How to Maximize FileVault Security by Deleting a Keystore on Standby Mode Guide

This guide is about Maximizing FileVault Security by Deleting a Keystore in Standby Mode. I will do my best so that you understand this guide very well. I hope you all like this guide Maximize FileVault Security by Deleting Key Storage in Standby Mode.

Sleep is a power-saving feature that automatically puts your Mac to sleep for a period of time, further reducing battery drain. When a Mac with FileVault encryption is placed in standby mode, the FileVault key (yes, this key is encrypted) is stored on the EFI (firmware) so that it can quickly exit standby mode when you wake up from deep sleep. For 99% of users, it hardly matters and is not a security issue, but for those who are concerned about maximum security and protecting your Mac from unusual attacks (ie spyware), you can OS X set to automatically delete its FileVault key when set to power saving mode, preventing the stored key from becoming a weak point or target.

When this setting is enabled, FileVault users must enter their FileVault password when the Mac wakes from standby, because the FV key is no longer stored for quick wakeup. It hardly hurts, but it does delay waking from deep sleep a bit, and requires the user to commit to additional authentication beyond the usual lock and sign-in features before the Mac is usable again.

To increase FileVault protection, delete FileVault keys in standby mode

This command must be entered on the terminal, which can be found in /Applications/Utilities/

pmset -a destrfvkeystand 1

-The flag applies the setting to all power profiles, meaning both the battery and the charger.

If you find this feature unnecessary or frustrating, it can be easily toggled by setting 1 to 0 and re-using the command as follows:

pmset -a destrfvkeyonstandby 0

Note that depending on the permissions of the active user account, you may need to add both commands to sudo to run them from the administrator, so the commands are as follows:

Enable FileVault key deletion

sudo pmset -a destrfvkeyonstandby 1

Set Filevault to delete the key in standby mode

Disable FileVault key deletion

sudo pmset -a destrfvkeyonstandby 0

You can always check your pmset settings and see if this is enabled or disabled with the following command:

pmset -g

Admittedly, this is a bit technical and a bit overwhelming, so it won’t apply to most Mac users. For those in security sensitive environments, those whose computers store highly sensitive information, or even individuals who want the best possible personal security, this is a very valuable option and should be considered if worth the added security benefit of a slower wake-up time.

As always with FileVault, don’t forget your password, or all Mac content is permanently inaccessible because the level of encryption is so strong that almost anything on a person’s schedule can’t beat it. If you are new to the concept of FileVault and full disk encryption, be sure to set it up properly and never lose your FileVault recovery key.

For much more technical information on this topic, Apple has an excellent FileVault installation guide available in PDF format.

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Apple devices only.

mac OS or iOS

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