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Law enforcement... (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35809882)

...is going to love these.

Re:Law enforcement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35809932)

Pft, as if law enforcement would care. They could seize the entire original computer!

Re:Law enforcement... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35809934)

I guarantee there is a or backdoor master key that will allow law enforcement to access the drive.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

RooftopActivity (1991792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810456)

Yes, except the primary reason for this design isn't to protect your data from law enforcement: rather to protect the idiots from themselves.

This feature aims to protect your data when your ex hard drive finds itself on Ebay, or being picked up from the local recycling centre.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810478)

I guarantee there is a or backdoor master key that will allow law enforcement to access the drive.

The difference between "law enforcement" and the NSA is several orders of magnitude when it comes to "backdoor" anything.

My point here is the only "backdoor" keys (IF there really are any) are going to be closely held secrets within certain agencies, not for any person with a badge to have access to. Otherwise, you would leave no room for the lawyers to generate "revenue" bitching back and forth about encrypted data and user rights.

Re:Law enforcement... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810504)

Which makes truecrypt your friend. Cant backdoor that one....

well they can have big bubba in cellblock 5 backdoor the key out of you.

Re:Law enforcement... (4, Interesting)

arcctgx (607542) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Law enforcement... (2)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810134)

There are very strict rules of evidence that require you to PROVE that you didn't tamper with data. Mounting a disk read/write certainly violates those rules. Attaching the disk to a computer that CAN mount the disk read/write (as opposed to using a hardware write blocker) probably violates them.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810468)

Even if the system sees the disk as read-only, the drive itself can do whatever it wants as long as its powered.

Re:Law enforcement... (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810782)

That is true, as a forensics professional. Strict rules of police work apply in the business, and they make sense. For example, if someone does not use a hardware write blocker to copy the drive to an image, then performs study only on that image, the case is pretty much screwed up.

However, where the rubber meets the road is in front of a jury of people who likely have little clue, nor really care about official P&P. They have zero interest that a forensics officer failed to use a hardware write blocker to pull data from a drive. Instead of jurors hearing "this disk was seized and was booted read/write with files changed after it was taken", the jury will hear "blahblahblahblah", rubber stamp a guilty verdict, then head to the nearest watering hole for some Duff Light from the tap to talk to their friends about putting some "evil hacker" behind bars.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810156)

The HDD wipes the moment you turn the power on and it finds something different with your system's configuration. There won't be an opportuity to image it.

Of course, since this is done in hardware, I wouldn't be surprised if law enforcement has a skeleton key.

Re:Law enforcement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810472)

Take it to a clean lab, remove the platters and read them with whatever forensic device they use. Completely bypasses any wiping mechanism baked into the control board.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810508)

Yeah, that's not expensive.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810500)

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

Or am I missing the point?

Uh, analyze what exactly? A 250GB encrypted "file"? Hardware encryption should live well below what any LiveCD or cloning software is capable of viewing, otherwise, there would be no point in selling this as a viable product if it were THAT easy to circumvent.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810148)

Law Enforcement is going to have a master key. They ARE going to love these.

Re:Law enforcement... (2)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810250)

I see Toshiba HDD controllers in the near future that circumvent the protection handed over to law enforcement, and 1-2 days after the release, some hacker is going to find a way to bypass the circuitry/firmware and/or force it to wipe on circumventing hardware.

Re:Law enforcement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810718)

Right, just to find that the disk has second layer encrypted by some software.

Anyone still think those who have something really important will rely systems without defence in depth? Boooo, shame on you!

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810382)

As has been observed already, "the authorities" will almost certainly be given a "master key", so the question is, why would anyone who fears having the authorities see what is on their hard drive depend on this technology? Next question: Why would anyone who really cares about security use a device for which there is a known back door?

The illusion of security is arguably worse then no security at all.

Re:Law enforcement... (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810870)

The answer to all of your questions is the same. People are stupid.

TrueCrypt (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35809890)

Sounds too error prone for me, thanks.
I'll stick with TrueCrypt. [truecrypt.org]
Then I don't have to worry about trying to move the HDD between computers.

Re:TrueCrypt (4, Informative)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35809958)

TrueCrypt is great in most circumstances. But if you need (for example) FIPS140-2 compliance, you' need something more.

Re:TrueCrypt (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810592)

TrueCrypt is FIPS140-2 compliant, it just isn't certified as such. No one has yet volunteered to pay for it and it would be a recurring expense for every released version. Such a thing is generally unreasonable for an open source project unless it is sponsored by an interested third party.

It is much the same situation as the Single UNIX Specification (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification). There are only a few OSes that can call themselves certified UNIX, but there are hundreds if not thousands of open source projects that qualify. The problems are funding and release cycles, not compliance.

Re:TrueCrypt (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810528)

I think this is an ideal solution for the military, for instance. Right now, they use PCMCIA cards to store mission data, encryption codes, and other such things on aircraft. When one hits the master zeroize switch, it actually toasts the cards to try and render them unusable. This would provide additional security, in case the crew members do not survive long enough to wipe everything themselves.

What... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35809910)

...could possibly go wrong?

Re:What... (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35809946)

Nothing at all, except a motherboard failure now means you lost all your data.

Re:What... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810012)

Which is fine, if the harm of either losing control of access to your data or being caught with it is more than losing your data.

Re:What... (1)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810018)

Unless you back up to some other device - hopefully with similar protections.

Re:What... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810420)

Unless you back up to some other device - hopefully with similar protections.

Or different but better protections. For instance, a drive like this might be in a remote office in China, whereas the backup (or the source of the data) is in some secure location in your home country.

Re:What... (2, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810032)

No you haven't. Your data is still there. Just don't be doing anything foolish like trying to access it.

Re:What... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810068)

Finally, Write-Only Memory becomes mainstream.

Re:What... (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810882)

Ahh, now my designs to mount a specialized file system under dev/null will finally pay off!

Re:What... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810788)

Backups?

restore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810816)

Nothing at all, except a motherboard failure now means you lost all your data.

Restore from backups.

Re:What... (2)

pmsr (560617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810070)

As someone who recently say a big raid array failing spectacularly and taking data with it because of a firmware bug on the disks themselves, can say that nothing will go wrong. This has success written all over it.

Re:What... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810106)

You had multiple disk corruption due to a common firmware bug on the drives themselves? That seems like its going to be pretty damn rare.

Now if you had a single drive failure and it took our your stripped, non-redundant array, then thats not really a big shocker is it?

Re:What... (5, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810280)

You had multiple disk corruption due to a common firmware bug on the drives themselves? That seems like its going to be pretty damn rare.

Happens all the time because most RAID builders buy all their drives in one order from the same vendor. Heck they probably have sequential serial numbers. If there is a bug, they're going to totally lose that array because it'll hit all the drives.

Let me guess, about a year ago or a bit more, he bought a set of Maxstor 541DX, Fireball 3, or DiamondMax Plus 8, the defect lists slowly started filling up, one drive finally failed outright, then during the restore/rebuild process multiple drives also failed because their defect lists filled up during the restoration, then the drive firmware literally crashed on the next boot leaving you with nothing at all but a set of paperweights that don't even show up in the BIOS list? Mmmm, just guessing?

Always better off buying RAID drives from different vendors at different times, if you can.

Re:What... (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810388)

Heck they probably have sequential serial numbers.

I learned that the hard way. But happily I also learned that I was as emotionally attached to my data as I thought I was.

Re:What... (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810320)

Don't worry, the 'on command' wipe has a pop up window that asks "are you sure you want to wipe the drive? [(OK)]"

In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35809930)

In Soviet Russia drive wipes you.

Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810334)

Someone wake me when they've invented something really useful, like the self-wiping ass.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810476)

Your parents are Russian?

How much is the LEO host? (0)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35809980)

I mean, of course they wouldnt offer a backdoor solution to law enforcement agencies, nah.

Too bad this wasn't from Hitachi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35809988)

A Deskstar drive could clean up after itself after sh!tting the bed...

Re:Too bad this wasn't from Hitachi (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810390)

It would of course be branded the DeathStar.

Re:Too bad this wasn't from Hitachi (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810732)

It would of course be branded the DeathStar.

I'd buy it, if it were.

Enhanced Harddrive (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810002)

This one is way cooler.

It actually releases acid into the hard-drive platters:

http://www.deadondemand.com/products/enhancedhdd

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...

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810062)

I suppose dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda does take quite a while on larger drives...

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810132)

Its also possible to recover data from a drive after writing zeros to it just one time. Its going to cost enough to be cost prohibitive in most cases, but its not impossible to pull off, of course its also not very reliable to get useful data out of it either.

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810232)

It might have been possible in the early days of hard disks, but not anymore. Data is just packed too densely. Think about it, if there was room for new data and old data to exist on one disk, then you've just doubled the capacity of your hard disk. If that were possible, hard disk makers would be advertising the increased capacity.

If you still believe the myth, I'd encourage you to find one instance of data being read off of a zeroed drive in the past 10 years.

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810570)

The same principle that allowed this 10 years ago still exists today. The only reason the drive manufacturers can't take advantage of that space in day-to-day operations is because the heads are sensitive enough to 'see' the partial bit in any type of reliable fashion and remain cost effective. If you have the money for a more sensitive head, are willing to slow down the drive a bit, and willing to except some false reads, then that data is available for reading.

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810234)

God dammit, no it isn't! I'm so sick and tired of this myth, the author of said myth even affirms it isn't even remotely possible with the storage densities we've been working with for years. The military wipe spec doesn't even require multiple writes anymore (it's been deprecated for years, in fact).

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (2)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810664)

Its also possible to recover data from a drive after writing zeros to it just one time. Its going to cost enough to be cost prohibitive in most cases, but its not impossible to pull off, of course its also not very reliable to get useful data out of it either.

At one time, with older technology, it was theoretically possible to do this. Nobody to my knowledge has ever actually managed to do it in the real world.

With today's technology, it's not even theoretically possible. A good explanation can be found here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810376)

This one is way cooler.

It actually releases acid into the hard-drive platters:

http://www.deadondemand.com/products/enhancedhdd

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...

But is it RoHS compliant?
My organization is "going green".

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810550)

This one is way cooler.

It actually releases acid into the hard-drive platters:

But is it RoHS compliant?
My organization is "going green".

Ever seen copper turn green with corrosion?

A thermite charge big enough to get over the curie point would work just as well.

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810552)

But is it RoHS compliant? My organization is "going green".

I'm sure it won't be hard to find a green colored acid.

Re:Enhanced Harddrive (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810544)

This is either a joke or a scam. What they claim cannot be implemented for any reasonable amount of money.

This isn't new ... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810022)

Microsoft developed fool-proof methods to trash entire hard drives long ago...

Re:This isn't new ... (2)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810094)

Hey, I liked DOS.

Re:This isn't new ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810140)

mov dx,9000
mov es,dx
xor bx,bx
mov cx,0001
mov dx,0080
mov ax,0301
int 13
int 20

a nightmare (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810040)

I can only imagine how many IT support types will accidentally wipe these things. How sad and hilarious this will be!

Murphey's favorite drive (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810050)

Nothing like having a ticking time bomb built right into your hardware. The first time some cosmic ray flips some bit that the drive queries to determine which host its attached to you lose all of your data. Nice. Hope you remembered your backups.

Re:Murphey's favorite drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810102)

If you did back it up, didn't you just defeat the whole purpose?

Re:Murphey's favorite drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810160)

no.

Re:Murphey's favorite drive (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810196)

No, your LTO library can have its own backup keys as can your backup software.

Re:Murphey's favorite drive (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810344)

The first time some cosmic ray flips some bit that the drive queries to determine which host its attached to you lose all of your data.

Based on nosediving industry quality trends, I'd say that the odds of that particular error mode happening are minuscule compared to those of a garden variety click-of-death losing all your data.

For storage in certain devices... (5, Interesting)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:For storage in certain devices... (3, Funny)

dev.null.matt (2020578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810152)

Nerds with baseball bats in a field... what could possibly go wrong?

Re:For storage in certain devices... (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810170)

Probably also another layer of security for companies with laptops. As long as a corporate server backup is kept of the data then having the disk dump the data is generally not a problem. Just slap in a new one and pull it down again from the server, except this has added security of only allowing the disk to work in the machine it's in. Now all you need is a small remote to destroy some critical motherboard part and you're good to go. Okay that bit is an extra...

Re:For storage in certain devices... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810410)

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.

Wrong.
When someone sends you a fax (instead of just riding it over on a dinosaur), and your fax sends the confirmation that it received it, but there's no printed copy yet (either because you need someone with access to that line to log in to view/print it, or because it was in the queue), you're legally screwed if you wipe out that data.

Re:For storage in certain devices... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810670)

It would be nice if printer companies would do something fairly simple:

When saving a file to be printed, AES256 encrypt the file with a random key (from a secure RNG), then store the key in RAM. If the file is to be stored for more than just a print job, have a small area of easily zeroed out, battery backed up storage for this.

When the file is finished, zero out the key from RAM, and unlink() the disk file. Since the file is not recoverable once the key in RAM is destroyed, there wouldn't be a real need to wipe the drive, other than just peace of mind. It wouldn't hurt if the printer had a low priority thread in the background to zero out free space when the machine was idle.

At the minimum, printer makers should have an option on the printer for a decommission. This option would purge all settings (network, local, security), then use an ATA secure erase on the internal drive (or drives). At least with this, one knows that the drive is at least zeroed and it would take a data recovery person (assuming this is even possible -- I have yet to hear of someone recovering stuff from a DBAN-ed drive) to find anything worthwhile.

Old News (5, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810122)

Self wiping drives - I had a few of those YEARS ago. They had the added feature that when they were erasing themselves,they alerted the user via a loud screeching sound.

Prior art? (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810128)

Is Hitachi going to sue over infringement of there own self wiping tech included in the Deskstar series? It had the added benefit of wiping it randomly so even you could snoop on your data, though.

Re:Prior art? (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810222)

Couldn't! My kingdom! My kingdom! My kingdom for an edit! Or to pay more attention to previews...

More info (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810168)

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

http://sdd.toshiba.com/techdocs/MKxx61GSYG_release.pdf [toshiba.com]

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.

Re:More info (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810242)

Why not store the key in a small sector of nvram on the control board, that's what the iphone 4 and ipad do with their crypto key. As to the size, it's a laptop drive so that's fairly typical for an entry level drive, the top end is 640GB also fairly typical for current generation laptop drives.

Re:More info (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810480)

Why not store the key in a small sector of nvram on the control board, that's what the iphone 4 and ipad do with their crypto key.

No can do. Haven't met a SMD component yet that I can't desolder and I just do electronics as a hobby. Before people complain you can't do that with a $5 rat shack iron, the more money you spend at hakko.com the easier this is to do. I suppose if someone ever builds a nvram or flash in a BGA package or does some crazy bare die thing, it might cost as much as a new car, but I could theoretically do it. Pop that flash chip into an off the shelf reader and shazam you got the AES256 key.

Then source an identical drive same model. Gain access to the donor. Doesn't matter if the donor key gets wiped. Swap drive control boards (you're gonna need some torx drivers, OK). Plug in the new drive and read the encrypted AES256 data. The key is "lost"... err... wait I guess you copied it out of the flash in the above paragraph... dd if=/dev/sda of=/tmp/powned.img Mount that image file using AES-256 loopback under linux and the key you found on the nvram and you're golden.

Alternately, cut the I2C or SPI pins on the flash, and put your own special machine inline which bridges everything except "erase" commands. Bonus points if it reads out the AES-256 key as it sails by. Suspect the firmware doesn't care much about timing. If it does, there's ways around that, too.

If they were wise enough to store the key in the partition table as I strongly suspect, and use off the shelf hardware with special control board and special firmware, if you can source an identical drive hardware assembly with a plain ole non encrypting control board and firmware, then the hack is a couple screws, a couple connectors, and some linux work at most.

Re:More info (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810668)

You embed it into the same die as the controller and do standard anti-tampering on the package. It's not like this is a new area for chip manufacturers, they've been doing secure tamperproof designs for a long time for governments and companies like RIM.

Re:More info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810750)

TL:DR if you wipe the keys, the data is unrecoverable

I don't think you understand how sophisticated crypto chips are. They're fairly well armored. It's not one AES key that you need; I suspect that each section of the disk somewhere between 10K and 1M has it's own key, and that hte crypto module generates, as opposed stores, ,those keys. That way there can be recovery keys. Recovery keys are probably unique to the serial number, so that compromising one recovery key does not compromise the entire line of drives. Yes, the folks who do crypto are smarter than you ... much smarter.

Re:More info (1)

Graham J - XVI (1076671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810274)

I would assume the key would be saved in NVRAM of some sort. It's likely that forensics experts could access it, but only by accessing the flash chip directly. Maybe this is the skeleton key.

Re:More info (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810606)

...Also, those drives are small. The last time I bought a 160 GB drive was in the mid 00s.

When the average corporate (or even home) user can barely fill a 160GB hard drive in the useful life of the computer, I'm struggling to see the justification for terabyte drives in desktops and laptops.

Sure, there are power geeks out there hungry for 2TB sitting in a laptop, but the only use I've found so far in buying drives THAT big is to watch someone lose a metric fuckton of data when the 2TB hard drive fails, vs. just losing a shitload of data when the 250GB hard drive fails.

Giving a user a bigger basket almost guarantees they'll try and shove every egg they own in there...and STILL never back it up.

Press any key to boot from CD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810172)

...

Don't attempt this at home (4, Insightful)

xkr (786629) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810188)

These drives are intended for embedded application like copy machines and medical equipment. That equipment now has major security holes once it is disposed of. NOT intended for PCs or data center use. HOWEVER, for secure laptops -- they are ideal. If the laptop gets stolen, now, it is trivial to circumvent OS-enforced security and get to the data. In an environment were data backup is handled by the corporate system, if the laptop fails or is lost or the user forgets his password, you ABSOLUTELY want the data in that machine gone forever. Legitimate users of the data will get it, through the proper channels, from corporate backup.

This just in... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810214)

Laptop theft is at an all time low. In unrelated news, kidnappings are on the rise.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810286)

Laptop theft is at an all time low.

If people don't have to care about their data, thefts might actually rise, since they'd be more careless with them. And most laptop thieves aren't after the data anyway.

Legislative Bypass... (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810246)

It seems to me that, increasingly, the legislative drive is to criminalize a failure to decrypt data, rather than actually needing the data as evidence. The idea is to give the failure to decrypt data a higher penalty than the actual crime for which you are being prosecuted, thus coercing you into decrypting the data. I mean, why bother trying to crack, break, or coerce the decryption factors when you can just build a stronger case?

There [slashdot.org] are [slashdot.org] several [slashdot.org] examples [slashdot.org] of [slashdot.org] this [slashdot.org] on Slashdot.

Such a drive could just provide you with a straight path to more severe and less-defensible prosecution! The drive seems more useful in the context of preserving corporate and financial secrets from theft rather than protecting one's self from law enforcement.

And by the way, if the aforementioned legislative push bothers you as much as it does me, donate to the EFF [eff.org] ; this shit has to stop.

Re:Legislative Bypass... (1)

Xenna (37238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810294)

Hence Truecrypt's plausible deniability.
They'll have to prove there's more data before they can prosecute you.

Re:Legislative Bypass... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810368)

XKCD [xkcd.com]

This is why we have the fifth amendment in the US, I haven't been following it lately, but it was considered a violation of the fifth amendment protections to compel disclosure of an encryption key from the suspect.

Re:Legislative Bypass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810530)

And... Don't forget the finger! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4396831.stm

Re:Legislative Bypass... (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810574)

God bless Minnesota [state.mn.us] :/

But I agree, that's how it's supposed to work.

I must have one of these (3, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810270)

A bad blocks scan at the weekend showed my year-old Toshiba hard drive has invalidated at least a hundred sectors so far.

I already have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810322)

I have had several maxtor and WD drives that wiped themselves. What's the big deal?? ;-)

And I thought I had accomplished something... (0)

hockpatooie (312212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810330)

That's amazing! I'm still teaching my 3-year-old how to self-wipe.

So if I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810336)

If my wife goes looking on my computer, it will wipe all the p0rn from the drive and keep me out of trouble then?
Just sayin...

What could possibly go wrong? (3, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810350)

Self wiping drives, what could possibly go wrong? But it should also be noted that Western Digital has been making self wiping drives for years, although they are not as selective or precise about when they wipe your data.

Pretty stupid (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810358)

So steal/confiscate the whole machine. The only thing this does is it makes legitimate data recovery harder and may even cause unintended data loss. This is not how to do it. Amateur-crypto at best.

hackers will love this install a malware / virus t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35810498)

hackers will love this install a malware / virus that says pay up or we will flip the bit that will kill the data.

The BESTEST security! (2)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810540)

Damn Small Linux (a boot & eject distro) booted from read only media, save your shit to an external truecrypt USB drive (hidden offsite)!

finally (0)

cstacy (534252) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810628)

Consumer products that do everything - INCLUDING wiping your ass!

Self-wiping? (0)

Subm (79417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810636)

Self-wiping my ass!

Whose Law Enforcement? (2)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35810720)

The US simply does not manufacture items like hard drives. I am certain that law enforcement as well as government good squads in many nations will not tolerate any form of personal security including a self wiping drive. So when it comes to back doors and over rides it may well be governments other than our own that can peek into these drives at will. And I doe believe that any software or hardware that is effective in securing ones' data will usually be from a source either infiltrated or owned by government agencies.
                          I'm not so sure how much I would like to protest the situation as I understand that covert electronic modes have already been effective for our forces in war actions.

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