Seagate adds encryption to all drives

Seagate is to build automatic encryption into all its enterprise hard drives, the company announced at Storage Expo 2007 in London. All enterprise drives will be fitted with Seagate's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) as standard.

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is designing a security protocol for the drives, and the IEEE 1619.3 Key Management Subcommittee is setting up a management standard to ensure interoperability. Seagate's move is in response to growing UK government pressure for better data security practices in the industry. Making drive encryption automatic has already been recommended by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

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News source: vnunet

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Hardware encryption, while inflexible, is far more immune to hacking than software encryption.
Assuming that the hardware encryption is reasonably strong, its main weakness is PEBKAC (link) (Problem Between the Keyboard And the Chair). Social engineering and poor security of the encryption password are the biggest vulnerabilities.

While not perfect, hardware HD encryption is a step in the right direction. I'm tired of careless/lazy corporate and government employees losing bazillions of people's personal data on portable machines. I've gotten at least two notifications in the past few years that my data was on stolen or lost drives. Sadly, it seems like only a law would motivate companies to be really diligent about protecting customer data.

I perfer security to be software based, not built in the hardware. You can easily get updates or use different/new software but.... your limited on hardware (just having upgradeable firmware is an attack point).

That and once this is in place in the hardware it could be used for content rights "enforcement" and reporting.

This won't help all that much. At the end of the day, depending on the encryption they use, there will be plenty of chance to exploit this, depending on how the system works :)

If the key ever hits memory, then it will be decrypted extremely quick :)

O well, guess it's better than nowt

My 17 year old sister just received a letter from GAP, Inc. informing her that a partner company lost a laptop with her personal information on it. All she did was fill out an employment application at Old Navy. Now someone could possibly have all her information, including her SS#.

If only they had Drives like these. Businesses that deal with peoples information should be required by law to use strong encryption.

unknownsoldierX said,
My 17 year old sister just received a letter from GAP, Inc. informing her that a partner company lost a laptop with her personal information on it. All she did was fill out an employment application at Old Navy. Now someone could possibly have all her information, including her SS#.

If only they had Drives like these. Businesses that deal with peoples information should be required by law to use strong encryption.

But would the drive require a password/key if it were to remain plugged into the same laptop? I guess they should be able to get the data out as long as they use the same computer.

unknownsoldierX said,
My 17 year old sister just received a letter from GAP, Inc. informing her that a partner company lost a laptop with her personal information on it. All she did was fill out an employment application at Old Navy. Now someone could possibly have all her information, including her SS#.

If only they had Drives like these. Businesses that deal with peoples information should be required by law to use strong encryption.

... if only businesses were required by law to use software encryption for personaly data, since that technology has only been around for 20 years or so...

Shouldn't the title be "Seagate adds encryption to all enterprise drives" and not "all drives"? Right now it's kind of misleading and actually got me excited for a bit. :ponder:

mlerner said,
Yeah, so the NSA has all the backdoor keys.

Yeah, which of course sucks way more than potential free access by anyone.

GEIST said,

Yeah, which of course sucks way more than potential free access by anyone. :rolleyes:

... because it's OK that the government spies on us, just don't interfere with our pr0n storage and TV...