Maximize FileVault Security by Destroying Key Storage in Standby Mode

OS X Daily comments on securing Apple’s FileVault:

Standby mode is a power saving feature that automatically hibernates a Mac after it has been in sleep mode for a while, which it does to further decrease drain on battery. When a Mac using FileVault encryption is placed into standby mode, a FileVault key (yes, this key is encrypted) is stored in EFI (firmware) so that it can quickly come out of standby mode when woken from deep sleep. For 99% of users, that hardly matters and it’s not a security concern, but for those who are concerned about absolute maximum security and protecting a Mac from some unusually aggressive attacks (i.e. espionage level), you can set OS X to automatically destroy that FileVault key when it’s placed in power-saving standby mode, preventing that stored key from being a potential weak point or attack target.

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About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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