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Old 05-05-2010, 12:10 PM
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Default Episode 712: Disk Cloning and Offline Maps [Discussion]

Week 1 of the Hack Across America series begins with a look at a bare metal disaster recovery plan. Darren talks Hard Disk cloning the free and open source way, while Shannon investigates a number of tools for offline Google Maps usage.

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  #2  
Old 05-06-2010, 01:59 AM
quagga
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I install Clonezilla to the external usb hard disk. You plug it in and boot it and back up right to that drive.

I think you were too hard on Clonezilla. It's Ubuntu/Debian based so setting it up is no harder than making one of those usb keys. Unetbootin will create a clonezilla key with 2 clicks. Once it boots, you just follow through the menus and answer its questions and it'll partclone/partimage/dd the backup. That way you're not wasting time dd'ing huge amounts of empty space.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:44 AM
paranoid_palinola
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Default Laptop security.

You talked about how to recover from one of the worst things that can happen(especially on the road); a hard drive crash. But what would you do if the unthinkable happens, and your computer "walks away"?

I ask because I'm planning a similar trip in the near future. Just me, some camping gear, my net-book, and various electronic gadgets on my bike. Plus a small solar panel to charge everything up when I'm out in the woods.

I've got all my stuff together, I'm just waiting for a good time to go. And, while I wait. I've been, well... goofing off mostly. But between goof-offs I've been working on my computer's security. The first thing I did was to setup yawcam as a motion detection service(after I opened the bezel and placed some electrical tape over that little webcam led)that emails me whenever someone logs onto the unsecured user account(more on that in a bit.)

Secondly I tried to setup openssh and tightvnc, before getting frustrated and scrapping ssh and installing hamachi²(which I love btw, and have been setting up on all my family's comps.) Don't get me wrong, I'm a fair hand at the command line, but I'm also very lazy and hamachi is a million times easier to setup. I still plan to give openssh another try, if only to use as a backup for hamachi.

Next I created a dropbox account to store some log files, like the extra yawcam pictures(it's setup to email only once every few minutes, but still takes a snapshot anytime there's motion.) I was going to setup a keylogger and screen grabber too, but haven't found any that I really trust. Any recommendations?

Just recently I purchased a gps dongle that I plan to install inside the net-book like http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dell...-mini-9-a.html. I spent about five hours of pure frustration looking for a simple gps/nmea logger before breaking down and coding one in python to write simple, timestamped, files to my drop box folder. I still want to implement some networking into it(ftp upload?) but, I'm no programmer and it took me at least five hours just to get that running, and I've still got to convert it into a windows service(which should be fun).

But, anyways, all these tricks are great. Providing that the bastard who steals my comp logs in and gets online at least once. Which is why I created an un-passworded "honeypot" account named "Gaming" to entice the scumbag into using it instead of just wiping the hard drive.

So, yeah, back to my original question. What, if any, recovery scenarios are you using in case of theft? I'd love to see an episode devoted to the topic, even just a round up of the commercial solutions would be cool. Obviously, I prefer free software, but I'd still like to learn about what's available.

P.S. It should go without saying that I'm using truecrypt to protect any and all sensitive data. But, i was also wondering if I could use truecrypt's operating system encryption with my honeypot setup. Sure, I could edit the boot loader to load the "honeypot" OS as default with a <1 second delay. Though I would really prefer something like having to press certain keys, or, better yet, have a usb drive plugged in before the encrypted os would even show up on the boot menu. Do you get what I'm talking about?

Oh, and in a similar vein. I was thinking that since I've got to void my waranty to install that gps internally, I might as well install a usb hub and internal flash drive à la http://sull-hacksandmods.blogspot.co...bel/MSI%20Wind Wouldn't it be really cool if that hidden drive could contain something like kon-boot that, instead of cracking passwords, would run/install my programs even if the bad guy over-writes the hard drive. Any programming gurus working on anything like that?

P. P. S Sorry for the long, rambling post. I love the show, and would really appreciate your take on laptop recovery(other mobile devices would be great too). Keep up the great work, and good luck on your road trip.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:42 AM
quagga
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@paranoid_palinola I'd take a look at prey: http://preyproject.com/

Open source bash script that runs via cron and checks a URL every 20 minutes or so. If the URL isn't there (ie, you deleted the file cause someone stole your laptop), it goes fires off a bunch of actions. However, it works better if you sign up for their control panel service (which is also free for up to 3 machines). It'll snap photos with the webcam and it does wifi position lookup via skyhook for a general idea of where your machine is.

It's one of the cooler pieces of software I've come across of late I hope I never have to use.
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:50 PM
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What? No Mubix as your intro said. Well... perhaps next time.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:50 AM
vladimpaled
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quagga View Post
I install Clonezilla to the external usb hard disk. You plug it in and boot it and back up right to that drive.

I think you were too hard on Clonezilla. It's Ubuntu/Debian based so setting it up is no harder than making one of those usb keys. Unetbootin will create a clonezilla key with 2 clicks. Once it boots, you just follow through the menus and answer its questions and it'll partclone/partimage/dd the backup. That way you're not wasting time dd'ing huge amounts of empty space.
Agreed. I use Clonezilla for all of my backups and its never let me down. Recovered entire Linux servers, Windows machines, etc. with ease.

V
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2010, 06:37 AM
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A clozezilla/drbd server is my choice. You can set it up as a add-on to most any debian based box. Probably could run it from a virtual machine. Our tests revealed a dual p3 was 3 - 6 times faster than a mswindpws backup.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:22 PM
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Just tried Easeus Disc Copy. Everything went smoothly with no errors. I haven't tried booting into the drive to test it out yet. I used a Rosewill RX-358 eSata enclosure using the eSata port.

I have doubts about using the enclosure though; might act as a middle man that will affect the final copy on the destination hard drive. Can enclosures affect the way sectors are written on the hard disk, will it ruin the destination clone?

Last edited by victor_c26 : 12-09-2010 at 06:23 PM.
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