Print 14 comment(s) - last by aoz.. on Nov 9 at 7:31 AM

FDE.2 family of notebook drives come with DriveTrust encryption

Seagate this week announced a new line of notebook hard drives that will feature DriveTrust technology, the company's name for full drive encryption. Called the Momentus FDE.2 series, the drives will feature the technology on board, meaning that no special software or other hardware piece is required. The technology is being carried to notebooks from Seagate's current family of drives called the DB35 series, which all feature DriveTrust technology. According to Seagate:

The 2.5-inch, 5,400-RPM drive's hardware-based full disc encryption delivers significantly stronger protection than traditional encryption approaches by securely performing all cryptographic operations and access control within the drive. For users, only a password is needed to self-authenticate for full drive access, while third- party enhancements enable thumbprint and smart card options for multi-factor self-authentication.

Seagate currently distributes its line of encrypted DB35 series of hard drives for manufacturers who are developing DVR products. The DB35 drives provide the content protection mechanism required to prevent users from illegally moving off recorded TV material onto a computer. Users who have FDE.2 featured notebooks can rest easily knowing that the data on the drives are entirely encrypted. Seagate however still recommends the use of regular passwords and other devices such as finger print authentication.

The new FDE.2 notebook drives will be introduced with a starting speed of 5400 RPM and Seagate expects faster drives to be out several months later. As of right now, FDE.2 drives are not yet available. Seagate noted that the drives will be introduced in the first quarter of 2007.

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Notebooks only?
By TwistyKat on 10/30/2006 4:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why not desktop systems also? Do they already exist?

RE: Notebooks only?
By cochy on 10/30/2006 4:22:13 PM , Rating: 5
Probably because there is more market for drive encryption on notebook drives, seeing as they are more likely to be lost or stolen or spied upon than a desktop drive (being portable and all).

RE: Notebooks only?
By h0kiez on 10/30/2006 4:41:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. At my company, every laptop must have SecureDoc encryption on the HD...none of the desktops have any encryption.

RE: Notebooks only?
By Googer on 11/1/2006 1:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
Hitachi announces their own encrypted HDDs

Hrrmm, excellent
By bwave on 10/30/2006 9:36:00 PM , Rating: 4
Grreat, ok, you guys do realize that business people never backup anything? You know how many hds we run drive recovery on in a week? Encryption = no data recovered. Believe me, these people could care less about security. Doctors come in all the time, give us all their passwords, and leave unit for a day or two, HIPPA be damned.

RE: Hrrmm, excellent
By goku on 10/31/2006 3:27:44 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking. Data recovery will be impossible with encryption like this...

RE: Hrrmm, excellent
By rushfan2006 on 10/31/2006 9:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
I work for one of the nation's top 10 Mortgage Bankers. We also have policy that all laptops must be encrypted.

Backup can be an issue, yes..but we are required by law to adhere to certain information seurity/privacy acts. So if we think its smart or not smart for backup it doesn't matter because if we fail an security audit the government isn't going to care if we say "well we can't backup the data if its encrypted".

Performance hit?
By Donegrim on 10/30/2006 5:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
Any word on how much of a performance hit this full drive encryption gives. I can't imagine things would move too quickly when everything going in and out of the drive is being encrypted and unencrypted.

RE: Performance hit?
By Hare on 10/30/2006 6:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
The performance hit is really small. I have a pretty strong encryption on my HD (truecrypt software) and can't really tell the difference when I'm using spreadsheets and word-documents (PM740). Copying large files is a bit slower but on a portable business laptop that shouldn't really matter.

A dedicated encryption chip will propably make the performance hit negligible.

RE: Performance hit?
By Zirconium on 10/30/2006 10:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
The bottleneck is probably the physical speed of the drive rather than the encryption.

hardware based vs software based
By saqib on 10/30/2006 11:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ever wondered how much overhead does software based encryption creates, see the performance impact benchmarks below:

The Seagate drives have a chip that performs the crypto functions, so there is essentially NO performance impact. Hardware based encryption is awesome! :-)

RE: hardware based vs software based
By Goi on 10/31/2006 10:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, there are already several laptop HDDs out there that do FDE, and with hardware based solutions there's virtually no performance degradation since the chip's encryption/decryption bandwidth is an order of magnitude higher than the drive bandwidth.

Password recovery
By jp7189 on 10/31/2006 12:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
Is there a backdoor to these drives? Supposing the password is lost can one call Seagate and gain access to the encrypted data?

My point is if this exists than a stolen drive is open to 'social engineering' attacks.

I remembering reading about a USB enclosure (can't remember the brand) that provided full disk encrytion with the key being stored in a removeable dongle. Great idea! .. but the company could replace a lost key which would regain access to the encrypted data. Making the system ultimately useless for data protection IMO.

RE: Password recovery
By aoz on 11/9/2006 7:31:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have been working for three years with SecureDoc hard drive encryption (winmagic), and TrueImage backup (acronis). I have a tablet PC, AND my home desktop, with encryption. I have home financial data, AND office data.

Performance - I even do GRAPHICS work, and I find no performance degradation with this

Security - I think DESKTOPS should be protected also - if someone breaks into facility, (see recent news, various companies, even desktops stolen/misplaced), the data is protected

Backup - If you care about your data, it can be backed up. LOCK your BACKUP in a SAFE ! I have done combinations of encrypted backup, unencrypted backup, backup of just cloning my data drives, etc. Do NOT blame the software if the end-user does not take time to back this up

ADDENDUM to this - companies making the software for backup and encryption must work toward making this easier for the (computer illiterate...) end user, but at some point, the user is responsible for his/her data

But, in summary, as far as trusting this software; it is fantastic !
I can go on vacation, take machine with me, and if machine is stolen, my name won't be in the papers for data disclosure !


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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