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10.5: How to use Time Machine with FileVault
Authored by: faisal on Nov 28, '07 11:04:40AM

It seems the note is misleading, but only at the margins. There are three issues here:

1. FileVault users do not get the transparent TimeMachine behavior (TM backing up individual files as you are connected to the backup drive). Instead, users have to log out while connected to the backup drive.

2. Leopard has a new and more efficient FileVault image format.

3. Despite the claims of the warning listed, it is actually possible to browse individual files in the FV user's home dir by mounting the disk images directly. You'll have to browse via the finder, not the TM interface, though.

I'm not sure about the safety value of logging out more frequently, assuming you have the machine set to lock when not in use.

FV users who want transparent backups will need to look elsewhere.



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10.5: How to use Time Machine with FileVault
Authored by: noworryz on Nov 28, '07 11:54:36AM

Locking the screen, instead of logging out, neither allows backup nor leaves the user's home directory protected. While the screen is locked, the user's home directory is still mounted as an unencrypted volume under "/Users." It can be accessed by either entering an admin username/password in the unlock screen or through some back door with admin or root privilege.

Users who use FileVault must learn to log out regularly if they want any security. They're just fooling themselves if they put their laptop to sleep and hope the screen lock will protect them.




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10.5: How to use Time Machine with FileVault
Authored by: faisal on Nov 29, '07 07:06:41PM

Users who use FileVault must learn to log out regularly if they want any security.

This is hyperbole. FileVault gives you more security than not, and being logged out gives you more security than being logged in. The habit of logging out does not increase your security for those moments when you're logged in. Your files would be more secure if you encased your laptop in a 12' thick concrete block and sank it in the South Pacific, but you wouldn't be able to work with them.

Time Machine's behavior with FileVault is neither transparent nor fully automatic, and requires changes in behavior for many if not most laptop users. This is pretty ironic for two systems whose goals included security without changes in behavior.



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10.5: How to use Time Machine with FileVault
Authored by: noworryz on Nov 30, '07 11:26:19PM

The issues with screen locking and FileVault have been discussed in this hint and this hint and this hint so there probably isn't any reason to discuss it further here.

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