Encrypted Hard Drive Dangers

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You have requested a hard drive clone or image and discover that the contents cannot be culled or reviewed. One reason may be hard drive encryption. Encryption involves ”scrambling” the contents of a file or hard drive so that they cannot be viewed without the appropriate key or password.

To secure data, companies and individuals are increasingly encrypting the contents of their hard drives or USB flash drives. Manufacturers are also building hard drives that automatically encrypt the contents. BitLocker encryption, for example, is available in Windows Vista. Hard drive encryption often requires a ”live” acquisition, which takes place when the system is running and the decrypted contents of the drive can be accessed and copied. Employing best practices, which handles hard drive encryption, is important and will increase in the months and years to come as encrypted hard drives become more common.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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