Self destruct mode? I can see people entering random passwords just to wipe the data for th e lolz. BOFH ahoy...
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+ armed forces of most modern nations use encrypted storage systems
+ and that associated technologies to make robust devices also exist
+ and that the above has at least some history going back over the years
- why have civil authorities not tapped into a non-compromising version of military hardware-security?
And hope that:
the first three assumptions hold (tell me that military spec kit is not compromised too?)?
"and a Personal version that uses a proprietary algorithm."
Run away screaming, they obviously dont know what they are doing, the security blogs are littered with examples of proprietary encryptions that dont work.
FWIW my money is on this proprietary algorithm being no more than an interface to the ATA password, part of me suspects the posher ones just AES encrypt the ATA password in eeprom and its all just snake oil, any chance of some photos of the internals?
First question, why no ext3/4 format allowed, or did you just not check that? For a LINUX user you may want something that supports the OS' user and permission settings.
Second point about TrueCrypt you should mention as well as being free, is that you have to install it on the host computer, and that may not be possible if you are using this box to carry data from your machine to a 3rd party machine securely.
Also if you do get to install it on someone else's PC, and it has been rooted, then your pass phrase can be captured. With this box the pass code is never seen by the host computer, so it is far more flexible and secure than a software install on computers of questionable integrity. (OK, if the machine is rooted then they can get data once connected, but maybe not all of it, and not the key for attacking other machines of yours).
Still, while a good box, it is a tad expensive...
"That's a mark up of £300-400 for the encryption over a standard 2.5in, 1TB external hard drive that you can encrypt for free using the open source AES-256 utility TrueCrypt."
Its also a significant mark-up on the Seagate FDE or Hitachi BDE hardware encrypted drives. Last I looked the Seagate 320GB 3.5" drives were about £ 55, and the 2.5" drives around £ 70-80 - quite a bit less than the £351 asked for for the 320GB Data Locker drive. On top of that you'd need to spend a couple of bob on a case admittedly, but I know which i'd go for...
"The 1990s just called and they want their user interface back, please."
They're obviously trying to make it look more h4rdc0r3. Everyone knows that proper hackers code in green on a black background. Retro looks make it more convincing as something that works rather than something that's pretty.
And, because I'm a sucker for that sorta thing, I kinda like it. It somehow makes it more...badass.
"why wouldnt i buy a normal drive and use truecrypt?"
Believe it or not, this does offer more potential security.
Truecrypt (and similarly any software offerings) requires that the OS is secure. It may not be secure for two reasons, 1) code vulnerabilities may be the norm rather than the exception depending on your OS, 2) even a secure OS can be modified to run a trojan.
Assuming this kit doesn't have any vulnerabilities or back doors, which isn't far fetched given it's very limited I/O capability, then one can have more confidence than when using software encryption.
Of course, it would be possible for any physically insecure device to be modified such that it is no longer secure. There is also the issue of trusting the device manufacturer and supply chain before it's in one's possession.
The truly paranoid should use multiple levels of encryption.
Why are so many people hung up on TrueCrypt? It's a good bit of software but it's not the same purpose, this is a self-contained external hard drive, you could probably plug it into everything from a mainframe to a DVD player, go to Jessops and plug it into their photo printing machines (I don't think they'd appreciate you saying "do you mind if I just install TrueCrypt on your systems so you can read my hard drive.... thanks.")
Apples and Oranges.
Truecrypt has its place, and hardware encryption has its place. Those places overlap in many areas but they are not the same. So while some people are saying "just use Truecrypt", and in some cases that's viable, it's really comparing apples and oranges to suggest they are interchangeable. The people who will buy this product will usually have different needs, by definition.
Ref Infosec, I was also there and AC, your tinyurl link didn't work. I saw diskgenie there, did you mean them? Any chance of a review of their offering please elreg. In particular the comment about the kind of encryption is spot-on - what are these these really doing under the hood? I like the motto - "buy security products from security vendors, not disk or memory vendors". We all saw what happens when the sandisk issue appeared earlier this year.
Is it April 1st again?
A 500% markup and what do you get? The absolute minimum of care and attention that went into "designing" this product. Presumably the people responsible are back in NHS Broadmoor where they belong.
Christ at least when Apple shafts you they have the good sense and decency to provide you with a product that won't give you eye cancer on first sight.
Other hardware based encrypted drives have been around for a while.
One example is http://www.ioraid.com/
This uses a hardware token with the encryption key. If the token's not present when you power on the drive it doesn't appear on USB .... don't know about Firewire.
Again, expensive, but the drive seems fast, doesn't need any effort from the host system, and does have both USB and Firewire interfaces.
I'd like to see an El Reg review.
Portability to "retro" platforms was my thought. I could format this FAT32 and use it with my XP, 7, Solaris, and Amiga machines. Now, if I was just interested in encryption for my own use, I would just use a standard USB drive formatted NTFS and encrypted with EFS, then install the necessary keys on whatever other machines I needed to access it. As I do now.
There are some limitations with the EFS key scheme I propose in non-domain systems, but it works well for my purposes.
Paris, she works well for my purposes.
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