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Wednesday, 28 January 2009 05:57

Full-disk encryption coming

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Drive makers agree on single standard


The world's
six largest computer drive makers today published the final specifications for a single, full-disk encryption standard that can be used across all hard disk drives, solid state drives (SSD) and encryption key management applications.

According to a press release any disk that uses the specification will be locked without a password and  and the password will be needed even before a computer boots. Three The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) specifications cover storage devices in consumer laptops and desktop computers as well as enterprise-class drives used in servers and disk storage arrays.

When a USB drive is unplugged, or when a laptop is powered down, or when an administrator pulls a drive from a server, it can't be brought back up and read without first giving a cryptographically-strong password. Without it the drive is a brick that could not even be formatted and flogged on ebay.

By agreeing on a standard drive manufacturers can bake security into their products' firmware, lowering production costs and boosting the efficiency of the security technology.

Nick Farell

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