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How much state information is available on your system?

I remember many people expressing concern about memory chips and the way they retain system state, especially if sprayed with refrigerant spray and then placed into a different system.

I was puzzled by people's reactions.  Years before, my unix security texts recommended cleaning up core files, those diagnostic files that record memory contents.  On most Unix systems, they often are all over the filesystem.  What's in them?  What's in your memory?  Cached passwords?  Important calculations?

Windows has a memory dump that is configurable.  Go to msconfig.exe and check out advanced boot options. 

And what about that paging file or the files created for the hibernate feature?  What information is locked in them?  Are they encrypted by whole disk encryption?

But no, fixate on the physical memory chips and the risks they might bring.

You know, this blog is yet another instance of how our systems betray our settings and configurations.  Security by Obscurity is not your best option.


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