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Message 1 of 10

autoboot risk

Hi,

We deployed EEPC in a hurry to satisfy some regulatory requirements.  I'm trying to convince management now that we utilize the security behind EEPC and enable pre-boot authentication.  I've been asked provide the risks associated with pre-boot authentication versus the current $autoboot$ setup.  Am I correct in saying that with $autoboot$ enabled, it is currently possible to hack the windows SAM using utilities like passwordunlocker.  With Pre-boot authentication enabled, authentication is occuring at the Safeboot MBR and nothing is actually stored in the Windows SAM?  Just making sure I understand the technology...

Thanks!

9 Replies
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Reliable Contributor
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Message 2 of 10

autoboot risk

you are right - plus the decryption key is stored on the hard disk, so you are technically not adhering to any data protection regulations. Also, you could just decrypt the drive - after all, I know what your user id and password is....

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Message 3 of 10

autoboot risk

Hi Simon,

I have question here...

how one can decrpyt the machine where $autoboot$ is enabled ?

"you could just decrypt the drive - after all, I know what your user id and password is.... "

-how ?

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Message 4 of 10

autoboot risk

What did you set the $autoboot$ user password to?

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Message 5 of 10

autoboot risk

If we enable SOS, are we essentially doing the same thing with the decryption key on the HD..since it's caching the user's credentials?

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Message 6 of 10

autoboot risk

no, it's caching the AD creds, not the users pre-boot creds. The AD creds are stored encrypted with their pre-boot creds, so there's no risk at all.

Without the password or a vaild recovery key, everything else is encrypted IF you are using PBA.

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Message 7 of 10

autoboot risk

@Simon,

its default one. I got your point here... but what if I set it manually something diffrent ?

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Message 8 of 10

autoboot risk

Well, even if you change the autoboot password, "somehow" the machine seems to know it prior to booting up still so it can start decrypting the disk.

If the machine can work out what the password is without you sitting there typing anything, I am sure anyone mildly technical can as well eh?

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Message 9 of 10

autoboot risk

oh.. ok

so there is not straight way ... there are chances or unknown way ... right ?

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Message 10 of 10

autoboot risk

No, there's no way for a machine to boot itself without user input, without storing the key plainly on the machine - no product can solve that problem, which is why a lot of data protection regulations specifically mention things like NIST 800-111 and not storing the key with the data.

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