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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Security Software...


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ArrowJ

 
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I've been thinking more and more about security lately. I saw that Hidden was giving away their software until Christmas (although they cancelled the giveaway early b/c too many people responded...not cool Hidden - The most advanced theft tracking software for your Mac.), and it got me thinking. Then I saw a video on Gizmodo about a hacker getting his G5 back after it was stolen What Happens When You Steal a Hacker's Computer

The thing is, this guy didn't use a strong login password and if he had the guy would have just reformatted the drive and he wouldn't have gotten it back. Just wondering what you guys do.

I use a strong login password, a different strong password for 1Password and appropriately strong passwords for all the services I login to. I haven't bought any retrieval software because of the situation I described above. I figure if they steal my laptop they won' t be able to get into it easily and will probably just opt for reformatting. This way I lose my laptop, but not my data (which is backed up offsite).

What is your preferred solution?
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s2odin

 
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A strong password won't do you any good if someone who steals your Mac has a SL install disk.

- steal laptop
- insert SL disk, restart
- boot from cd, wipe HD
- clean install SL

Firmware passwords are put in place to prevent that

Setting up firmware password protection in Mac OS X

USAF E-2. 1C6X1 - Space Systems Operations. 19 days until BMT.
Upgrade your MBP HD
Tritton AXPro FS
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ArrowJ

 
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Right, that's what I mean. If they find a strong password they will just wipe the drive and start from scratch. I don't know if the clean install leaves the user data intact like it did under 10.5 or not. In that case they would have access to your data...of course they would have a hard time getting at my 1Password data.

I guess the question is do you a) use no password in combination with some form of hidden backdoor tracking package so you can maybe catch the thief and get your hardware back while at the same time leaving some of your data unprotected or b) use a strong password, hope they wipe the drive and take the loss of your hard drive knowing that your data is secure (assuming a clean install in Snow Leopard errases everything). I've thought of using a firmware password, but that really doesn't do anything but make it more likely the machine will either be stripped down for parts or more likely thrown away by the thief...not that this is a bad thing either.

I guess I'll stick with the "take the loss of hardware" option rather than installing a tracking app and leaving the password weak or non-existent.
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s2odin

 
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Well you don't always need a strong password. It can be something very simple. My password is 5 digits long, 3 letters, 2 numbers. I know there's not a lot of combinations out there for my password, but I'm confident it's secure. I know nobody in my immediate vicinity can guess it, not my mom, my girlfriend, nobody. I don't talk about it so I know (well I guess I hope) it's secure. But yea, if they can't guess the password and they don't do a clean install, well then it gets thrown out more than likely. If they steal it and don't know how to do a clean install, I highly doubt they would strip it for parts.

USAF E-2. 1C6X1 - Space Systems Operations. 19 days until BMT.
Upgrade your MBP HD
Tritton AXPro FS
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ArrowJ

 
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Add to all the previous problems with securing that the firmware password can be reset "Via physical access to the inside of the computer," according to the page you linked to.

Yeah, I wouldn't feel comfortable with a five character password. It would take considerable time to try all the possible combinations, but it wouldn't be a problem for a hacker...of course your Mom is probably not a hacker

I've considered using FileVault feature in SL as well, but encrypting my data makes me nervous. I encrypted a sparse disk image to keep some data in and provided a password. After a reinstall it is corrupted. I think I could get at the data with a copy of DiskWarrior, but I don't think the data is worth $100. Of course when my wife finds out that may change
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I wonder if there is an app that would wipe your drive automagically after x failed attempts. I have this setup on my iPhone, but hadn't thought of seeing if it can be done on the Mac.
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