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Data Storage Encryption Security Hardware IT

Self-Wiping Hard Drives From Toshiba 268

Orome1 writes "Toshiba announced a family of self-encrypting hard disk drives engineered to automatically invalidate protected data when connected to an unknown host. Data invalidation attributes can be set for multiple data ranges, enabling targeted data in the drive to be rendered indecipherable by command, on power cycle, or on host authentication error."
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Self-Wiping Hard Drives From Toshiba

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  • Enhanced Harddrive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @01:26PM (#35810002)

    This one is way cooler.

    It actually releases acid into the hard-drive platters:

    If they've implemented this properly then you could send a remote command wirelessly that would wipe the hard-drive.

    I'm pretty sure this is a forensic investigators nightmare...

  • by arcctgx ( 607542 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @01:26PM (#35810008)

    Confiscate the computer with a self-encrypting HDD. Boot a live CD, image the HDD. Analyse the image.

    Or am I missing the point?

  • by kevinmenzel ( 1403457 ) <> on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @01:29PM (#35810064)
    For storage in devices like printers, etc., where there might be a large amount of storage to facilitate print queuing, etc., I can see how something like this coul be useful. For instance, one of the options on these devices is to self-wipe on power cycle. For companies worried about security, this might be worthwhile in their printers, where the storage itself might be for the purpose of convenience, but they would rather be safe than sorry, and data destruction is of ultimately no consequence because the source for that data is found elsewhere. That way, they can dispose of their printers in relative peace of mind, because if someone powers on the printer to see what it has on it, then poof, no more data. Or even do the "unknown host" thing, and then all you have to do is make it clear to IT that you don't want the valid host (the printer) to survive the disposal process, so if they want to play with some baseball bats in a field to the point of smashing the drive controller... then that's fine with corporate.
  • More info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @01:38PM (#35810168)

    What a ... blog. Yeah. Just go to and read the press release from the source, instead of the cut and pasted partial version at the ... blog: []

    They claim it uses AES256.. How do you know its not some kind of simple XOR? Probably their exotic "crypto erasure scheme" which they don't discuss is simply deleting the AES256 key. Where would you store the key? How about in the partition table? How long until there's a patch to linux fdisk to read the key, or at least not overwrite it when partitioning, and then how long until someone uses a loopback crypto file system support until linux to read a drive assuming you previously know the AES256 key?

    Also, those drives are small. The last time I bought a 160 GB drive was in the mid 00s. Wouldn't it be hilarious if the low capacity was because everything is stored twice, once "encrypted" for the (l)user and once unencrypted for government special access "only"?

    This is just all speculation on top of speculation, yet it all seems strangely likely.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb