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Is it possible to do the following:

  1. Allow user to access anything on PC
  2. Encrypt information in a way that it can only be accessed from that particular PC.
  3. If user tries to clone/dd/gpart copy the information it will not work.
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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think this is a bit like "print-protected PDFs" -- anything that you'd come up with would work only based on goodwill or indolence. If a file is readable, it can be copied. If a user has admin password on the top of it (otherwise low-level access to hd is not possible, and you explicitly mention it in 3.), the copying becomes trivial.

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2  
+1, If a user can access a file unencrypted, a user can copy that file unencrypted. If you ever solve this basic problem the MAFIAA have a gold-plated Gulfstream jet fill of cash waiting for you. –  Tom Brossman Oct 8 '12 at 18:04

What you want is an encrypted home directory. This will allow you to access all of your files when you are logged in, but anyone trying to view the contents of your home directory from a different account or a Live CD will not be able to access your files. There is an excellent article on How-To Geek on setting this up here.

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All of the answers to this problem are going to have the same exact caveat: there isn't much you can do if someone has physical access to your data. Your second requirement just isn't possible, anyone with the key to your encrypted drive can access that encrypted data on any machine.

The best solution is encrypting the drives with a keyfile instead of a password and then keeping those keyfiles on an encrypted USB stick that uses a password. This way you need both the USB drive and the password to access the drives. Two-Form authentication is currently the best bet against attacks.

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