With a Macbook Pro Retina running OS X 10.10 and Boot Camp Windows 7, my Mac HD is encrypted with FileVault 2 and the Boot Camp partition is unencrypted. Does this weaken the security of the Mac HD partition?


Yes -

if you ask if Mac HD was safe. The Bootcamp partition, however, is not. Any attacker could easily gain access to your Windows system or any other unencrypted partition on your drive. Make sure not to store sensitive information there (e.g. WiFi password, etc.). But normally the bootcamp partition does not contain information compromising the security of your filevault2 encrypted partition (Mac HD in your case). Those two are independent.

So in short: Having further unencrypted partitions on a filevault2 system disk does not degrade your security.

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  • Can you provide some references, since so far it is only your Opinion, unless you are some kind of authority in encryption. – Ruskes Jan 19 '15 at 16:37
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    Feel free to help and improve the answer ;) Some tech reading can be found here. – n1000 Jan 19 '15 at 20:55
  • Thank you for the 14 pages document, it says nothing about partial encryption. – Ruskes Jan 19 '15 at 21:01
  • @Buscar웃: Downvote? Seriously? Are you on a personal vendetta or something because I provided an alternative answer?? – n1000 Jan 20 '15 at 7:39
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    Sorry then... Let's just say CoreStorage is Volume-based. Why should volume A hold information to decrypt volume B? – n1000 Jan 20 '15 at 7:46

It is a possible back door since not complete disk is encrypted.

The second issue with FileVault 2 is that it only encrypts the startup drive. If you have additional drives or partitions, including a Windows partition created with Boot Camp, they will remain unencrypted. For these reasons, FileVault 2 may not meet the stringent security requirements of some organizations. It does, however, fully encrypt the Mac's startup partition, which is where most of us (and most applications) store important data and documents.

source: http://macs.about.com/od/LionTipsNtricks/ss/Filevault-2-Using-Disk-Encryption-With-Os-X-Lion.htm

source: http://www.howtogeek.com/189250/how-to-share-files-between-mac-os-x-and-windows-with-boot-camp/

I will not go in to how to, but rather point out following:

In case of full disk encryption you can not proceed at all without providing the key.

In case of partial, you are allowed to proceed, to the windows partition and have access to computer operations.

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  • Well, it is not exactly a "back door" unless one is stupid enough to save sensitive data there or not? – n1000 Jan 19 '15 at 13:07
  • @n1000 in your case it is your opinion, I just quoted that others say. "may not meet the stringent security requirements of some organizations" – Ruskes Jan 19 '15 at 16:35
  • Your quotes do not mention a "back door". – n1000 Jan 20 '15 at 7:36

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