex Technology Development


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John Barnard
Re: password in target disk mode
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:02:42 pm

Wow that's really surprising. I've often thought about the separate drive idea, but most of what I want protected is writing and journal entries - stuff I need quick access to. I guess I'm just curious what people with really valuable data do with their stuff.


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Zane Barker
Re: password in target disk mode
on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:11:44 pm

You could try locking the firmware on the computer, that would prevent someone from putting the computer into target mode unless you unlock the firmware first. The problem with that is that is easily reset by changing the ram configuration and zapping the pram.

Another option is file vault. Using that encrypts the entire user folder. However if ANYTHING happens to corrupt file vault ALL your data becomes unaccessible. Also file vault will have LOTS of problems if your hard drive is to full. In my opinion file vault has to high of a risk and can cause to many problems then what it is worth.

I agree with just making a secure disk image that requires a password. Thats what I do for all my financial info.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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