Can anyone advise me if ubuntu would let me access a recently deceased family members computer. It has a crypt on it but we to get on it so we can get some information. Thank you

  • 2
    I very much doubt this is a question that people here can answer. You'll probably need to hand over the computer to experts in decryption.
    – DK Bose
    Mar 25 '19 at 16:15
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    if the files are not encrypted you can use an install dvd/usb and when booted you can copy the files to a removable storage. Mar 25 '19 at 16:21
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    This answer to a related question may be helpful in understanding the options: Encrypted Home… Forgotten Password, but no Passphrase Mar 25 '19 at 16:27
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    If your family member has a strong password, there is nothing you can do. But chances are, that he used a weak password. Try it using jtr or hashcat with a decent wordlist. This might take a while (hours or days).
    – pLumo
    Mar 25 '19 at 16:36
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    "It has a crypt on it" - Can you elaborate on what you mean exactly by this, and why you think it is so? There is a world of difference between for example just a login password, and full-disk encryption, and to answer your question it matters which exact situation applies.
    – marcelm
    Mar 25 '19 at 17:18

Our condolences for your loss.

Unfortunately, the purpose of encryption is to allow data access to only person(s) with the passphrase, and to deny data access to everybody else in the universe forever.

"Encryption" is not a sales term that merely means "strong-password". Encryption is the use of mathematics to scramble the data in such a way that only the passphrase can unscramble it. While it may be possible for one or more supercomputers to try to guess the passphrase, doing so may take a commercial data-recovery firm a considerable number of years and cost a correspondingly large amount.

There is no secret backdoor or bypass.

This is not an Ubuntu policy. We don't know their passphrase, so we don't have access either.



I think your best choice would be to hope that the family member wrote down the passphase somewhere. Might be on a piece of paper or in a book.

  • Make a copy of the disk if you're really concerned about it, because if they were really serious about security, there might be a decoy that, when entered, would destroy the data. It's not unheard of and I've worked on OSes based off Ubuntu before that have this built in -- it's definitely a possibility.
    – SYGMAH
    Mar 30 '19 at 0:47

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