Tuesday, 5 February 2008

This USB key will self-destruct in 10 login attempts

This USB key claims to be "the world's most secure USB flash drive" and who am I to argue? After all, it's the only one I've heard of that will self-destruct when someone tries to access the stored data. Sadly, and contrary to the 'demo' image (right), this destruction is not explosive. Instead, after ten failed password entries, the device wipes its data.

According to IronKey's website, this destruction uses a, "patent-pending 'flash-trash' methodology" to overwrite data. And if you're thinking, "well, I'd just prise the memory out of the unit and read that directly" think again - the IronKey is filled with an, "epoxy-based potting compound". The idea is that, once you've dug through the resin, you've probably damaged the physical memory in the process.

It's easy to get suspicious about a technical security product that uses "patent-pending" technology. But it's also hard to be unimpressed by IronKey's slick marketing. Personally, I'll continue to store my most personal secrets on something less easy to lose or have stolen. But for the paranoid geek in your life, this might be an ideal gift.