First off, thanks to Jacob for taking the time to provide such complete
use cases / examples / API suggestions, these are much appreciated! I
agree that this is an issue which needs to be tackled. The crux of the
matter, as outlined by Jacob, is that Zeitgeist is enabled by default in
11.04, while encryption of /home is optional. As thekorn and RainCT,
said, encrypting activity.sqlite isn't the solution to all of our
problems, but at least it rules out some attack vectors. I feel like
this would be a good start (I'll package sqlcipher tonight).
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Encryption of database
Status in Zeitgeist Framework:
I think that Zeitgeist should encrypt databases in
~/.local/share/zeitgeist/* for anti-forensics reasons.
While someone may happen to use an encrypted disk, Zeitgeist may serve
as the ultimate accidental spyware to an unsuspecting user. One
possible mitigation is to randomly generate a reasonable key, tie it
into the login keychain and then use that key with something like
http://sqlcipher.net/ rather than straight sqlite.
In theory, a user will never know that this encryption/decryption is
happening - no underlying assumptions about the disk need to be made
to maintain any security guarantees. This should prevent anyone from
learning the contents of the database without also learning the login
password. Modern Ubuntu machines disallow non-root ptracing (
and if the gnome keyring is locked, an attacker would have a much
harder time grabbing meaningful Zeitgeist data without interacting
with the user or bruteforcing the login keychain.
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