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I have some storage on a remote server that is not mine. I want to use encfs to store data there. Is encfs totally worthless if I don't dismount the folder?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If someone else has root privileges on that system, or if they have physical access and the ability to modify the system in a way to give themselves root privileges, then they will be able to access anything that is mounted.

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That's what I expected. Bummer. – LVLAaron Jan 24 '11 at 0:26
But you can achieve the same results with other tools! – Scrivener Jan 24 '11 at 0:26

Yes. If you don't unmount the folder, then the files are just as accessible as they would be on a normal file system.

If you're using the data for backup purposes, look into Duplicity, which will provide encryption while still allowing for fast transfers through binary diff'ing. If you want volume-level encryption, just use normal volume encryption on a file and unmount and copy the file.

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If he suspects there will be an evil person who could get root access to access files when they are mounted, why do you think that evil person wouldn't just tweak the umount/mount command so that the filesystem doesn't get unmounted? If you don't trust the person with physical or root access, then you shouldn't trust them enough to host your hardware. – Zoredache Jan 24 '11 at 0:31
If it is for backup as you suspect, he needs to do the encryption before it is transported to the remote system. Doing the encryption on a possibly compromised remote system is pointless. – Zoredache Jan 24 '11 at 0:33
Mounting and un-mounting is something I was hoping to avoid. I have 3 different systems (1 windows, 2 linux) uploading data to this location. The process needs to be as automated as possible so you can understand where I'm coming from. – LVLAaron Jan 24 '11 at 0:36
That's what duplicity is designed for. It takes files, diffs them, then puts them into an encrypted archive for remote storage. The volume-level encryption suggestion is for him to put the file on his /own/ machine and umount + sync it there and only if he has specific requirements for that. – Scrivener Jan 24 '11 at 0:38
The only thing I have to backup remotely is some documents and my photos (full time photographer) so it's not trade secrets or anything, but would like a decent amount of protection. I am working with SyncBackPro (windows) and using it's AES256bit compression/encryption... I will do my research to see if there are any holes in that method. – LVLAaron Jan 24 '11 at 2:38

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