Securing video files on a WD My Passport external hd

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by gham, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. gham

    gham Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have some video files on my WD My Passport external hard drive that I want to secure.

    WD has password encryption for accessing the external hard drive. That's great in the event that someone physically steals the external hard drive and tries to access the hard drive.

    That's not what I'd be concerned about.

    I am concerned about the potential for a spyware operator to access my files remotely. If there's spyware on my computer, the person running the spyware could steal the videos after I unlock the password for the hard drive and watch the videos.

    Is there a way that I could encrypt the videos so that if they were stolen, the user wouldn't be able to circulate them on the internet? I have read about truecrypt and ironkey (http://www.ironkey.com). I'm not sure if these would give me the security that I'm looking for.

    The videos that I am trying to secure are from a teacher. He told me to make sure they don't get on the internet because they're private lessons. He'd be really angry if they were circulated on the internet, so I'm trying to do due diligence to make sure a hacker does not steal the videos. I would like to encrypt them so if they are stolen, they wouldn't be useable. Not sure if that's possible.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    G
     
  2. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Why don't you just use Veracrypt for encrypting your files and devices from now on? It works in the exact same way as Truecrypt because Veracrypt was built on a very similar source code as Truecrypt.
     
  3. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Surely the videos will be too big too steal over the internet?
    It would on crappy UK 90k upload ADSL

    I just can not see a targeted attack for those videos happening.
     
  4. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    While I am a TrueCrypt advocate the argument or answer here is not which specific software to employ. Encryption software on your WD external will make the drive impenetrable during a physical attack, such as a theft. You already know that. Some products are much better at this task than others. You know my choice, but again let me re-direct your thoughts.

    With any encryption product once the volume/media is opened via the password credential, the OS is given access to the contents. By design most solid encryption software is "on the fly" encrypted. That means that the data going in and out of the mounted volume is decrypted/encrypted by the running OS, while any sectors written to the open media are encrypted before being actually written to the platter. No plain text ever touches that actual media platter. That said; the plain text, which you view, is made available by your encryption software running in the OS with much of it in RAM. So here is what you actually need to be concerned with. If someone whether its an actual hacker or a malware hijack can gain admin level access your DONE! Encryption is worthless on an open/mounted volume where someone with admin access is connected (actual or remotely). The concerns you are expressing are the same as any normal file sitting on a regular (non-encrypted) external drive. Once you open/mount the drive it IS a normal file to your computer. The security concerns you have are OUTSIDE of encryption.

    So what should you do? If your files are extremely sensitive you could, and I would, consider an "Air Gap" approach. That means opening the encrypted media on a closed system computer. Lowering the security concerns a bit; you could simply make sure you take your computer off line during the times you have the external drive mounted and are watching the videos. This would not eliminate the threat but would greatly reduce it.

    btw - welcome to Wilder's forums.
     
  5. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    I was going to mention what Palancar said...what about just pulling the plug so you're offline? I never put my External on when I'm online. I view files, eject the drive and physically unplug.

    Palancar I thought it would lower the security concerns almost completely. If getting to the RAM is the issue, what about using a utility that "frees the RAM" immediately after viewing private files? I've been using RAM2Free for years if my system gets a bit tardy, I never thought of using it for this. Other than that are there any other ways they would get to your files if you're offline?
     
  6. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Isn't it the case that the files would be open to user mode or even memory-based user-mode attacks also? This worries me about the way in which Truecrypt works, which effectively unlocks all the files to any process that might happen to want them. I'd love to see some kind of disk firewall/AppArmor become available so that, at the very least, arbitrary processes can't read the drive, and you could have it so it asked when a file was being opened.

    Completely agree with the suggestion - particularly for this nominal requirement, which seems somewhat strange to me - that you view the stuff offline.
     
  7. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    One could improve upon this:
    1. Disconnect from internet.
    2. Using a partition virtualization program such as Toolwiz Time Freeze, start virtualization of partition(s).
    3. Connect external drive.
    4. Watch videos.
    5. Disconnect external drive.
    6. Drop the changes made to partition(s) using the partition virtualization program.
    7. Reboot.
    8. Connect to internet.
     
  8. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Great suggestions and questions guys. I haven't seen our new member (gham making his 1st post) come back to this thread. Hope we didn't scare him off. LOL!!

    gham,

    If you do come back just realize that we really do have fun trying to help with questions and concerns. For some of us this is like a hobby. Don't be intimidated and feel free to ask if you need to. Here to help.
     
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