Safely storing backup images

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by optigrab, Nov 22, 2003.

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  1. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    Hi all :)

    General malware-safety questions, regarding backups (drive backups, à la Norton Ghost or Acronis TI) :

    (1) If I store my backup (Ghost) images on an external USB hard drive that is always connected to my machine - are those images vulnerable to malware (viruses, worms, etc.)?

    (2) Would they be "safer" if I partitioned the external drive? I assume creating two partitions on the drive would also make for good housekeeping, but I'm not sure about that, either.

    (3) Would the images only be "safe" (practically speaking) if I kept the external drive disconnected when not performing backups?

    If I could do it safely, I'd love to use the free space on the external drive for general (non-crucial) data. But my main concern is "protecting" the backup images from corruption by malware.

    Many thanks,
    Optigrab

    p.s. I posted this question on another site - hope it's okay to post here too.
     
  2. root

    root Registered Member

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    Having just lost a harddrive and a lot of stuff I didn't have backed up because all my images were stored on the same drive (different partition of course), I learned that it is best to err on the side of of caution. I suggest you store your images and scanned files on the ext. drive and then disconnect it.
    If you need more disk space, harddrives are pretty cheap now days.

    If you can see it from your computer, so can malware.

    No safer and not necessary in the case of storage only.

    Yes, for several reasons.

    Hope this helps. ;)
     
  3. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    Thank you very much Root. ;) Your responses make sense to me, and I will follow your advice.

    I am left wondering if/how malware could corrupt a .GHO file. OTOH, I'm certain that the answer is complex and I am not sufficiently schooled on the subject.

    Best regards
    Optigrab
     
  4. root

    root Registered Member

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    Corrupt a Ghost file, probably not. Erase it, yes possible. Also possible to corrrupt the drive partition, I think.
    I'm no expert, but I do know there is a lot of malware around that is capable of doing a lot of damage.
    The only 100% secure drive is to totally disconnect from the net and remove the possibility to introduce malware via floppy, CD, etc.
    Overkill? Perhaps. I do know that I wish I had a good, recent backup of all my files and programs when my harddrive crashed.
    I now do an IMAGE on a regular basis and use Handy Backup to backup files, bookmarks, passwords, etc at least once every two or three days. Copies of the image and Handy Backup files are stored on a local partition and on a backup computer on my LAN, and that computer is blocked from the net.
     
  5. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    Root, you are spot on correct. Common sense is so obvious to me when it is spelled out the way you've done. :p

    I will also look into Handy Backup for saving the small but vital bits.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and wisdom!

    Optigrab
     
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