4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 2, 2010 4:25 PM by K Shaffer
MGSculpture Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My work computer was recently stolen. It was set-up with a login-password, but I don't think FileVault was turned on. From what I understand the hard drive that contains the system software would have to be reformatted and reloaded to use the computer. And, all the original files there would be lost forever.

Should I worry that there are ways around this?

Thanks!

iPhone...G5 PowerMac...G4 PowerBook, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • 1. Re: Computer Stolen with Login Password
    Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,475 points)
    If the files were not encrypted, with FileVault or some other encryption tool, the data can be stolen. It's as easy as booting up the Mac in target disk mode and hooking it up to another computer. Or booting it up from an OS X install disc and resetting the password. Or removing the hard drive and installing it in another Mac.

    I'm sorry if this is not the answer you wanted to hear!
  • 2. Re: Computer Stolen with Login Password
    MGSculpture Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks and thank goodness there is nothing "life-shattering" on the machine. It was taken in a series of burglaries at work. Sounds like I need to change a few passwords, though. FileVault is now turned on on the home machine and the same will be done when the new one at work arrives.

    Thanks!!!!!
  • 3. Re: Computer Stolen with Login Password
    Sean Dale1 Level 5 Level 5 (4,145 points)
    In case of future problems you might want to take a look at this http://gadgettrak.com/products/mac/
  • 4. Re: Computer Stolen with Login Password
    K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (9,230 points)
    For reference and some study, there are Apple documents for download
    on the subject of securing your OS X and your computer. These are fairly
    thorough and while reading into the depth in several of these, you can see
    how one can control and limit access to the OS X.

    Also, limiting physical access to any computer would obviously conclude
    some of the issues as either impossible or very likely to occur, per situation.
    And you can control several of the situations by preparation & awareness.

    Familiarity with several levels of Mac OS X use are expected when setting
    up and maintaining the various kinds of security and accessing the OS X
    at those levels required to implement many of the best secure features.

    And those are conditional, since some aspects of total security won't apply
    if the computer is open to several kinds of real-world and real-life realities.

    With reason, the solutions set forth in these documents are very exacting
    and can prevent certain kinds of issues. Prevention does help; so does
    having a secure backup of data on your portable computer, elsewhere.
    The old adage, "plan for the worst and hope for the best" applies...

    • Mac OS X - Security Configuration
    For Version 10.4 or Later - Second Edition:
    http://images.apple.com/server/macosx/docs/TigerSecurity_Config021507.pdf

    There are newer Leopard 10.5 security configuration guides that can be
    also be of use to Snow Leopard users, though named Leopard 10.5.

    • Mac OS X 10.5: Leopard Security Guide (3.4MB)
    http://images.apple.com/server/macosx/docs/LeopardSecurity_Config20080530.pdf

    • Second Edition (5.4MB)
    http://images.apple.com/server/macosx/docs/LeopardServer_Security_Config_v10.5_2ndEd.pdf

    {And as previously inferred, this category of information is above casual reading.
    Perhaps with a replacement computer destined for use at work, you may find
    some of these strategies helpful as a preventative approach to securing a Mac.}

    Good luck & happy computing!