Friday Apr 27, 2007

SLOTD 2007-04-27: InfoSec Europe & encrypted storage

I attended InfoSec Europe at Olympia in London earlier this week. I find this show generally a little to "PC" biased sometimes so I wasn't expecting to get too much out of it. I spent most of the time looking around for encrypted storage solutions and products. Last year I found an excellent hardware only encrypting disk drive that is approved for UK government use.

This year I found a device by a company called SafeBoot. Initially I almost discounted this device because I was expecting it to be Windows only. The device is a small USB flash drive with a fingerprint reader to access the data, I think it is their phantom product that I saw. While the device can only be configured from Windows the lock/unlock functionality works on any system. We tried it out under the MacOS X laptop we had with us (this ensures there are no drivers needed for this) and it works just fine. What was even nicer is that a simple software eject under MacOS caused the drive to relock again. So I fully expect this to work just the same under Solaris. Under MacOS X the encrypted part of the device that you need your fingerprint to unlock appears as a removable drive that doesn't have the media in it - until you swipe your fingerprint.

Pretty cool little device, I don't have one at the moment to try it out but it looks promising. I can even see some uses for this in a primarily Solaris based solution, so you might see this or something like it in the future....

Apparently the device can also allow the crypto functionality to be used by the host OS, but only Windows. I wonder if I can get them to write (or collaborate with us to do so) a driver for the OpenSolaris cryptographic framework.

- Darren

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