I was trying to search for this, but could not find the answer anywhere - apology in advance if already answered.

I have a Linux desktop installed on a thumb drive, which I keep in my pocket. This way, if I need to access my bank (from a public computer and otherwise), I boot from it so I don't need to worry about key loggers. The file system is ext2 and not encrypted. I normally leave my Google account (Gmail, etc.) logged in Chrome, so when I use it next time, it goes directly into my Gmail without asking me for password. If my thumb drive gets stolen, I assume it can be inserted into another computer's USB port and the ext2 partition mounted to access the files without needing my Linux password.

Question: Assuming I have the latest Chrome installed, would the attacker be able to access my Gmail by copying my cookies (or whatever other way Chrome uses to keep my password between the shutdowns)?

Thanks, Mauricio

  • Yes. They could clone your session unless it was IP locked. – AJ Henderson Jun 27 '14 at 14:22
  • Like @AJHenderson said, it wouldn't be too difficult. You might consider installing a password manager onto the drive, or just making sure you log out (or clear your cookies, localstorage, etc.) after every session. – KnightOfNi Jun 27 '14 at 17:49
  • Search for "PIN-protected USB flash drive" on Google. These devices require that you enter a PIN before using the disk, and thus secure your data from being stolen and misused. – Eugene Mayevski 'Callback Jun 28 '14 at 6:51
  • Thanks for confirming, guys! It's a bit strange that Google didn't think about encrypting the session upon exit (and link it to some sort of unique number for that OS) - it would go long way towards safer computing. Guess this problem would go away if I encrypt the ext2 partition with dm-crypt/LUKS. But then I would have to reinstall the OS, which is a pain at this stage... – mradovan Jun 29 '14 at 11:54

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