Time Machine security

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kolax, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Sorry if this has been asked before, I did a quick look and couldn't find anything.

    Time Machine doesn't seem to include any sort of security for backups - what is the point in having a password protected account when you do backups that go onto a disk that everyone can view?

    Or is there security and I've missed it? I reinstalled OS X 10.5 for the 10.5.2 update and plugged in my Time Machine hard drive. I was able to view everything.
  2. macdoobie macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2008
    What do you mean by security, encryption? (home folder)?
  3. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Some sort of protection to prevent other users accessing your Time Machine data?
  4. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    Having a password on your account doesn't protect your files in any way. All someone needs to do is plug your internal HD into an enclosure or drive dock and all your files will show up, and again, an OS install disc can reset your password and let them straight in on your computer. The only way around this is FileVault, but the data corruption risks involved don't bear thinking about.

    My advice is to use something along the lines of PGP to protect particular files and leave everything else.
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    time machine data is protected by the Root permission. you cant delete or restore a file without providing you password and it must be in the Time Machine UI or in the Terminal. also you cant do anything to the Time Machine data while in the Finder.
  6. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I know that anyone can use Target Disk mode and access all my data, but for people who have multiple accounts on their Mac's and use Time Machine, it totally defeats the purpose of having a password on your account if other users will be able to get to that data via Time Machine.

    I don't have that problem yet, but looking to the future a few of us were planning on buying a Mac Pro to share in our flat, and I'd like to keep my data private.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I don't think you are right. I just looked and the files on my Time machine backup drive. They have permissions set just the same as before they were backed up. If one user could not read the other's files before they can't read them on the backup drive either.

    However if you have physical access to the device then anything short of encryption will not be good enough.
  8. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I created another user account and plugged in my Time Machine hard drive. I was able to browse my Home folder and access all my data.

    Can't there be some sort of password to access the folder?
  9. Milan macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2005
    I don't have Leopard yet, so I don't really know how Time Machine works, but could you aim TM at a disk image? If that were the case you could store your backups on a password protected encrypted disk image.

Share This Page