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SecureDrives SSDs come with remote-controlled physical self-destruct

Posted on Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 14:27:14 CEST by

UK-based security firm SecureDrives takes secure solid state disks to the next level. The company's Autothysis SSDs not only have 256-bit AES encryption with two-factor authentication but also have a physical self-destruct function.

The Autothysis can require a physical token or smartphone app for secondary authentication and in case it gets stolen you can scramble the data by "flipping" the encryption key or even do a remote self-destruct. SecureDrives doesn't reveal a lot of details about the self-destruct feature but claims this functionality physically fractures the NAND flash memory and security processor in a way that resembles taking a hammer to the drive.

The self-destruct feature doesn't require external power, the disk has an internal battery capable of handling the job. The disk has a GSM module so the self-destruct can be triggered remotely via a text message but it's also possible to configure the drive to self-destruct when the SATA connection is disrupted, when physical tampering is detected, when battery power is low or when the GSM module goes without a signal for a predetermined period of time.

Unfortunately, the disk is a pretty poor performer and the pricing is sky high. For this type of James Bond-class security you have to pay $1,665 for a 128GB disk with max performance of only 127MB/s.
All of this is wildly excessive for the vast majority of users, but it's still pretty cool. Too bad the underlying SSD is kind of a dud. There's no word on the controller, but the NAND comes from 20-nm Micron MLC stock, and the SATA interface is limited to 3Gbps. Peak sequential throughput clocks in at a mere 127MB/s. Then there's the price: $1665 for a 128GB drive, which works out to over $13/GB. And that only includes one year of GSM service.
SecureDrives SSD

SecureDrives SSD

Source: The Tech Report



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