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Why we need encrypted file systems



I encourage you to take a read through this article, referenced in the
most recent Cryptogram:

http://www.infosecnews.com/opinion/2001/11/28_03.htm

Anyone who says, "oh, we don't need FS crypto" doesn't realize how
trivially easy it may be to simply walk in and walk out with the
attack target.  The situation described in this article is very
consistent with many of my experiences in various corporate
environments.  The last corporation that I worked at once had most of
its executive laptops stolen one night.  Woops!  Too bad nothing was
encrypted.

Obviously, encrypted FS does no good if the attacker walks in and
plugs in a monitor and keyboard and does his stuff without unplugging
the machine, and that is one mode of attack, but encrypted FS is
exactly what is needed for cases when the machine is physically
removed.  That's easy enough in many cases, especially with laptops,
but also with servers.

In fact, encrypted FS is more important with OpenBSD than it is with
other OSes.  If determined hackers are trying to get into a box, and
they realize it is running OpenBSD, they will probably decide that
they should give up on electronic attacks, and move to a physical
attack.