I've always wondered how long RAM keeps it contents after you shut down your machine, ever since a bug in my code (back in the DOS days) had me write a pointer to a memory location, rather than the memory contents. I was amazed how I had "compressed" a textmode screen of 80*25*2 bytes of data into just 4 bytes, and that I could restore the data after a reboot...
So, how does this apply to disk encryption? Check this out
Today eight colleagues and I are releasing a significant new research result. We show that disk encryption, the standard approach to protecting sensitive data on laptops, can be defeated by relatively simple methods. We demonstrate our methods by using them to defeat three popular disk encryption products: BitLocker, which comes with Windows Vista; FileVault, which comes with MacOS X; and dm-crypt, which is used with Linux.
I got this link from slashdot
, and one of the comments led to another pretty scary thing: the hotplug
. Your desktop machine can be easily be moved from your home in power-on state, if they
really need it that way - for instance, to extract crypto keys from your ram.