Small USB drive with secure erase/wipe button?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Simply the Best, Oct 3, 2010.

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  1. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    One could coat the important bits of the USB drive with Ag2C2. It's easy to make, and highly brisant. In some areas, it may be available in party poppers and cigarette loads. A real flash drive, for sure ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  2. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    You find what you're looking for on devices with hardware encryption. "Destroy on X number of wrong passwords" doesn't work with software encryption as any volume can be imaged first. Devices with hardware encryption can't be imaged and utilize the destruction method by shredding the drive after x number of wrong attempts to access the data.
     
  3. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    The amount required to trash the chip probably wouldn't even crack the plastic casing. One could probably just use the little paper tube from an old-school party popper, with its pull string.

    Edit: Upon reflection, that's probably misguided. You'd need enough to shatter the flash chip.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  4. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    OK, here's a WAG. Perhaps there's a mis-wiring that would fry the flash chip when you plugged it in. Perhaps there's one that'd trash the motherboard as well, just for jolly. I recall issues re shorted front-panel USB outlets. A simple microswitch in the drive could enable it. Let me google that ...

    Edit1: At a gross level, we have ...

    Pin | Name | Color | Notes
    1 | VBUS | Red | Power
    2 | D- | White | Data -
    3 | D+ | Green | Data +
    4 | GND | Black | Ground

    Shorting pin 1 to pin 2 or pin 3 might be interesting ;)

    Edit2: I'm not finding schematics for flash drives.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  5. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I kid you not, there's been cases of people keeping MicroSD cards with them at all times and literally chewing them up (yes, with their teeth) and swallowing them when there's a knock at the door or whatever. In the case I heard about nobody even knew until he bragged about it later on. It's apparently not all that difficult. It makes me laugh to think about somebody actually doing that to protect their data, but I just pulled out my MicroSD card out of my cell phone to look at it again and it really is very, very tiny. Hard to believe you can get 16gb on these tiny things. I guess I can see where it wouldn't be that difficult. Digestion? That's probably a different story. A few fries on the side might help.
     
  6. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    No, just to make what I said clear....the case I wrote about was somebody doing this when they heard the knock, and knowing it was the police proceeded to chew up their MicroSD card and swallow it. When the police came in, there was no thought given to this guy has just had his 16gb of data for breakfast. It was only later, when he bragged about it, that it became known. In other words, his bizarre delicacies saved him. Of course I believe I have heard of somebody being dumb enough to do this in front of airport security when asked for the card. Now that's stupid. But there's a big difference between the two - they don't routinely x-ray and watch the bowel movements of every suspect in every case. And doing something in private and doing something in front of your attacker is - obviously - two different things.

    Oh...Poosey, What does that link to the picture in your photobucket account have to do with anything we're discussing? It's just a pic of an SD card and an illustration of how you could use it as a bootable OS. Am I missing or overlooking something?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  7. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    I found a very useful link: Universal Serial Bus Revision 2.0 specification . It appears that shorting either D+ or D- to VBUS (+5 VDC) will not necessarily damage the device.

    However, it's possible that some connections to the actual flash chip are not designed to survive 5 VDC. I have some old flash drives around, and a 5 VDC power supply. Do any y'all have suggestions re which pins are best prospects?
     
  8. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I think he's talking about flash cards not flash drives like a USB stick. Maybe I'm wrong? Would it be any different?
     
  9. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    Well, the original post asked re USB flash drives. And, in any case, the flash chips use the same technology, AFAIK, although the form factors may be different.
     
  10. mvario

    mvario Registered Member

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