The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Don't worry, your data is password protected. Yeah? How? 

Many security and privacy incidents are caused by stolen computers, both laptops and desktops. Often you hear the phrase "Don't worry, the information is password protected." The next question has to be "What kind of password protection?"

Many people think that requiring login passwords in Windows provides an effective level of security for the data on the computer.

Not true.

Ok, maybe it'll take a determined hacker a month to get through?

Not true.

Maybe you need the kind of James Bond tools that the CIA and computer forensics folks have access to?

Not true.

This may be old news to those in the security business, but anybody with an internet connection and physical access to the computer in question can use a free online system to "recover" those pesky passwords that you've "lost". Thanks to Inter-Alia for pointing to Windows XP Login Recovery, which is a free online service that'll crack the password file that you can get off any XP computer with a simple boot disk. I assume that once you have the password, you can have access to all the stuff on the drive that has been encrypted using Windows' native encryption, too.

Scary stuff.

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