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Old 05-17-2019, 04:46 AM   #1
FlinchX
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Registered: Nov 2017
Distribution: Slackware Linux
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Getting randomly locked out of full disk encrypted Slackware64-14.2


I run Slackware64-14.2 on a desktop computer. It has full disk encryption that was set up exactly according to the way that README_CRYPT.TXT recommends. I only use password protection at boot, there's no external media holding a key involved. I had zero issues with it for more than one year of daily usage.

Since two days I've started to get randomly locked out at startup. This is what happens: when the system boots, I'm being prompted for the LUKS password for the encrypted root filesystem. I enter it, I'm sure it's correct, yet it still tells me that there's no key with such password. After three attempts I'm being dropped to a root shell and have to reboot. I did

Code:
cryptsetup luksDump /dev/myrootfsdevice
and it shows that:

1. there's indeed a key in a slot there, so that info isn't magically gone

2. there's just one used slot as it is supposed to be

Today I went through 3 reboots (so the password failed at least 9 times), then eventually managed to log in.

Which direction should I dig to?

Can this be a first sign of a failing hard drive? smartctl doesn't show anything suspicious, dmesg is always clean, the hardware doesn't emit any weird clicking sounds (it's a SATA drive) and I never get I/O errors.

Can this be a first sign of a failing keyboard? It's a cheap noname and a few keys that are used in the password have been certainly used more than the rest (hotkeys in a couple of games I play).

The most paranoid assumption: can this be some kind of crypto locker that abuses the new Intel CPU vulnerabilities and is having fun by changing the LUKS password, yet somehow failing to tell me I should send some bitcoin? I try to follow common sense security practices: I only use root to install stuff, I run vanilla Slackware, some SBo things, never third party prebuilt Slackware packages, I randomly run clamscan on things downloaded from the internet, I check hashes/signatures of things that are downloaded manually from the internet (the VirtualBox blob installer would be a good example, I updated to 6.0.8 couple of days ago, but so far I don't have any reasons to suspect that there's a link between it and my password troubles).

Last edited by FlinchX; 05-17-2019 at 05:33 AM. Reason: fixed typo in thread name
 
Old 05-17-2019, 05:53 AM   #2
Alien Bob
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Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
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I would blame the keyboard first. If you have another one handy, try with that one for a while.
 
Old 05-17-2019, 08:42 AM   #3
rknichols
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This is reminiscent of, "I can't log in when I stand up."
 
Old 05-26-2019, 09:07 AM   #4
FlinchX
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Registered: Nov 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alien Bob View Post
I would blame the keyboard first. If you have another one handy, try with that one for a while.
I couldn't get another keyboard immediately, so for a couple more days before I could try that option, I kept thinking about the issue. This made me realize that initially I overlooked another detail (keyboard related, indeed). I have recently changed the mouse and it's plugged next to the keyboard into the motherboard USB slots. I have assumed that maybe somehow I disturbed the keyboard while replacing the mouse. So I went and unplugged the keyboard, then plugged it back, to make sure it stays firmly inserted in the USB socket. Since then it's been a week and it seems to have been fixed it: I'm quite confident that when I'm getting the error message at startup, it's because I mistyped a char in the LUKS password. I am not getting those long series of failed passwords anymore. While I don't understand why would this (an eventually slightly misplugged keyboard, if that was indeed the problem) trouble happen only at startup and never after the OS is fully loaded and I'm typing stuff in a shell/text editor/web browser, I'm willing to mark the thread as solved. Of course, any additional feedback is welcome.
 
Old 06-09-2019, 06:29 AM   #5
Geist
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Registered: Jul 2013
Distribution: Slackware 14 / current
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I have a keyboard locale/mode thing in my .xprofile, and plugging in a wacom tablet used to (and probably still does) reset my layout to some other standard default us layout.
So I had to actually write a little udev script that runs the keyboard locale setup command again a few seconds later.

It sure had me baffled for a while when it happened, too. Damn computers.
 
  


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