Data Encryption - Encrypted Hard Drives

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Encrypted Hard Drives

As mentioned in the introduction, Seagate has introduced DriveTrust technology which is a hardware encryption mechanism for laptop hard drives.  With the new security policies being volleyed around government agencies, this technology alone could render stolen VA laptops and their ilk a thing of the past.  Sure, the laptops might still get stolen.  But the data would remain safe.

But there is a caveat.  Seagate has not released the method of encryption.  Have they developed their own encryption algorithm under the Trusted Computing Platform initiative or are they using the generally accepted standard of AES?  If the method is AES, which key length is used?  128-bit keys are only certified for Secret information.  It takes 192-bit or better for the Top Secret classification.  I don’t know about you, but I consider anything that stores my social security number or credit card information to be top secret.  It is my identity.  Don’t I get to choose the standard?  I choose AES-256.

As these products come to market, I can only hope that Seagate will be more forthcoming about their security.  Security through obscurity always fails eventually.  Just ask the Motion Picture Association of America about their “innovative” CSS encryption for DVD movies.