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Planning for Emergency restore


Been using tarsnap for a while. In addition to my local backups, I do a tarsnap of all my business and personal data once a week.

The other night, I was at a computer club zoom. A presentation was given on computer security. One really scary thing - ransomware. A trojan encrypts all your files, and demands money to decrypt them. And it encrypts EVERYTHING that your Windows computer has access to, including samba shares.

Now, I'm pretty good at not loading trojans, but my family....less so. The presenter ameliorates his risk every Saturday... He hooks up a NAS box, backs up everything, and then disconnects it for the week. I'm not fond of manual stuff, because sooner or later I fail to do it. "Know thyself..."

With a complete tarsnap backup, I could restore everything... but the big bad trojan might have encrypted the filesystem with my tarsnap key! Even though it's not a Samba share, and the directory is only readable by root, and the file is only readable/writable by root. Actually, why should it be writable at all? I'd never change it. "sudo chmod u-w tarsnap.key".

Anyway, in that situation, the tarsnap key becomes VERY valuable. I suppose I could stick it on some encrypted media and keep it somewhere else. Friend's house? What if my house burns down? A disk in the fire safe would probably get fried, but what about a piece of paper?

I just tried printing the key on paper. I scanned the paper with my Fujitsu scansnap at max resolution. Then converted the resulting PDF to a jpg with ImageMagick. Then OCR'd it with tesseract. No joy. OCR is just not good enough. Letters "l" get changed to numbers "1", extra letters appear here & there.... Just not gonna work.

   Ideas?  Right now, I'm experimenting with printed barcodes.

                     - Jerry Kaidor