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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Toshiba hard drive erases itself

Toshiba hard drive erases itself

Toshiba hard drive erases itself

Added: Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Category: Geek Zone > Product Reviews
Tags:Toshiba hard drive erases itself

New feature automatically deletes all data if the hard disk is moved to a new computer.


Toshiba has just launched launced a new generation.of its SED (Self-Encrypting Drive) hard drives with a new and unique feature. The hard drive automatically deletes its content if moved to an unknown computer or if there is another incident which the user can definere.SED models encrypts all data with 256-bit AES encryption and complies with the "Opal" specification from Trusted Computing Group .

The hard drive can be attached to a single computer with a Trusted Platform Module. If the hard drive so will be removed and placed in a second computer, it will no longer work.

At the same time it is possible to configure the hard disk needs to implement a complete "wipe" the moment an unknown host tries to access the stored data.

It is also possible to set the data must be erased when the hard disk receives a specific command or when power supply is interrupted - so no words are being implemented already in the moment it is taken out of the cabinet.

This can be handy if your hard disk for example. placed in a copier or printer, where it is relatively easy to remove.

Just copiers and printers have long been a security problem. Their disks containing copies of the documents are examined - information that can be read or restored if you get hold of a used unit.

But the automatic erasure helps, of course, not much, if the hard drive built into a laptop, which is then stolen. Here the only security so that the encrypted content on the hard disk is protected with a password.

Toshiba offers various versions of SED hard drive 160-640 GB, 7200 rpm, 16 MB cache. Requiring additional software to exploit the encryption function.

HP, Dell and several other PC companies have already various solutions where you can send a command for example. a stolen PC and get it to erase the hard disk. It works so only if the hard disk still in the original computer and if it is coupled to the network.

Posted by:  Blocked
Date:  Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Comments (14) (please add your comment »)

posted by Blocked (2011-04-21 13:32:28)
menahunie avatarpirates dreams. MPAA or RIAA grabs your computer and you just snicker when they walk smugly out the door with this look on their face we got you now fker...
Just think? no evidence.. You go to a random network and send the command; blank drive...

posted by (2011-04-21 14:25:36)
wylde avatarI'm sure it would be recoverable.. I can't see how it could delete the data and over-write the sectors to mess up the existing file structure. Magnetising it, or any other instant way of destroying data destroys the drive as well....

Even if you do a LLF and don't re-write the drive you can get the data back. Google 'securely deleting data from a HDD' or the like and see what it takes. A standard 'secure delete of data for the USA DoD' is 7 overwrites, and Gutmann's is 35 which take hours and hours depending on the size of the drive.

I'm kinda over data recovery as everything here is backed up anyway and I haven't needed to recover a reformatted drive or lost data for years, but I'd like to get my hands on one to play around with it for a while...

I'm sure it's a gimmick (advertising spiel) to delete data from the average Joe's eyes... There are some programs that promote instant, secure, unrecoverable data deletion, but I've never used them, and I can't comment on how they'd perform, but in general you need to spend a lot of time destroying data or alternatively the best way is physically smashing the drive to tenny weeny pieces..

Still, interesting enough to give me a slight headache...

posted by (2011-04-21 16:52:21)
RUkiddin avatarReally? RUKiddin me? They should make it Encrypt the data with a HHD specific key.
If I can steal your hard drive, I could probably take the entire PC too?
Ever try to CRACK a Vista LM or NTLM hash that is over 8 characters long - Good Luck,
A Professional rainbow Table from ophcrack, For Vista passwords less than 8 characters is 134 GIG's
And What if I clone the drive?? Makes me wonder who they are marketing this to?
Interesting stuff!

posted by (2011-04-21 17:02:26)
Brynn217 avatarMena, I've been giving this exact issue some thought... I have invested heavily in this direction as well, not this device in particular... but I used to have 3TB of space on HD's installed on one computer... Now, I have a new system, and a RAID Tower... actually the Raid is pretty small, about less than half the size of standard desktop.... On the Raid I have 8TB of available space... I plan on moving the Raid now that its been running pretty consistantly to a hidden location... The main computer will not host any copyrighted material. In the event that someone ever does decide to search the property... I only need to unplug the Raid cables going to the desktop... I am an Electrician by trade.. so, those cables will simply disappear into a wall... And assuming that most field agents are stupid and not looking for a Raid system... they will walk out with no evidence...

Atm, I have only to buy the E-sata and USB cables that are long enough for the intended project...the ones that came with it are only 3 feet..

posted by (2011-04-21 22:23:37)
DEMONLORD avatargood if you need to secure something, bad if trying to hack something, lol

posted by Blocked (2011-04-21 23:01:03)
menahunie avatarWYLDE - not to poop on you; BUT your not correct in a sense. Re - read the article..
What you sat is true if the data is on the drive the way everybody including you expect.


You lost the KEY, issue a wipe command and the algorithm used for the encryption is gone and before that the way the data is un encrypted keys are also gone.

That is how the data is gone as fast as it is mentioned in the article and no data recovery is possible..

Yes you still have the data on the drive; BUT it is an encrypted mess and to try to un encrypt it would take a super computer farm like the one on Maui in Hawaii and millions of dollars..

Do you really think the MPAA or the RIAA or others would spend a big pile of money doing this? Not likely..

BRYNN217 not bad BUT don't under estimate any field agents; allot of them aren't stupid - only the political butt kissers are..
Now if you really want to hide things good use a wireless router and use the best encryption you can find. Go wireless NAS for your drives. Yes the transfer is allot slower but it is allot more secure for physical location. Also when data is sent to the drives send the data encrypted also. I don't mean just the encrypted network; but encrypt the data before it is sent.
Another way and this is hypothetical is piggy back on some one else unsecured wireless network; BUT KEEP A LOW PROFILE ON IT.. You be a data hog during normal hours and you will be found.. Watch the network for the time and when activity is low; do your transfer and then get off of it..

posted by (2011-04-22 01:21:25)
ARUNKUMAR66666 avatarwell this would be a great one

posted by ET lover (2011-04-22 01:52:16)
SyKoTiK avatarOkay... the obvious question, which the article and the other comments fail to mention, is what happens if you (the owner of the drive) need to move the drive to another computer because the computer failed and had to be replaced? If it "automatically" wipes the drive rather than at least making you try to prove that you are the owner (either by supplying the key or password, or some other means) this would be the most worthless form of data protection in history.

posted by (2011-04-22 21:54:12)
Darkan9el avatarSod that Use truecrypt to encrypt your whole drive, use plausible denial techniques, and encrypt with 20+ digit passwords and use AES, Serpent, Twofish and cascades encryption algorithms, not to mention RIPEMD-160, SHA-512 and Whirpool Hash algorithms, and you have a pretty secure system.

Or you can waste your money on unproven technology, that might work.

posted by (2011-04-23 08:11:09)
WCKicksAss avatar@wylde Offtopic: Love Your American History X Avatar

posted by (2011-04-24 02:51:01)
geology_guy avatar@1 If MPAA or RIAA grabs my computer they better have the police and/or FBI armed with a warrant! If not then they will taste a taser!

posted by (2011-04-24 08:23:20)
frostie66 avatarnice but take the pc and all off it?

posted by (2011-04-24 13:38:29)
wylde avatarYea.. I still think the encryption wouldn't be as sound as they are promoting.. Realistically, the Feds or National Security, I'm sure, would still like to be able to pull data off a drive at will for so many reasons, and, given that Big Brother is hardcore since 9/11 and all this copywrite bs, I'm not too sure how easily they'd let a company retail a product that'd allow all these people to 'wipe their hands,' of all their terrorism and illegal wrong-doings, in the blink of an eye or as easy as they say.

I think Darkan9el is kinda on the same page as I am. There are ways to do it yourself and know how complex the encryption is, or trust an 'advertisement.' I know where I'd rather be..

Like, would Osama Bin Buttrimmer be rubbing his hands together and saying, ''Oh, FFS, thank you Allah for this new product, our terrorist outfit is now protected if we buy these HDDs?''

Also, there's frostie's take on it, like if there's a raid going down I don't think 'they'd' be bothered taking the drives out, say goodbye to all your PC stuff.

Anyway, I'm only thinking out loud. I might be way off track, but I don't think 'they' would have any trouble at all with recovering data from a HDD with certain levels of encryption. We're talking about 'they' and 'them' here, so nobody can really know for sure.

@10 - WCKicksAss, I like it too, but it's more of tribute to the talents of Edward Norton, don't get me wrong cuz I don't spin that way, but his talent gives me wood, and that particular snap is a standout photo of his career me thinks. And, yea, the movie rocks, too.

Happy Easter, guys and gals!!

posted by (2011-04-24 22:40:19)
DjBooth77 avatarSykotik > I agree with you, Sony made the hash of this situation with the PS3. I replaced my 60GB drive with a 300gb internal drive for game saves, music, films, photos, etc, the PS3 had YLOD and I could only recover my online game data...as soon as you add your old HD to a new PS3 its wiped...
Great to stop piracy, but practically useless if your computer crashes/dies...

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