Encrypted home partition accessible by administrator

Bret Busby bret.busby at gmail.com
Mon Apr 22 08:53:45 UTC 2019

On 22/04/2019, Colin Law <clanlaw at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 22:25, Bret Busby <bret.busby at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ...
>> I wonder whether logging in as the user and using something like (as user)
>> chmod 007 /home
>> or
>> chmod 007 .
>> (I remember a rather unfortunate case where, in a UNIX unit, some
>> decades ago, a classmate made the rather unfortunate mistake of
>> entering, at the command line,
>> chmod .
>> That dot is what was entered in that command, not a punctuation mark
>> to indicate the end of the sentence.
>> His account could not be recovered. And, it was not me...
> Why could an administrator not use sudo chmod to put it back as it
> should be.  Or if that was not possible for some reason then boot from
> a live image, mount the drive, and do it from there?
> Nothing of that sort will stop an administrator using sudo to access
> the files, as far as I know.
> Colin

Have you tried it?

>From memory, the superuser could no longer access the account, when
the user applied the command
chmod .
as a privilege setting of 00x excluded even the superuserfrom
accessing the account, which is why the account became absolutely

I had thought that, as it applied to privileges in UNIX, it might
equally apply in Linux.

But, hey, I do not profess to be a Linux expert.

I was simply offering a possible solution.

If you determine to avoid trying the possible solution, then, that is
your prerogative.

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
 Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
 "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
 A Trilogy In Four Parts",
 written by Douglas Adams,
 published by Pan Books, 1992


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