In my opinion questions that ask how to hack or bypass encryption should be closed as off-topic.

Here are some examples of some recent questions:

I don't have the LUKs password for my HP notebook

I forgot my sda5_crypt password

These questions seem to always come from new users, so the narratives that accompany the questions inspire doubt and lack credibility. I simply don't believe that these questions came from people who are trying to hack into their own devices due to a forgotten password.

In my opinion, Ask Ubuntu is not the appropriate place to host questions about hacking, especially questions like these that really have nothing to do with Ubuntu and are purely concerned with bypassing encryption.

We really shouldn't have to judge the intent of questions' authors, but intent would not change the answer: Even if the original author was honest when asking how to ethically hack their own device, any answers would become a roadmap for future visitors to break encryption, including bad actors.

I just don't think that our "library of questions" should include questions and answers that give instructions on how to break encryption. I think they should be closed as off-topic. What do you guys think?

  • I agree, but the community think differently ;-)
    – Pilot6
    Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 11:20
  • 3
    I don't answer many questions. I mostly just read them. I don't think it's our position to judge, but to either help or not help. If you don't want to answer those questions, just bypass them. The knowledge exists. The tools exist. Pretending otherwise won't help. If you have moral issues with answering them, just don't answer them. So long as the knowledge is lawful and on-topic, AU should exist as a repository for that knowledge.
    – KGIII
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 22:19
  • Thanks for bringing this concern forward. I also have this weird feeling when I see such posts: "is this social engineering at work?"
    – Levente
    Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 0:35
  • Since we're unable to tell the difference between "How do I recover my encrypted data" and "How do I recover Other Person's encrypted data", we should not answer this type of question.
    – waltinator
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 3:37


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