IronKey USB drive gets uncrackable shell

And new crypto chip with 256-bit AES.

IronKey reckons it has made its super-secure S100 crypto USB drive family even harder to crack.

The biggest enhancement of the new S200 model is probably physical, with a revised steel case that has no seams, making it nearly impossible, the company claims, to prize open without damaging the crypto chip inside.

It is this tamper-proofing modification which has gained the drive its much-coveted FIPS-140-2 Level 3 validation, although the claim that it is the only drive to have reached this level could reflect the speed at which certification take place for rival drives rather than any design inferiority.

The crypto chip inside the drive is a second generation proprietary design that features AES 256-bit key length compared to the old S100 model's 128 bits, and also uses cipher block chaining (CBC) for added theoretical key protection.

The new chip improves encryption-decryption performance slightly, the company says, especially when coping with smaller files.

Subtle enhancements have also been made such as a small printed barcode on the end of each drive, which corresponds to the internal identification of a drive. This makes asset tracking easier to verify. Mac users will be pleased to hear that the drives now support the Silver Bullet remote wipe feature.

It is worth mentioning that the company has in recent months been handing out drives that have the physical case design of the S200 but without the internal hardware enhancements. According to a company spokesman, because the new S200 will only be made available from August, any user who has a case without the seams and with two holes in the end of the drive must have one of these units.

The rest of the feature set remains as it was before which covers integrated anti-malware, autorun control, lockdown of the drive when plugged into non-trusted PCs, and extensive management and key recovery features in appropriate models.

"FIPS 140-2, Level 3 is most often associated with devices such as high-confidence security hardware typically found in the data centre," said Scott Crawford of Enterprise Management Associates in IronKey's press materials. "To have implemented this in a USB form factor is a noteworthy achievement."

As with its predecessor, the S200 will sell drive comes in three versions, Basic, Personal and Enterprise. Pricing was not made available by IronKey but should be comparable to the current model.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags secure storagestorage

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?