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Storage Security - news etc

STORAGE Security
Megabyte used one of Gunnar's goblin
to stop pesky goblin minions
and other pests from interfering with his
bits and bytes.
Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
Removable Military Solid State Disks
from Targa Systems
SSD software
notebook SSD encryption
Sex, Spies and Hard Drives
Spyware, Adware & Unaware
Adding Trust to Storage Drives
Musing About Storage Security
the Dangers of Removable Storage Media
SAN Data Security & Fabric Management
Sanitization Methods for Cleaning Up Hard Disk Drives
Privacy and Security Regulations, and How they Impact Storage Systems
Who's got your keys?

Editor:- April 5, 2014 - "Think about it" says Chandar Venkataraman, Chief Product Officer, Druva - "If your service provider has access to your encryption keys, can you really say that your data is secure?"

That's just one of the thought provoking ideas in his new blog - 5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Cloud

See also:- SSD empowered cloud, SSD enterprise software

Apacer's new waterproof SSD

Editor:- January 28, 2014 - Apacer says it wil demonstrate a new "seamless waterproof SSD that operates even when immersed in water" on Booth #700 at the DistribuTECH 2014 show which starts today in San Antonio, TX.

see also:- industrial SSDs

Microsemi's new SSD for vetronics can erase 256GB in < 8S

Editor:- May 23, 2013 - Microsemi today announced that it has secured multiple design-wins for its new Series 200 TRRUST-Stor (rugged self encrypting, 2.5" SATA SSD with 256GB SLC capacity and fast purge).

The company says a full hardware-based erase takes less than 8 seconds. The 200 model has R/W throughput which is twice as fast as the company's earlier TRRUST-Stor due to a new generation of the company's Armor processor. Developed to endure harsh environments the new SSD - which has hardware-implemented AES 256 encryption - can withstand up to 3,000G shock and 30G rms of vibration.

Toshiba samples encrypted SAS SSD

Editor:- January 6, 2013 - Toshiba says it's sampling a new range of 2.5" SAS MLC SSDs - with self encrypting security features and on board sanitization. The PX02SMQ/U has upto 1.6TB capacity.

Crocus will sample secure fast MRAM controllers in January

Editor:- November 5, 2012 - Crocus Technology today announced that in January 2013 it will sample 1.2MByte high speed SIMs and small secure MRAM controllers. The fast R/W speeds will enable optimized personalization and over-the-air updates in NFC-enabled smartphones.

"The CT32MLU product family breaks the barrier of traditional non-volatile memory that will provide smartcard makers with best-in-class secure element microcontrollers with a 20 to 30% smaller footprint," said Alain Faburel, VP security business unit at Crocus Technology.

SSDs or hard drives? - the data forensics differences

Editor:- October 23, 2012 - When you need to retrieve critical unbacked up data from a damaged notebook (which you left in the car when you clambered out the window after realizing that the puddle across the road was much deeper than you first thought) you call the process "data recovery" - but when a court seizes a suspect's notebook to try and retrieve data which may have been deliberately "deleted" - they call it "data forensics" - either way - in the most demanding cases the experts who work on these tasks are the same.

SSD Data Recovery (as opposed to dumb flash memory recovery) is a relatively new market which didn't exist 5 years ago.

A recent article Why SSD Drives Destroy Court Evidence - on a site called - discusses how techniques which are essential to the operation of flash SSDs (such as garbage collection and wear leveling) mean that from the forensic viewpoint SSDs yield up potentially much less deliberately deleted recoverable data than hard drives.

RunCore's video - phone to purge USB SSD

Editor:- May 22, 2012 - sometimes if I'm watching a movie I realize it's going to be bad - but in a way which is nevertheless all too fascinating to watch. How bad it will get? Look! - see it's getting worse - but still taking itself seriously. So - instead of zapping it like I should - I stay transfixed. Such bad movies are an artform.

What about promotional videos though? - on the subject of SSDs...

Mostly these are just time wasting. But today - in the "so dreadful I kept watching it nearly to the end" category was a new video on YouTube from RunCore about its Xapear SSD.

RunCore was the first company to haul "phone to purge capability" over the cost chasm which divides military SSDs over to the consumer SSD market - which it did 2 years ago - and the new video is simply about their latest model which combines RFID with the phone zap technology in an external USB connected SSD.

As a security concept I was convinced the idea had merit - when I first wrote about it 2 years ago. So I wasn't keen to see another new video about the same topic. But I'm glad I did - because it's an artform. to watch video

Samsung enters fast erase SSD market

Editor:- January 5, 2012 - Samsung has entered the fast purge SSD market - which currently numbers about 25 companies.

The company says that models of its PM810 2.5" SATA SSD family with its Crypto Erase technology deletes targeted data in a couple of seconds regardless of the overall volume of data or the capacity of the SSD. These models have been validated for compliance to NIST FIPS 140-2

a new way to kill flash SSD data

Editor:- March 15, 2011 - Pangaea Media has recently entered the SSD backup market with a removable 2.5" SSD which integrates backup, encryption and a completely new (to me) patented fast purge technology.

SSD Bookmarks - from Foremay's CTO and co-founder

Editor:- March 1, 2011 - today published SSD Bookmarks - suggested by Jack H Winters, CTO, Foremay .

Jack H Winters' suggestions are focused on the topic of managing data security in flash SSDs (both in working and not working devices). These links take you on a tour of the published state of the art in fast / secure SSD data erase and the related issue of SSD encryption.

RunCore launches world's 1st CF card SSD with fast purge

Editor:- November 9, 2010 - RunCore has launched the world's first CF card compatible SSDs with fast (typically 30 seconds) on-board sanitization functions.

The fast erase - which is designed to protect confidential data leaks and thwart any attempts at data recovery - is achieved by pressing a button or activating erase pins while the device is powered. It can be once again used by formatting after the data destruction process.

Editor's comments:- due to the popularity of the CF form factor in consumer products many equipment designers have adopted it as a convenient way of incorporating solid state storage into products in the industrial, medical and prosumer markets. Without an on-board fast purge feature - achieving effective disk sanitization as a software process in an SSD can take upto 24 hours (depending on disk capacity). RunCore's industrial CF cards are true SSDs with wear-leveling, vibration tolerance and low power consumption.

a reader asked me about notebook SSD encryption

Editor:- June 29, 2010 - a reader asked me some good questions about notebook SSD encryption.

Did encryption impact performance and endurance? Had I already written about this in another article he had missed? ...see what I said

Nasuni offers $5,000 to successful espiones

Editor:- June 22, 2010 - I have to hand it to the marketers at Nasuni - they've come up with a clever promotion scheme.

Cynics (aka experienced computer realists) are worried that cloud storage may be inscecure - right?

Nasuni say - that the 1st person who can reveal the contents of a file which they have made visible here can win $5,000.

"We're aware that many businesses are dubious about cloud storage for security reasons," said Nasuni CEO and co-founder Andres Rodriguez. "Data leakage is a major concern. With cloud storage, you have to entrust your data to an outside party, and your data is swimming around in the cloud with other customers' data. Intuitively, it seems risky. Customers are smart to be wary. But we've built a system that protects against these risks. We're confident that Nasuni can keep your data safe in the cloud, and we are willing to go the distance to prove it."

Editor's comments:- the clock is ticking. After 30 days - the company will donate the "unwon" money to a good cause.

Who's going to crack it 1st? - the Russians? or Chinese? Or has an NSA spook read the message already by the time you see this posting - but won't claim the prize - because that would be revealing too much.

I bought the 1st UK edition of the Cuckoo's Egg (1990) - and I can still remember the thrill of reading how a barely noticeable security intrusion was traced over many modem hops and international routes and much elapsed time and effort to reveal a real-life espionage. Storage Security

Super Talent's Cryptic USB3 SSD

Editor:- March 2, 2010 - Super Talent Technology today announced imminent availability of a new encrypted USB 3 flash SSD - with upto 256GB capacity.

When I asked for more technical details I was told the datasheet isn't ready yet. The USB 3.0 SuperCrypt is a true SSD (with wear-leveling). Internally the module (95 x 34 x 15.4 mm) is a SATA SSD with a USB bridge chip.

Fast Purge flash SSDs

Editor:- September 25, 2009 - today published a new directory of Fast Purge flash SSDs.

The need for fast and secure data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD or its data are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects. Although many industrial SSD vendors are offering their products with extended "rugged" operating environment capabilities - it's the availability of fast purge which differentiates "true military" SSDs which can be deployed in defense applications.

Most Secure USB Flash Memory Stick

Editor:- July 13, 2009 - IronKey today announced the launch of its S200 USB flash drive for government and enterprise customers.

IronKey's CEO David Jevans said: "The IronKey S200 is the first and only USB flash drive to achieve the demanding FIPS 140-2, Level 3 security validation from NIST, giving even more proof that IronKey is the world's most secure flash drive. We are also releasing a suite of new enterprise remote management capabilities, available over the Internet from the IronKey managed service, or from our enterprise server software that companies can install and operate themselves."

WD Ships 2TB Surveillance Drive

Editor:- May 19, 2009 - WD announced availability of a 2TB model in its AV-GP line of hard drives designed for the surveillance market.

Designed to last in always-on streaming digital audio/video environments the new SATA compatible drive (MSRP $299) supports playback of up to 12 simultaneous HD streams.

SoleraTec Lightens the Load for Searching Streaming Surveillance Camera Storage

Editor:- April 27, 2009 - SoleraTec has incorporated support for the Real Time Streaming Protocol that allows for the direct video feed capture of IP-based video surveillance cameras in version 5.2 of its digital surveillance manager software (SVM).

SoleraTec says its software is unique in its ability to provide a file-based search and retrieval interface that enables the user to actually play video surveillance files without first needing to retrieve original hi-res assets from storage.

When its SVM ingests files, it automatically creates low-resolution proxy files for fast search and view. Once a desired video asset has been selected, clipped, and marked for export, the new, user-configurable "extended export" functionality enables the user to export needed data in a variety of ways, such as FTP, email, and local file systems. Pricing for Phoenix 5.2 starts at $996.

EScon Launches Encrypted Desktop Storage

Editor:- April 16, 2009 - EScon has launched the Guardian MX-4 range of eSATA connected encrypted desktop storage enclosures for the European market.

EScon's Managing Director, Tony Howard, says "Backing up data to protect against hardware failure or accidental deletion is universally accepted as good business practice, however securing data against theft is less easy to guard against and may not even be recognised as a threat. The focus is most often on ensuring the physical security of the building in which the data is housed rather than on securing the data itself."

Olixir Announces DataVault Support for FIPS 140-2

Washington, D.C. - March 9, 2009 - Olixir Technologies announced it will add new security features to its family of DataVault hard drives in Q2 2009.

This will make them fully-compliant with the requirements outlined in the Federal Information Processing Standards FIPS 140-2.

Incorporating an advanced set of security features including anti-virus, anti-malware and encryption agents, which have already been approved by the DOD DARTT Team, Olixir's external drives will meet all criteria to be connected via USB cables to U.S. Department of Defense networked computers. This comprehensive security capability will be resident on the Mobile DataVault products and run independently of the host computer to proactively protect the drive and the network from malware and virus infections. ...Olixir Technologies profile

Sun Proposes Standardizing Tape Storage Encryption

Santa Clara, CA - February 17, 2009 - Sun Microsystems today announced an open source initiative for removable storage encryption in Solaris environments.

This is based on the key manager which Sun already uses in some of its Tape Libraries.

ZoneLoc Prevents flash SSD Data Walking into the Wrong Hands

Phoenix, Arizona - February 12, 2009 - White Electronic Designs Corp announced a new technology - ZoneLoc - which automatically desanitizes a flash SSD to military standards - when the device is moved outside a specified operating zone - to prevent data falling into enemy hands.

The boundary can be tied to a fixed location or made to be portable for mobile applications. ZoneLoc has configurable features and options, including audible warnings, programmable response times, wireless remote purging and sensitivity modes. Because the protected device takes its own action, autonomously, security is guaranteed. ...White Electronic Designs profile, Storage Security, Disk Sanitizers

Dress Down Jeans are Less Risky than Smart Suits - Implies Survey

Editor:- January 19, 2009 - Dry Cleaners are becoming an unintended potential recycling point for USB storage - according to a report today from CREDANT Technologies.

In a phone survey of 500 laundries in the UK - CREDANT found that on average 2 USB sticks were found each year by each site. Dry cleaners in the suburbs, on the commuter belt or based in city centres find the most USB or memory sticks. One dry cleaner in the heart of the City of London said he is getting an average of 1 USB stick every 2 weeks, another said he had found at least 80 in the past year.

Extrapolating from this sample, the company estimates the UK annual figure for USB storage left at dry cleaners to be over 9,000.

Are Brits more forgetful than others? Or does this show that wearing casual clothes (which can be processed in your own washing machine) presents a lower security risk than formal suits. See also:- Disk Sanitizers

Job Uncertainty Increases Risks of Illegal Data Migrations

Editor:- December 1, 2008 - Cyber-Ark has published results of a recent international IT security survey called - "the Global Recession and its Effect on Work Ethics".

The 600 respondents included office workers from New York's Wall Street, London's Canary Wharf and Amsterdam in Holland.

50% of US responders and 27% in the UK said they would be willing to work 80 hours a week if it meant they could keep their jobs. Nevertheless, there is a risk that workers are using their IT privilege access rights to conspire behind their bosses' backs to download vital, useful and competitive information to take with them if and when they get the push.

56% of workers surveyed admitted to being worried about losing their jobs. Alarmingly, in preparation, more than half have already downloaded competitive corporate data and plan to use the information as a negotiating tool to secure their next post. Top of the list of desirable information is the customer and contact databases, with plans and proposals, product information, and access/password codes all proving popular choices.

Memory sticks are the smallest, easiest, cheapest and least traceable method of downloading huge amounts of data, which is why this is often considered the "weapon of choice". Other methods were photocopying, emailing, CDs, online encrypted storage websites, smartphones, DVDs, cameras, SKYPE, iPods. the report (pdf), ...Cyber-Ark profile, Storage Security

STMicroelectronics Samples Secure e-Passport Microcontroller

Geneva, Switzerland - November 25, 2008 - STMicroelectronics is sampling a new microcontroller for secure identity cards.

The ST23YR80, which offers contact and contactless interfaces, complies with the most advanced security smartcard standards and meets ICAO requirements for machine readable travel documents. The EAC (extended access control) e-Passport operation will be supported in less than 3.5 seconds. The device can also optimize the operating distance and transaction time by adapting its processor clock speed to the magnetic field of the application reader It has 80Kbytes of onchip flash memory to store extra biometric data. ...STMicroelectronics profile, storage chips

Oxford Semi Dangles DAS Dongles

MilpitasCalif. - November 4 , 2008 - Oxford Semiconductor today unveiled 2 new DAS security encryption chips.

Aimed at storage oems - the OXUS931SE and OXUFS936DSE feature an embedded hardware encryption engine enabling real time encryption with no loading on the host PC.

The OXUFS936DSE supports FireWire, USB and eSATA interfaces and 2 directly connected SATA disks. In addition, the device offers a range of LCD and LED user interfaces that are supported by the flexible software framework, greatly enhancing its capacity for product differentiation.

The OXUS931SE is aimed at the consumer who needs low cost, single-drive secure storage. In a traditional implementation, the OXUS931SE acts as a high performance bridge from USB2.0 or eSATA ports to a SATA hard disk drive in an external storage box supporting all current PC and Mac platforms. And, because of the OXUS931SE's high performance, it can also be implemented as a internal security dongle between a SATA port on the system motherboard and any internal SATA disk drive without any loss of throughput, for a fast and easy upgrade to a secure information system. ...Oxford Semiconductor profile

New Tool Helps Reduce Identity Theft

NEW YORK - September 16, 2008 - Identity Finder, LLC announced the upcoming release of Identity Finder Enterprise Edition 3.5 and their newest product, Identity Finder Monitoring Console.

Identity Finder Enterprise searches computers for Personally Identifiable Information and helps employees clean the data it uncovers, protecting themselves and their employers from confidential data loss. One of the biggest challenges to preventing data leakage is discovering all the places data exists. It can easily become buried anywhere on a computer such as within a hidden column in a spreadsheet from years ago.

Todd Feinman, Identity Finder's CEO, says, "Organizations can no longer rely on simple anti-virus suites to protect information as there are an ever increasing number of threats that steal personal data -- from viruses, worms, and Trojans to spyware, botnets, and malicious web application exploits. Even file sharing programs, voluntarily installed by many individuals, have become a large source of data loss and full hard disk encryption cannot protect against sensitive data exposure in these scenarios. Tools such as Identity Finder are required." ...Identity Finder profile

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"Don't use Self-Encrypting SSDs (if you think you might need a future data recovery)..."
That's the "advice" in a blog SSDs: Flash Technology with Risks and Side-Effects (August 2013) - by Kroll Ontrack - which goes on to say -

"This type of encryption is very secure, but ensures total data loss in the event of a failure. With SEDs, the encryption keys are only known to the hardware manufacturers and will not be released. What this means is in the event of a failure, the data is no longer accessible to professional data recovery companies".

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