02/03/2012

The iStorage datAshur

iStorage manufacture secure storage systems and they've just released the datAshur which is a USB Flash Drive.

It's quite a large drive being 8cm by 2cm by 1cm, including the aluminum jacket which should protect it from most drops or even being driven over.

Pulling the drive out the sleeve reveals why it needs to be that big, there's a 10 digit keypad on it (numbers read 1 2, 3 4, 5 6, 7 8, 9 0, keys 2 through 9 also have a standard phone letters on then i.e. key 2 also has ABC).

In order to use the drive the user must first enter a PIN (between 7 and 15 digits) which unlocks the drive, then it can be inserted into a standard USB2.0 socket (though it will work with USB 1 and 3 devices too) and look like a standard Flash Drive. All data that is stored on the drive is AES 256bit hardware encrypted. If the drive is plugged into a system without being unlocked it wont appear as a valid drive and cant be mounted.

When the drive is ejected, it will then automatically lock again.

Corporate use

The datAshur actually has 2 PINs a user PIN and an admin PIN. If the drive is put into admin mode, then it will clear the user PIN first and expect the next action to be to set a new user PIN and if this isn't done it will go back into sleep mode (the drive cant be accessed as a Flash Drive).

This mode is useful in a business environment so the IT department can select an admin key and if a user forgets their key it can be reset (or if a user leaves, the user PIN can be reset and the data still be made available).

Hacking

If the the wrong PIN is entered 10 times, then the drive will automatically trash the the AES key and generate a new one (which means all data on the drive is also trashed and unreadable). Also both the admin and user PINs will be cleared.

Though big and bulky and not the prettiest of Flash Drives, the datAshur will be invaluable to companies or individuals worrying about carrying sensitive data around and even if the drive is lost, the data is unusable without a correct PIN making it pretty secure.

It comes in 3 sizes

4GB £39
8GB £59
16GB £79

and is available from iStorage
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