Toshiba Wipe Auto Decimates Your Encrypted Data

Toshiba today announced a new self-encrypting disk technology that promises to nuke your sensitive data should it fall into the wrong hands. It's called "Wipe Technology," a proprietary suite of security functions that add a new layer of protection to data storage and IT equipment. Using Toshiba's Wipe technology, users can determine a range of security settings that fit their paranoia level, including invalidation of encryption keys and deleting data when a drive is removed from its housing or connected to an unauthorized host system.

Image Credit: Toshiba

Wipe Technology essentially adds a third layer of protection, the three levels being:
  1. Invalidation of all data by the system.
    This invalidates all data. This feature is designed for use prior to system disposal or re-purposing to ensure that private data never leaves the control of the responsible business unit or IT department.
  2. Invalidation of data on powering down.
    The HDD encryption key is automatically invalidated when the drive's power supply is turned off. If a Wipe Technology SED drive is removed from a system, it can be set to invalidate all data on the drive.
  3. Invalidation of data when the equipment is connected to an unauthorized system (The new technology which was  added this time).
    When an SED HDD is inserted into a system it triggers "challenge response" authentication to confirm the system is known to the HDD. If the authentication fails, the HDD automatically deletes the encryption key. This level counteracts attempts to read a drive by physically removing it from a secure host system and installing it in another system.
Right now the technology is only available on Toshiba's Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) line, though the company said the next step will be porting it over to solid state drives (SSDs).