Originally Posted by ilo
Not if you have a firmware password enabled. That will prevent the computer from going into firewire target disk mode at all. That is a moot point, though. If the attacker has physical access to your system, there are ways for them to get to your data even if you have welded all of the ports closed (firewire, USB, ethernet, CD drive, etc.) You have to use File Vault or whole disk encryption to stop a physical attack.
Exactly, there are even ways around a firmware password (don't ask)
Or ripping the drive out of the machine and physically taking the platters out and reading them that way.
If the data on the drive is not in some form of the latest unbreakable encryption with a huge 30+ character password, it can be read.
Also dealing with Uncle Sam, with vast computers, manpower, money and secret deals/backdoors with industry that may leave them with a access code to the highest encryption standards.
Even if my tin-foil hat is a bit tight, there are also DNA computers of such huge calculation ability, which can calculate all the answers against your encrypted data based upon 100+ character password combinations of all a keys on a keyboard.
With a DNA computer, they can get all the answers, but it takes a considerable time finding the answers in that huge haystack. So back to a bank of supercomputers to sort though the answers.
Oh, I don't think any data is safe if Uncle Sam puts his mind to getting it.
Best data security is encrypted and portable, easily destroyed, like a SD card for instance. Provided Uncle Sam didn't trick you to visit a web site that installed a root kit, or snuck into your house and installed it that way or left a disk laying around for you to insert.
Ok, end tin foil hat mode.