The GEOM framework, introduced with FreeBSD 5.0, provides a disk abstraction layer, allowing the creation of modules that interact with disks. This includes the creation of security modules such as GEOM-Based Disk Encryption (gdbe(4)).

gbde is designed to protect the data on a "cold" storage device against even highly motivated attackers. For example, if an attacker stole a protected disk and did not know the passphrase, he or she would have to pass through four cryptographic barriers before receiving access to the data. However, gbde does not provide any protection from network attacks against an attached and mounted filesystem. The Examples section of man gbde gives the commands to initialize, attach, and detach an encrypted device, as well as how to destroy all copies of the master key.

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