I understand that there are multiple reasons that a recovery key might be needed on a system partition, but why would I want the extra security risk of having a way of circumventing my password for removable media?
Windows will require a BitLocker recovery key when it detects an insecure condition that may be an unauthorized attempt to access the data. This extra step is a security precaution intended to keep your data safe and secure
If I've understood this correctly, it only applies to fixed drives. Why not write down my password, or a reminder, rather than a key that's impossible to remember and does the same thing?
This feels like a stupid question, but I've been unable to find a straightforward answer. Have I misunderstood something about how BitLocker to Go works? Does the recovery key offer any protection against the media or data being corrupted?
VeraCrypt appears to only require a rescue disk for the system partition.
One scenario I thought of was if law enforcement want you to unlock a drive and you don't want to give up a password that is used elsewhere or key escrow.
To try and expand upon my confusion, the message when you setup bitlocker on a system partition:
A recovery key can be used to access your files and folders if you're having problems unlocking your PC. It's a good idea to have more than one and keep each in a safe place other than your PC.
"safe" here is ambiguous:
- Safe from attackers as it can bypass your password
- Safe from being lost, because you might need it even if you still have your password due to hardware failure or a change in configuration
In fact, for system drives, both are true.
For portable drives, the message reads
If you forget your password or lose your smart card, you can use your recovery key to access your drive.
Comparing this with EFS on wikipedia:
Files encrypted with EFS can only be decrypted by using the RSA private key(s) matching the previously used public key(s). The significance of this is occasionally lost on users, resulting in data loss if a user forgets his or her password, or fails to back up the encryption key.
Where presumably the private key is still symmetrically encrypted with a password.