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How secure is a file whos permissions are set so only root has any privileges with the file? Say I had the file on an unencrypted ext4 partition, would I be able to boot up another live OS, copy the file off of the partition, and read it?

My question is, can another OS copy a root file off a partition, and is there any limitation to what that other OS can do with it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

File permissions are only a hindrance for restricted users of the currently running OS.

Anyone with physical access to the computer can circumvent them, simply by booting a Live-CD and gaining root privileges in that live session.

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That's what I thought, just wanted to confirm it. Thanks! – Nathan Aug 2 '13 at 5:47

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