Burning CDs and DVDS with an encrypted filesystem

BATTENING DOWN THE DISKS

Article from Issue 72/2006
Author(s):

An encrypted hard disk on your server is no help if valuable data on CDs or DVDs falls into the hands of spies. We’ll show you some convenient solutions for encrypting data on removable media.

You may already store sensitive data in an encrypted area of your hard disk – and if you haven’t so far, you might start after reading this issue of Linux Magazine. If you use your data on the road, you might store a snapshot on a CD or copy your files to a USB stick. But you should be concerned about the risk of carrying around copies of your data. USB sticks are used just like external hard disks, so protecting a USB stick with encryption is easy. Encrypting CDs and DVDs is more difficult, but you do have some options. This article explores a pair of useful techniques for putting encrypted data on a CD or DVD. Options The simplest way to put encrypted data on a CD is to use GPG or a similar tool to individually encrypt the files and then store the results on the CD. This approach is fine for many applications, and it provides adequate security, but the risks become apparent on closer inspection. A user might manually decrypt the file and temporarily store the cleartext on a writable medium.

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