USB flash drive write protection

Discussion in 'hardware' started by innerpeace, Nov 18, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    I'm looking to purchase my first flash drive and was interested in the write protect switch featured on some of the models. Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time finding any with this feature. I assume it's good for protecting the drive from being infected when plugging into an unknown machine.

    If anyone has a flash drive with this feature, please let me know so I can have a look at them. I'm looking for something 2GB to 16GB in size, fairly fast and reliable. I don't need any encryption features because the drive will mostly be used to transfer programs to other computers and possibly for malware removal.

    Thanks,
    innerpeace
     
  2. ruinebabine

    ruinebabine Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Posts:
    1,097
    Location:
    QC
  3. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Posts:
    1,003
    Location:
    Hackensack, USA
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,981
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Once upon a time, SanDisk USB drives had a write protect switch (I still use a Cruzer mini 256 MB full of tools), but no longer. Check out Kanguru Flash Drives and although I don't own any of them, some seem to still have that switch.
     
  5. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    Thanks for the link ruinebabine. At least I have an alternative method if I can't find a drive with a physical switch. I was also able to look into a couple of imation drives that were suggested.

    JRViejo, Thanks for the suggestion. The Kangurus look nice but are a little hard to find where I shop online. Most of their models are a little pricey except for Kanguru FlashBlu 2.

    So far I have these brands.
    http://www.imation.com/products/flash_devices/flash_compare.html
    http://www.kanguru.com/kanguruusbflash.html
    http://www.trekstorusa.com/products.htm

    Does anyone know if Kingston, Corsair or other mainstream brands have a switch? Their sites are very vague.
     
  6. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,634
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    I recently came across a way to add True Crypy protection to a USB. Dunno if it's that safe or not but showed some promise. I find that site again with details i'll pass it along if it's at all useful for our USB Pens.

    EASTER

    edit:

    This is the URL for it, this is out of my expertise so i'll pass it's usefulness or not over to those of you who are better up to date on this type of USB protections:

    http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=465681
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  7. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,981
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    I also own a Corsair 4 GB Flash Voyager and that line does not have a switch, however, I just found the Corsair Flash Padlock and it looks kinda interesting!

    Edit: Here's a review Corsair Flash Padlock USB Flash Drive Review.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  8. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Posts:
    5,634
    Location:
    U.S.A. (South)
    I picked up a cheapie KINGSTON and so far so good.
     
  9. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,981
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    EASTER, nothing wrong with Kingston. :thumb:

    I have a cheapie 4 GB from MicroCenter and while not as fast as the Corsair, it does the job quickly enough.
     
  10. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    JRViejo, Thank you. The Corsair Padlock looks interesting if it's affordable. I can't find it where I shop. It looks more to protect data instead of making it read only. I was also looking at a Flash Voyager 16GB which is $20 after rebate at NewEgg. I really wanted it, but like you said, it doesn't have the switch. Ughh! It's hard to find good geek toys LOL!

    EASTER, Thanks for the link. I've heard that you can encrypt a flash drive and it could be useful one day :shifty:. An encrypted flash drive would also be a good place to store samples.
     
  11. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    AFaik no data encryption can safe you from writing malicious code to your flash drive,but i'm not quite sure about this so.........
     
  12. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
    Flashdrives with a write protect switch used to be quite common, these days they seem to be quite rare for some reason. I have a couple of old ones which i got cheap off ebay a few years ago which still work great.
     
  13. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    I wonder why they discontinued the switches? No wonder malware is spreading through USB drives. I'm still looking around though.
     
  14. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Posts:
    1,419
  15. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    Hurst, Thank you for the link. I had not seen it before. Are those instructions for XP Pro only? If not, are all of the settings applied to the flash drive and not the host computer?
     
  16. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,572
    Hi Innerpeace,

    I made the guide on an XP Pro machine but it should be the same with any windows 2000, XP and Vista OS.

    Yes, those settings are applied directly at the Access Control Lists (ACL)s (security descriptors attached to all files and directories on an NTFS file system). It does not matter on what OS host you attach the drive (windows, linux, OSx, etc.) These restrictions are always there and none can modify any file, unless he takes the ownership of the partition, the folders and the files. :D

    Panagiotis
     
  17. HURST

    HURST Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Posts:
    1,419
    Tried it with XP Home, and it cannot be done :'(
     
  18. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,572
    Oops, I forgot that File-level access control wasn't included on XP Home. :p

    For "getting back" the access rights tab on XP home you can use the freeware FaJo XP File Security Extension (XP FSE).


    Panagiotis
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  19. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    Thanks HUSRT and pandlouk,

    I sorta thought XP didn't have the Security tab. I remember reading about some app that was mentioned to give XP home the extra tabs. Thanks for reminding me about it pandlouk :thumb:.

    I guess I will go with the 16GB Corsair that's $20 after a rebate. I'm a sucker for a good deal and I can always use the methods posted in this thread to protect the drive.

    Cheers

    Edit: RiDATA also makes at least one version with the write protect switch.
    http://www.ritekusa.com/product_main.asp?division_id=3&products_id=24
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  20. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Posts:
    1,212
    Location:
    England
    Check out these protection sticks. Some have a write protect switch there and also they don't always say in ads when they do.

    http://www.newegg.com/product/Produ...tect&minPrice=&maxPrice=&ATTR1=&ATTR2=&ATTR3=

    I have a alternative software DIY solution. U3 smart stick has another area on the stick that is read only that runs essential U3 software. You can replace that software with your own software and so lock it

    Sticks that have WP switch

    Transcend JetFlash 2A
    SimpleTech Bonzai Xpress
    PNY Technologies Attaché
    Mushkin Flashkin
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  21. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,095
    Location:
    Mountaineer Country
    Thanks markymoo,

    I almost ordered the RiDATA 4GB model, but I went with this instead. It has good ratings and it's quick. I'll have to use one of the alternative methods like you posted to protect it.

    I also ordered my first mp3 player from another site and it also allows for adding a MicroSD card for extra storage. I picked up this kit for use with the mp3 player and I think the SD card may have a write protect switch. If so I can use the USB adapter which would also serve as a write protected USB drive.

    Wow, my first flash drive and mp3 player. Talk about creeping into the 21st century :rolleyes: :p

    Cheers
     
  22. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Posts:
    1,212
    Location:
    England
    RiData and the Patriot are great. Wise choice getting faster write speed. 4GB is like the standard now. No problem 2 mins in Google :thumb:.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.