Print 15 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Mar 13 at 6:04 AM

ASI to be the first with Seagate's DriveTrust

Seagate announced today that ASI Computer Technologies will be the first manufacturer to sell notebook computers with full disk encryption (FDE). The ASI notebook model C8015 will feature Seagate's Momentus 5400 FDE.2 80GB hard disk drive with “DriveTrust” technology, a hardware-based FDE to provide strong data protection and requires only a user key to encrypt all data, not just selected files or partitions, on the drive.

Seagate’s FDE puts all security keys and cryptographic operations on the drive, separating them from the operating system to provide greater protection against hacking and tampering than traditional software alternatives, which can give thieves backdoor access to encryption keys. Seagate’s FDE eliminates disc initialization and configuration required by encryption software, and allows hard drive data to be erased instantly so the drive can be redeployed.

ASI is considered one of the smaller players in the notebook market, selling its computers through online venues such as, and ASI also makes “whitebook” notebooks that are sold to other resellers who brand their own names on the hardware.

Seagate is in discussions with other OEMs for the wider use of its FDE-enabled drives. “We will obviously be selling this to worldwide resellers,” said Michael Hall, a Seagate spokesman.

Businesses and government agencies are likely to take a great interest in hard disk drives with built-in encryption technologies. In February, audits by the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that the FBI count not account for 317 laptops that were lost, missing or stolen over a 28 month period. In response to multiple incidents of stolen data, the Bush Administration on June 23, 2006 mandated that all government mobile computers and devices must fully encrypt all data, but has yet to come to a decision on which FDE technology to employ.

Dozens of states require businesses to encrypt computer data, according to the AP. “I can't help but think that this kind of hard drive would become a standard issue on corporate laptops,” said Dave Reinsel, a storage industry analyst at market research firm IDC.

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"puts all security keys on the drive"???
By defter on 3/12/2007 9:09:32 AM , Rating: 3
I hope that part was a mistake. Putting "all security keys" on the drive would open a huge security hole.

Besides, I'm a bit wary about these closed encryption solution made by U.S. companies. How we can be sure that the encryption implementation is really solid and secure? Or that there aren't any backdoors for NSA? I find open-source software based solutions more secure, at least with those you can be quite sure that the algorithm is really strong, it works and there aren't any kind of backdoors.

RE: "puts all security keys on the drive"???
By Rollomite on 3/12/2007 11:35:33 AM , Rating: 3
Paranoia strikes deep....


RE: "puts all security keys on the drive"???
By defter on 3/12/07, Rating: 0
By Souka on 3/12/2007 1:10:46 PM , Rating: 3
If you don't have anything to hide, then there is no reason to use encryption at all.

I guess you don't work with sensitive data, or have a job that uses computers.

Most companies I've worked have data policies to protect their data. Most recently our laptop users (thinkpads) used the IBM security chip along with BIOS/HD passwords to encrypt the HD's. Desktops were forbidden to save data locally by policy.

This may seem "paranoid" but with any lost laptop, we are highly confident the data is secure. Also, just before I left, they were looking into software that would allow us to use the on-board cell-cards to use GPS to pinpoint the laptop in the event of theft/loss.... pretty kewl I think... just gotta power up the laptop and we can find it.

My $.02

By dever on 3/12/2007 1:11:49 PM , Rating: 1
Unless you're a government employee. With no need to cater to a captive customer, there's no need to worry about pesky little details like securing their information.

By TomZ on 3/12/2007 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 3
First, it is not a question of "having anything to hide" - instead, it is the value of keeping confidential information confidential. That value exists for most business data and many types of personal data.

Second, your logic is pretty far off. Imagine that my neighbor knows the crime statistics for our neighborhood, and he doesn't bother to lock his doors at night for whatever reason, and imagine that I don't know the crime statistics but lock my doors at night. By your argument, my neighbor would be safer than me.

While you can actively do things to reduce the risks, you can't reduce them down to zero, and because of that, security devices like this are worthwhile for those who are both aware or unaware of the risks. I don't believe that people would develop a "false sense of security" and therefore become reckless or take on additional risks. It doesn't make sense.

By FatherChrismas on 3/12/2007 4:44:15 PM , Rating: 3
"If you don't have anything to hide..." is one of the most authoritarian phrases ever parroted, and ranks up there with Stalin's comment about omelets and eggs.

RE: "puts all security keys on the drive"???
By Duwelon on 3/12/2007 11:37:13 AM , Rating: 2
On one hand a compiled program could have back doors but on the other hand unless you're a one man company someone could add a backdoor to open source code shortly before it's compiled. Maybe with open source though such a scheme would have to work from within the company, is that why it's considered more secure?

By defter on 3/12/2007 12:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe with open source though such a scheme would have to work from within the company, is that why it's considered more secure?

If you cannot trust in your workers, then encryption will not help much. After all, administrators have access to the mail and can listen to network traffic. Other workers can leak confidental data anyway if they want to.

The point of encryption is protect data from external threats.

By NesuD on 3/13/2007 5:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
Besides, I'm a bit wary about these closed encryption solution made by U.S. companies.

Rolls eyes.

By Samus on 3/13/2007 6:04:24 AM , Rating: 2
by on the drive, they mean in the firmware, not magnetically stored. its on an eeprom, which itself is 168-bit rsa encrypted with the assistance of a risc processor to speed up decryption and reduce latency.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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