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Thread: A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

    Hey all,

    I am new to backtrack and wanted to install it to a new 16GB flash drive. I want it to have persistence and encryption but i am not quite understanding this guide. what i dont understand is why i need a flash drive AND a backtrack CD (or usb with backtrack already on it. Also i dont understand why he is using unetbootin if he continues to partition the drive.

    On the other hand, this guide does all the persistence and stuff with a simple GUI tool but it doesn't include encryption.

    My question is: What exactly will encryption do for me and is it worth it? Also is there a way to install backtrack with the simple GUI tool and then encrypt it?

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    Hey all,

    I am new to backtrack and wanted to install it to a new 16GB flash drive. I want it to have persistence and encryption but i am not quite understanding this guide. what i dont understand is why i need a flash drive AND a backtrack CD (or usb with backtrack already on it. Also i dont understand why he is using unetbootin if he continues to partition the drive.

    On the other hand, this guide does all the persistence and stuff with a simple GUI tool but it doesn't include encryption.

    My question is: What exactly will encryption do for me and is it worth it? Also is there a way to install backtrack with the simple GUI tool and then encrypt it?

    Thanks everyone!
    I followed the guide you linked to on Infosec Ramblings and got it working. Maybe I can help.

    First, I'll answer your last questions:

    My question is: What exactly will encryption do for me and is it worth it?
    Installing BT5 with persistence means that many things will be logged by the system. For example: bash history, Internet history, kernel logs, some program logs, any added or modified files, etc. Depending on what you use BT for, it's possible you don't want an unauthorized person viewing this info in case of loss or theft of the USB drive. Even if you do nothing illegal, sometimes law enforcement simply views possession of "hacking" tools as criminal. Using encryption with a strong passphrase offers reasonable protection against such intrusion. It's really up to you to determine acceptable risk in this regard. I chose to set up encryption mostly as an exercise in doing it, and encrypting everything these days seems the most prudent approach to everything, IMHO.

    Also is there a way to install backtrack with the simple GUI tool and then encrypt it?
    I don't know of any GUI tool that installs BT5 on USB with encryption. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, and I encourage you to pursue all avenues, but chances are, if you're not comfortable setting up encryption the "hard way," you probably don't need it.

    what i dont understand is why i need a flash drive AND a backtrack CD (or usb with backtrack already on it. Also i dont understand why he is using unetbootin if he continues to partition the drive.
    The flash drive is to install the encrypted persistent BT5 on, the destination medium. This flash drive (the 16GB minimum one) will behave just like a traditional HDD when BT5 is installed. The source medium to install from must be either a burned DVD, or the equivalent of a burned DVD on flash drive. BT5 flash drives installed with BT5 using unetbootin will behave very similar to the live DVD version: no persistence, no encryption, etc. If it's confusing for you, just ignore the part about unetbootin and simply burn a DVD and install from that source. The second flash drive is entirely optional, for people who hate burning DVDs

    Edit

    It's worth clarifying that following the Infosec Ramblings guide installs BT5 on your USB key in the exact same way it would on a normal hard drive. It's really not a "live" USB stick in the normal sense; you won't get boot options for text mode or network stealth mode. You won't be able to use the final product as installation source for anything else, either. It's a "full, complete BT5 install on USB stick, with encryption." Using unetbootin, however, just makes a live CD into a "live USB stick, optionally with unencrypted persistence." In practice, the two are very similar, but in reality they're two different things. Hope there's no confusion
    Last edited by ternarybit; 07-17-2012 at 09:14 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default Re: A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

    just like me.(i am boring burning DVDs)
    if you want to install backtrack on a usb flash drive,
    first you have to format it to fat 32(not ntfs)
    The reason you need unebooting is to make your usb flash drive bootable.
    it is very easy process.

  4. #4
    Member stepking2's Avatar
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    Default Re: A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

    Quote Originally Posted by johanpro View Post
    just like me.(i am boring burning DVDs)
    if you want to install backtrack on a usb flash drive,
    first you have to format it to fat 32(not ntfs)
    The reason you need unebooting is to make your usb flash drive bootable.
    it is very easy process.
    You can't read?
    He want's to make a bootable USB with persistance and encryption, not a live USB.

    Those are two completely different things.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A way of easily installing to a usb with persistence and encryption?

    Quote Originally Posted by ternarybit View Post
    I followed the guide you linked to on Infosec Ramblings and got it working. Maybe I can help.

    First, I'll answer your last questions:



    Installing BT5 with persistence means that many things will be logged by the system. For example: bash history, Internet history, kernel logs, some program logs, any added or modified files, etc. Depending on what you use BT for, it's possible you don't want an unauthorized person viewing this info in case of loss or theft of the USB drive. Even if you do nothing illegal, sometimes law enforcement simply views possession of "hacking" tools as criminal. Using encryption with a strong passphrase offers reasonable protection against such intrusion. It's really up to you to determine acceptable risk in this regard. I chose to set up encryption mostly as an exercise in doing it, and encrypting everything these days seems the most prudent approach to everything, IMHO.



    I don't know of any GUI tool that installs BT5 on USB with encryption. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, and I encourage you to pursue all avenues, but chances are, if you're not comfortable setting up encryption the "hard way," you probably don't need it.



    The flash drive is to install the encrypted persistent BT5 on, the destination medium. This flash drive (the 16GB minimum one) will behave just like a traditional HDD when BT5 is installed. The source medium to install from must be either a burned DVD, or the equivalent of a burned DVD on flash drive. BT5 flash drives installed with BT5 using unetbootin will behave very similar to the live DVD version: no persistence, no encryption, etc. If it's confusing for you, just ignore the part about unetbootin and simply burn a DVD and install from that source. The second flash drive is entirely optional, for people who hate burning DVDs

    Edit

    It's worth clarifying that following the Infosec Ramblings guide installs BT5 on your USB key in the exact same way it would on a normal hard drive. It's really not a "live" USB stick in the normal sense; you won't get boot options for text mode or network stealth mode. You won't be able to use the final product as installation source for anything else, either. It's a "full, complete BT5 install on USB stick, with encryption." Using unetbootin, however, just makes a live CD into a "live USB stick, optionally with unencrypted persistence." In practice, the two are very similar, but in reality they're two different things. Hope there's no confusion

    Thanks so much for the info!

    What do you recommend: a live usb or a presistent encrpyted usb? Are those boot options really useful? What is the most popular choice of installation for backtrack on usb?

    I am still confused on the need for two usbs (or optionally a cd and a usb). Why isn't it possible to do the whole intallaton process with just the ISO image on my computer and a single flash drive?

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