Stonewood's Eclypt Drive: the AES-256 Data Fortress

A tamper-proof case design keeps potential hackers out

By Bogdan Botezatu on April 30th, 2008 12:34 GMT
UK-based storage specialist Stonewood has announced a new series of encrypted hard drives, especially tailored to meet the demands of business users. Called the Eclypt, the new drives are more than storage media, given the fact that they come with re-enforced security options to protect sensitive data if the device gets lost or stolen.

The 2.5-inch drives come in two distinct flavors: while the Eclypt Corporate is an internal hard-disk drive, the Eclypt Freedom is a portable and elegant external HDD that hooks to the computer via a USB 2.0 port. Both product ranges allow the user to transparently encrypt the data traffic between the computer and the hard-disk, regardless of the computer's operating system.

The encryption process relies on the 256-bit AES algorithm and stores the key within the drive's internal chips. This approach prevents hackers from gaining access to the stored data by attacking the host computer's operating system.

More than that, the company has fitted the whole circuitry into a tamper-proof, ultra-rugged enclosure. When an unauthorized person tries to physically tamper with the drive in order to gain access to the data, key components inside the case break down and render the drive useless.

"The fundamental difference between a Seagate unit and ours is that on ours the key is held on the PCB", said Stonewood's Grant Gutteridge. "You would not be able to mount an attack on our drives because the key is not on the drive itself."

The integrated encryption acceleration is allegedly playing an important part in keeping the access times and latencies to a minimum. The drives are available in capacities ranging from 60 to 120GB in both parallel-ATA and SATA interface modes. However, the company plans to update the storage capacity in the near future.

The drives will come with a slightly larger price tag as compared to the standard storage media, a price tag that would cover the extra cost in implementing the AES algorithm and the tamper-proof case. The new offerings have not been priced yet, but the company estimates that they will sell for about $600.
The Eclypt ultra-rugged internal drive
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   The Eclypt ultra-rugged internal drive

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