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Old 08-08-2004, 12:02 PM
Zeigh Zeigh is offline
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Security of SuperDuper Backup Data?


I am a new registered user of SuperDuper and have been extremely pleased with its performance. I have been using it with my Aluminum PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz and an external 2.5 Firewire drive for about two weeks now. The only thing that I am concerned about now, is the security of my backup data while traveling. This detail finally occurred to me last night and I plugged my Firewire drive into a friends Mac. Sure enough, ALL of my data was easily accessible WITHOUT a password (except for a PGP encrypted volume). Come to think of it, would the hard drive in my PowerBook act the same way if it was put into a Firewire enclosure?

Now, I know that I should be using File Vault, but I had a bad experience with it and a data crash early in the Panther release. My main security since has been the extra firmware password hack and requiring a password upon awakening from sleep. I could use PGP and create a password protected volume for my entire backup data, but that would be about 60 GBs large. Is there another suggestion that anyone might have for the protection of my backup data?

More microchips than sense,
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:29 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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Hey, Z-Man.

Of course, you're right: the backup data is not secured unless the drive itself is password protected, and it's not. But, you can arrange things to be more protected pretty easily.

Using Disk Utility, you can create an encrypted sparse disk image on your Firewire drive. Then, when you want to back up, back up to the volume created when you mount the image (SuperDuper! should mount the image for you, if you've saved settings or used it last time you backed up -- you only have to eject it). There's a FAQ entry that'll explain how to create the volume -- check out "How do I update an image".

I really wouldn't use FileVault (a.k.a. FileFault) unless you're really, really worried about the drive being removed from the Powerbook. Instead, you can set an OpenFirmware password that will let you prevent the drive from being accessed in Firewire Target Disk Mode.

Make sense?
--Dave Nanian
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