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Borg Backup always asks for the key passphrase when accessing a repository which was initialized in authenticated or authenticated-blake2 mode (see borg manual).

However, it should in principle be possible to read data from such a repository without knowing the passphrase (albeit without any authentication guarantees). Does borg offer a way of doing so?

  • To decrypt encrypted data, you will need to be in possession of the key. – Kusalananda Apr 14 '18 at 14:54
  • @Kusalananda Yes, I'm aware of that. But in authenticated mode, borg does not encrypt the data, the key is only used to generate and verify HMACs for cryptographic integrity checking. – Rudolf Zeidler Apr 14 '18 at 15:16
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Does borg offer a way of doing so?

I am unaware of this capability within borgbackup.

You are correct that there is a theoretical possibility/likelihood the data is readable because it isn't actually encrypted -- simply hashed for integrity verification.

This does not mean the application has a mechanism for doing so, which is what your question is actually asking. The documentation does not indicate anything like this functionality.

I assume you are interested in accessing the data regardless if borgbackup itself actually has the functionality. If yes, read on.

"That is not possible" is a valid answer -- This doesn't mean you are out of luck reading the data, but you are probably not going to use borgbackup tools if you succeed. I would suggest applying standard search, text processing, expression matching, etc. tactics to the data on disk that borgbackup has archived, and see what you can come up with.

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