back to article Smoke-belching flash drive self-destructs on command

Chinese flash biz Runcore has built a self-destructing solid-state drive. The ironically named InVincible SATA SSD is aimed at military applications and customised SSD markets where a very high degree of data protection is required. It comes in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch rugged form factors with SATA, PATA and CF Card interfaces, and …

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FAIL

Re: It's fake

Agreed, I quickly spotted the use of a smudge tool.

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Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: It's fake

I think the data can be restored using Photoshop's healing tool.

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Joke

Self Destructing Drive?

Sir Clive Sinclair got there years ago with the Microdrive.

Should your data fall into enemy hands, the Microdrive cartridge would instantly be rendered unreadable. In fact if it fell into anyones hands, including your own, it was also unreadable.

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Anonymous Coward

"who could resist hitting a shiny big red button?"

Me!

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Do se need a new error message?

"sda is on fire"?

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Re: Do se need a new error message?

It's traditionally printer ports that are on fire, or so I've read.

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Mushroom

I luurrrrvveee the intro from RunCore!

What a fantastic video!

The lass presenting looks like she has been dubbed, but in a 1970's kung-fu movie kinda way! lol!

Can see this been useful in china, africa and parts of the middle east. I canny see EU or US military peeps taking a boatload of these! Not in the current climate of cyber-suspicion...

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Gold badge

Re: I luurrrrvveee the intro from RunCore!

I have the feeling they didn't do too many takes - it gets costly with a physically destructing drive (although I personally would not be above "accidentally" screwing up so I could so it again :).

You can see that in how she keeps away from the drive - she had no idea what it was going to do..

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Alert

Re: I luurrrrvveee the intro from RunCore!

I love how she crouches down, but still looks right at it without any kind of eye protection...

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Anonymous Coward

there's no bad publicity

especially when it comes free courtesy of reliable media sources.

nosir, there's no sign of a smirk or any other face muscle twitching detected.

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Anonymous Coward

Works with Windows 8

you appear to be trying to destroy your flash drive. Is this correct y/n?

presses n

you have pressed y....

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Facepalm

Disk encryption?

And the problem with disk encryption was...?

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Silver badge

Re: Disk encryption?

The problem is that your password is only ever as strong as your ability to resist the rubber hose and pliers.

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Unhappy

Re: Disk encryption?

It need only delete the encryption key. Besides, is overwriting with random data really that insecure? This just seems like the idea of someone who likes blowing things up and selling replacement storage devices.

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Coat

Re: rubber hose and pliers.

or Colombian prostitute, as the case may be...

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The whole drive could be a use once encryption key, for which instant destruction is very helpful.

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Windows

Re: Disk encryption?

Quote:

Besides, is overwriting with random data really that insecure?

I'm no expert on data security, but even I have software that can recover overwritten data several levels deep.

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Must resist temptation to push big red button...must resist!

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Boffin

Interface destruction won't destroy the data

Unless pressing the red button does the same as the green, then blows to chips, there's no way this will enter any military systems. just going down the physical destruction of the chips won't suffice - I have recovered data from damaged flash chips in the past. Not easy, but well within the budget for a government body.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interface destruction won't destroy the data

From the video, it looks to me like the button directs current, probably from the +12V line, directly into the flash cells thus releasing their magic blue smoke. I'm no double-E, but I'm pretty sure that'll wipe all the cells pretty thoroughly.

But honestly, if you're paranoid/concerned enough to have a self-destructing disk you would surely encrypt it as well, the idea being to make it as difficult as possible to recover anything.

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Meh

Problem scenario

Can anyone spot a problem with this scenario...

TSA: Excuse me sir, please come with us, and we'll take your computer

You: Before you take it, can I just power it up and press the shiny red button?

TSA: That sounds very reasonable, please continue

A destructive mechanism is surely more useful if the owner needs to DE-activate it every time it's switched on. How often are you likely to be just about to fall into enemy hands and yet also have enough time to power up the system and press the red button? I would have thought that a more common scenario is this: the equipment is taken (surprise attack / theft / seizure) before you can destroy the data - you may in fact not even realise it's gone. In which case you need to be sure that if the correct password isn't entered at boot-up the thing will self-destruct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Problem scenario

I wouldn't travel with a computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Problem scenario

I'm given to understand that law enforcement usually remove the drive and make a copy before doing anything. Therefore what is required is an internal capacitor wired into the standard power supply so as to blow the drive as soon as power is supplied. On your PC you have this circuit earthed so that it never charges up. Ergo it's is safe for the crim to use but as soon as plod raid you, they remove the drive, power it up to make a copy and kaboom. I think I'll patent it,

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Devil

Re: Problem scenario

All you need is a fairly cryptic voice activation control.. something you wouldn't say by accident, like:

"I call upon the power of the dark side! Sidious, give me power! Vader, give me control! Death star, vapourize the rebel planet.. er.. flash drive"

..or in a more Harry Potter sort of world:

"Flash discus incinero"

It would be almost worth it to see the cop's reaction

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Problem scenario

Then you get arrested for being high.

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US Military

US Mil did for a while have a spec that demanded the physical destruction of flash media. I have been told that they have since relaxed that to where some kind of errasure is sufficent. Silicon Systems was one company I know that made them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Systems_Inc

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Anonymous Coward

Re: US Military

I did too, they taught us to GRIND IT TO DUST AND STORE THAT DUST IN A VAULT

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Anonymous Coward

This Electronic Vote Machine WIll Self Destruct

Just like I said.

While this is drastic, imagine, just changing the logic pattern instead. e.g. destroy a fuse and change the circuit logic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This Electronic Vote Machine WIll Self Destruct

Using a remote rf device, using, another device, destroy a fuse, change the logic, tie it all up in a x-mas package from the msm and boom, never a people vote again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This Electronic Vote Machine WIll Self Destruct

Want to check the machine isn't tampered with? Great. whip out your electron microscopes, and destructively reverse engineer every voting machine.

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Anonymous Coward

If you want an electronic dictatorship sea of death

then don't listen.

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WTF? SATA II?

I mean, it's not cutting edge now, is it?

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Like the apocryphal space pen...

...the red button does what a Russian mallet could do!

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Mushroom

Back in the day... the US had in IFF in aircraft that the destruct mode would fire two .45 Cal ACP rounds into it. The rounds were mounted in the IFF case.

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FAIL

The Ultimate Leakproof ... probably ?

Why does she say "and I don't think it's going to work again". Are you positive or what ?

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Silver badge

Button-ended wires

*Bang Bang Crash* "FBI! Hands in the air!"

"Crap, the feds. Quick, hit the red button!"

Replace FBI with law enforcement body of choice. I could see this being very popular amoung paranoid criminals even without a remote. Ditto for spies, though I'd imagine they'd have a bit less time to get to the button.

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Gold badge

SSD catching up

There have been spinny disks with this tech in for a while. They contain a small vial of acid that eats the surface coating of the disk, rendering the data gone forever (supposed to be more secure than the "secure erase" app that wrote over the data with random blocks 10 times - and would've taken about a week for w hole disk).

There are a couple of options; there is a mechanical option (lever ISTR) or an electrical input.

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Not for the Red - Green Colour Blind

This will need to come with a disclaimer for the Red/Green Colour Blind!

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Flame

So all of you folk with a huge MP3/movie collection should invest NOW in these, for when the RIAA/MPAA come a calling.... Though it would take a swag of drives, and you'd have lots of red buttons to push...

Flames, because there's no smoke without fire....

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Bronze badge

We secretly...

switched the "red button" with Jim's 'e' key. Let's watch as the hillarity ensues.

I wouldn't be so presumptious to speak for most 'institutionalized' IT professionals, but I know I for one would abuse the piss out of the red button, just out of principle. Another evening of unpaid overtime? zap. Being asked by boss "how to open excel spreadsheet"? zap. Crude, elaborate practical joke perpatrated on unsuspecting coworkers who built home made taser and wired it to my mouse "for their amusement"? zap.

Think of all the possibilities of remote detonation: User: "I can't get to the internet and I can't understand why you guys are just sitting around looking at your screens?" Zap (note to self: for extra negative reenforcement, get said coworkers taser mouse deployed to the masses, immediately!)

Receive lol cats email from relatives or friends? zap. Receive FB friend request from, well, anybody? ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP zap zap ZAP!!!

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WTF?

Red and Green buttons?

Isn't this a little bit of a problem if you're color blind?

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Hayden and the others are correct

Rank amateur use of the Photoshop "smudge" tool.

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Big Brother

The name's Bauer, Jack Bauer.

Someones been watching too much 24. Jack Bauer did this somewhere around Season 5

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Thumb Up

A proximity sensor would...

... maybe make this a way to stop UK-GOV from letting Abdullah The Cabbie from passing my details to Al Qaida... or something.

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Joke

The data isn't destroyed...

That puff of smoke is telling you the data is now stored in the cloud!

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