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Thread: Root has access to encrypted home directory

  1. #1

    Default Root has access to encrypted home directory

    I installed opensuse 11.0, and noticed that in user settings there is an option to give a user an encrypted home directory (not encrypt the whole /home partition, just the /home/user directory). I thought this was great, since I figured it meant someone couldn't take out the hard drive and mount it, or install a new system, then login as root and see all of my files. I was wrong.

    I went ahead and encrypted my user directory. After a while I started having some issues that I won't get into because they were my own fault and they are already fixed. However, it prompted me to login as root. When I did so I was shocked to see that my home directory, with all of my files, was immediately visible to the root user. Is this normal? Did I screw something up? If this is normal, what is the point in encrypting the directory if the only other user who could see the unencrypted directory (root) has just as much access when it is encrypted? There very well may be a good reason, but I am trying to keep root out. Is there a way to encrypt my home directory so root cannot access it?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Root has access to encrypted home directory

    Once mounted, an encrypted directory provides no more additional protection than an unencrypted one. Was the directory mounted before you logged in as root?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Root has access to encrypted home directory

    It shouldn't have been. I rebooted prior to logging in as root, then rebooted again just to make sure. I did not enter my user password after either reboot.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Root has access to encrypted home directory

    Start a LiveCD. There, as root, try to mount the encrypted partitions. They may be not encrypted.

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