reading ext2 fs via Windows?
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Thread: reading ext2 fs via Windows?

  1. #1
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    reading ext2 fs via Windows?

    Hello,
    I've heard of programs that can access your linux partition via windows if you have a dual boot system. Anybody know exactly how these work? Does this get around the permissions and username security that linux provides?

    -Mike
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  2. #2
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    sure it does..

    it mounts a e2fs partition (read only) and in some beta's even read-write !!

    It mounts the partition so you get SU rights..

    The same as booting from a linux bootdisk.. gets you all the power.. but these things only work on local machines..

    so it's not a realy exploitable situation, now is it ??


    I've found http://www.ext2fs-anywhere.com/ but I've seen free and GPLed versions too !!!!
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  3. #3
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    is there any way to prevent that, (or make it harder to perform)?

    not that anyone using my pc would be mean enough (or smart enough ) to do that...but being the paranoid and security concious man that I am I'm just curious
    Either get busy living or get busy dying.

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  4. #4
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Yup, you could use an encrypted FileSystem

    look it up on google..
    or ask some more about the stuff you don't get !!

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Encry...lesystem+linux
    ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.
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  5. #5
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    I've heard of programs that can access your linux partition via windows if you have a dual boot system. Anybody
    know exactly how these work?
    As far as I know, they install a Windows NT filesystem driver which supports ext2. Then they mount the drive as a Windows drive letter.

    Does this get around the permissions and username security that linux provides?
    Yes.

    is there any way to prevent that, (or make it harder to perform)?
    Yes. Your best bet is to not give users who you don't want to read your Linux filesystem administrator access under Windows NT. That way they won't be allowed to load the Windows NT driver which lets them access the ext2 partition (or indeed, read it in any other way)

    You should also prevent booting from floppy in the bios, secure your bootloader and add a bios setup password.

    Obviously you will have to take the same measures in your Linux installation.

    These measures should mean people can still use your Windows NT session but not gain root on your Linux (and indeed, vice versa)

    substitute Windows NT for Windows 2000 or Windows XP *pro* as necessary in the above.

    If you use Windows 9x, Windows ME or Windows Xp Home, forget it.

    Yup, you could use an encrypted FileSystem
    No. This will not solve the problem.

    Even if you use an encrypted filesystem, anyone with console access can still get to your data.

    All they need to do is modify the unencrypted part of the operating system in some subtle way to log the password as it is entered. Then they simply wait for you to type it, and go back to the machine, then they have all your data.

    Or they can just write a daemon that sits there waiting for you to mount the encrypted fs, then when you do, makes an unencrypted copy of all your data.

  6. #6
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    Well, I'm trying to do something like this.

    Like I said, it's a dual boot system (Windows ME and Redhat Linux 8.0, with lilo as the main boot loader).

    I want everyone to have access to Windows, but only I use linux. If I set a password on the boot loader and somehow set only Windows to boot (unless you had the boot password), is that possible? Then I can disable booting to a floppy, and that would increase security slightly...But they could still use a Windows program to access th ext2 partition...
    Either get busy living or get busy dying.

    -The Sawshank Redemption

  7. #7
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    ike I said, it's a dual boot system (Windows ME and Redhat Linux 8.0
    Then it's hopeless, because Windows ME has no security on anything i.e. there is nothing you can do that prevents users from installing whatever they want, pulling the contents of your Linux partition, installing Linux backdoors, keyloggers etc.

    In Windows ME any program can have direct device access, which enables it to write to any bit of the hard disc, including other partitions.

    Just because Windows itself doesn't know about it doesn't stop any program with sufficient cleverness playing directly with the filesystem.

    You could try one of the lame Win9x lockdown programs, but they are a bit of a lost cause.

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