When Encryption Obscures Your Data

Protection becomes Frustration
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Encrypted Recoveries

Encrypting your data is a great idea, as it provides a level of security if anyone were to gain access to your device. Unfortunetely, encryption can come full circle to bite you if hardware, software, or firmware issues occur, preventing the encryption software from functioning properly.

Encrypted recoveries are often very complex and incredibly specific, and sometimes require the assistance of the software company you used to originally encrypt the drive. In rare cases, but generally Full-Disk encrypted drives, the drive is only able to be imaged/cloned, and has to be sent back to you for re-integration into the original host computer.

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Encrypted Recovery Expectations

There are an incredible number of variables that go into decrypting or unlocking a file, volume, or full disk. As you can imagine, there are thousands of encryption protocols that are employed which make decrypting a daunting task. A valid password is always required from the client when attempting decryption.

There are many very common encryption methods as well, such as Bitlocker, TruCrypt, and even Apple APFS/Lionvault/etc. which can be bypassed with moderate difficulty if the client has the appropriate password. If your recovery shows signs of encryption, the recovery may take twice or three times as long to recover due to the additional processes needed to occur to recover the data in a viable and valid state.

Lastly, please be advised that some recoveries may be thwarted or rendered unrecoverable even if the appropriate password is provided, depending of the damage to your drive. Encryption is a wildcard in the data recovery process, adding a intense layer of obscurity and security that is specifically designed to prevent proffessionals like ourselfs from ecovering your data.

Some Encryption Recovery Highlights

  • RSA/AES/etc.
  • Full Disk - File Possible
  • Imaging or Cloning Available
  • Client must provide password
What if I dont have/know my password?

Without the appropriate passwords, we can still recover the data itself from your device, but it would still be in an encrypted state. These results would generally need to be sent to a cyber security firm that specializes in the decryption of data from a failed decryption.

How Common is Encryption?

We see that most newer Apple computers are equipped with FileVault or APFS, while Windows systems are usually encrypted with Bitlocker. At an estimate, 1 out of 3 hard drive, SSD, or M.2 recoveries we recover are encrypted. Encryption is not a bad thing, but it does further complicate recoveries.

Is there an additional fee for Encrypted recoveries?

Generally, No. However, if your decryption will take the assistance of a 3rd party company to facilitate decryption, there will be an $99 fee added to the recovery process as more time is taken by a technician to correspond, troubleshoot, and facilitate instructions by the 3rd party security company. We will always get your approval to authorize this additional scope of work.

Is decryption always possible?

Honestly, No. Some encryption is so incredibly secure that it is not feasible to dedicate the time, resources, or abilities to decrypt a drive. In some very rare cases, the encryption requires a Motherboard Serial Number match as a part of the key, or a Hard Drive Serial number match. These are incredibly rare, but have been seen in the industry from time to time.

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No Fee if were unsuccessful!

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