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Friday, May 30, 2008

Maxtor BlackArmor

I simply can't say no to a black box with blue shiny lights can I? This piece will click in with my Habu, Reclusa and the DGL-4300 Router... Ok, lets see what is BlackArmor.

Maxtor make haddisk. Now they concentrate on external harddisk after the Seagate acquisition. Black Armor is a secured harddisk as they claim. Well, I am tempted to crack it and (not) get hired by Maxtor. Black Armor is protected by AES128 encryption which cover the whole harddisk using their software. Well, I am also tempted to break their software for use on other harddisk IF I can extract it. Ya, this does not come with a Installation CD. In any case, you wont get the hard case and blue shiny lights unless you buy this at USD$150 for the 160GB version. Costly. But cool.

BlackArmor has something very similar to U3, except this encrypt. U3 only authenticate. This is a misconception which many people has. All you need to break the U3 protection without the password is to flash the firmware with a custom one such as SwitchBlade. Anyway, back to this. BlackArmor uses AES128 which will take a fair amount of time unless you like password like abc123 or password. Maxtor claim 30 years. I dare say less because machines get faster, new methods of breaking things comes up every so and then. But its pretty long. BlackArmor supposely has not much issue with unplug from USB. Once unplug it automatically locked and encrypts. So I guess maube this is something built into the firmware which kinda make my statement to want to install it on other notebooks sound silly.

So, is there a downside? Obviously, this does not work in Mac or Linux. This is hard to recover using normal tools. I am not sure if defrag make sense, but it may be. Well, to be honest, I have yet to get my hands on it.

1 comment:

Spudd86 said...

At a guess I'd have to say the software works by sending the drive your password which it then uses to decrypt the AES128 key that it uses for the data, so you cannot use the software with other drives (this is because the crypto is in the hardware).

To get it working with Linux/Mac someone just has to figure out how to send the password to the drive.

If you want full disk encryption there are other ways of getting it in software.

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