Posts Tagged 'encrypted'

Secure USB drives not so secure

USB flash drives are very small, very portable, very convenient — and very easy to lose. In fact, the question to ask these days isn’t how to avoid losing your flash drive, but how to make sure your data is safe when you do. As a result, Computerworld decided it was time to look at seven USB flash drives that are outfitted with security features to keep your data safe.

We did what most IT managers and users would do and asked some of the top vendors for their most secure USB flash drives. All but one of these products use some form of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, either 128-bit or 256-bit (according to experts, there’s not much of a difference between 128-bit and 256-bit levels of AES encryption for ordinary purposes, as neither has yet been broken).

There was some variation in the implementation of the encryption on these drives — some use AES keys derived from a user’s password, while others use encryption keys generated by a hardware-based random number generator. (link)

Confidential disc left inside laptop given to computer store

A British computer store has found what it says is a confidential government computer disc hidden inside a laptop brought in for repair.Jonathan Parry of Leapfrog Computers in Bolton says a customer purchased the computer on eBay. When a technician opened it up, he found a compact disc marked “Home Office” and “Private and Confidential” wedged underneath the keyboard.

It was not immediately clear whether the disc was genuine. Britain’s Home Office is the government body responsible for maintaining law and order and fighting terrorism.

Parry says when staff realized the disc was encrypted, they called the police. (link)

PC beats WWII code cracking machine

A rebuilt Second World War code-cracking computer developed to intercept Nazi messages has lost to a desktop computer today in a contest to decipher an encrypted radio message.The challenge marked the first time the Colossus machine had been used since former Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered models of the top secret computer destroyed. That according to Britain’s National Museum of Computing, which organized the contest.

Churchill had feared Britain’s national security would be threatened if the state of the art computer’s technical details ever leaked out. (link)


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