Toshiba's Wipe HDDs render data useless when you get online in a strange place

Self-encrypting drives are hardly new, but that doesn't mean researchers aren't still looking for ways to give those IT folks behind the curtain more ways to lock down sensitive intel. Toshiba just launched a line of self-encrypting HDDs that will "invalidate" the data -- essentially, rendering it useless -- when the laptop connects to an unknown host. IT departments can also use Toshiba's so-called Wipe Technology to scrub a machine before tossing it, or encrypt the drives every time someone powers down. The company won't be peddling these directly to consumers, of course, and in fact, Tosh is planning on shopping them around not just for laptops, but multifunction printers and point-of-sale systems, too. They'll come in five sizes, ranging from 160GB to 640GB, and will all run at 7,200RPM. And Tosh says it'll work with OEMs to help them customize the conditions that will trigger a data lockup. It's too soon to say what laptops will pack this technology, though the company is clearly moving quickly -- it'll start showing off samples this month and will ramp up mass production by late June.

Show full PR text

New Security Feature Automatically Wipes Protected Data When Drive is Connected to an Unknown Host System

IRVINE, Calif., April 12, 2011 – Toshiba announces the first1 family of self-encrypting hard disk drives (HDDs) engineered to automatically invalidate protected data when connected to an unknown host. The new Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) models enable OEMs to configure different data invalidation options that align with various end-user scenarios. Designed to address the increasing need for IT departments to comply with privacy laws and regulations governing data security, the drives are ideally suited for PC, copier and multi- function printer, and point-of-sale systems used in government, financial, medical, or similar environments with an acute need to protect sensitive information.
Building on the industry-standard Trusted Computing Group "Opal" Specification, the new Toshiba MKxx61GSYG models leverage advanced access security and on-board encryption alongside second generation data wipe technology. Whether to protect against data loss resulting from lost or stolen notebooks or to maintain the security of document image data stored within copier and printer systems, Toshiba SEDs can securely invalidate protected data. Data invalidation attributes can be set for multiple data ranges, enabling targeted data in the drive to be rendered indecipherable by command, on power cycle, or on host authentication error-an industry first. This flexibility provides systems designers with a powerful set of data security options that can be easily incorporated into existing system architecture.
With the latest enhancement to Toshiba's SED technology, the risk of data theft is reduced in cases where the drive is removed from its defined host environment and connected to an unknown system. At power ON, the SED and host perform an authentication process. If the authentication fails, the drive can be configured to simply deny access or crypto-erase sensitive user data.
Scott Wright, product manager, Toshiba Storage Device Division, notes, "Digital systems vendors recognize the need to help their customers protect sensitive data from leakage or theft. Toshiba's security technologies provide designers of copiers, printers, PCs, and other systems with new capabilities to help address these important security concerns."
Toshiba's latest SED and data wipe security features will be demonstrated this week during an event at Toshiba headquarters in Japan for media and analysts. Customer sampling and volume production of the MKxx61GSYG models will occur in Q2, and Toshiba will focus on working closely with targeted OEMs and security ISVs to help them closely integrate the latest wipe technology features.
For more information on the Toshiba line of industry-leading enterprise-class small form factor SSDs and HDDs, visit