Even after drive and BIOS encryption, can the data on a device (i.e. a laptop) still be accessed by the thief? (if he/she doesn't have access to the token or password or linked key generator).

  • Considering, BIOS encryption, can't the BIOS chip just be replaced or flashed, thus providing access to the data, providing that drive encryption doesn't follow?

  • Is drive encryption, using software, still as effective as it used to be?

    • Is there any evidence of "backdoors" being in place on drive encryption software?
  • Is it possible for any encryption to be bulletproof, within reason? If so, does it exist?

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    Unfortunately, your question as written is primarily opinion-based and will likely be closed because overly subjective questions are not a good fit for our Q&A model. The help center has more guidance on how to ask a good question and what kinds of questions to avoid asking. – bwDraco Nov 12 '16 at 5:10
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    All of your questions are going to be answered but statements beginning "it depends..." which means that largely they are going to be vague and not particularly authoritative. Is drive encryption still effective? It depends on the implementation and algorithms used. Do softwares have backdoors? It depends on the software, who wrote it and whether they were under pressure to insert them. Is it possible for encryption to be bulletproof? It depends on too many factors like who wrote it, what algorithms they used and how much you like having a fast and responsive system. – Mokubai Nov 12 '16 at 9:22
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    We prefer questions to be related to an actual problem you are having rather than looking for vague discussion on a wide field of points within what is already a rather wide field. bwDraco has given a couple of links to help point you in the right direction. – Mokubai Nov 12 '16 at 9:27

Encryption is mostly a cost vs benefit compromise. Creating complex encryption that is virtually unbreakable is possible, but it will have to be a compromise, since the computer doing the encryption will have to be able to do it "on the fly" (or with not too much lag) most of the time. While computers trying to break said encryption have multitudes of more power.

With new hardware coming out, possible quantum computing, and so on, it's safe to say that most encyption can be broken. The point is: how long will it take? If it takes years, it's usually not a problem.

As for the BIOS - in theory, the BIOS-chip can be replaced or flashed. Disk encryption will have to be a second wall to prevent access. As for effectiveness, that will be based on several different factors, both type of encryption, password strength and so forth. But in general, it's still effective.

There might be backdoors, but as far as the public knows, none of the major contenders have backdoors. That might of course be a ruse, but it would probably have been discoverd by hackers by now.

And no, it's not possible for anything security-wise, to be bullettproof.


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