So I was once a CISO and I’m still a guy that likes cool security technologies and architectures. Was trolling around on Tom’s Hardware and saw a cool new product from Kingston – the Data Traveler 6000 16GB flash drive that supported some pretty serious cool encryption technology – FIPS 140-2 kinda cool technology. Does it work? What exactly does it do? Read on!
What is FIPS 140-2?
It would be kinda dumb to regurgitate the spec so just go to these places if you want to know what this is:
Getting It Working
The step – ignore the packaging and just stick the drive in a USB port. Run the DT6000_Launcher.exe program and follow the basic prompts. Pretty easy – except the packaging tells you to go to a website for instructions that don’t actually exist.
Do not forget the password that you use – there’s no recovery…after 10 consecutive failures the device permanently deletes the keys!
Data Traveler 6000 – How It Works
Bottom line the device supports FIPS 140-2 Level 3 with Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) with P-384 keys aka the “Suite B” algorithms that are significantly better security and performance than AES-256. These algorithms have been approved for use by the DoD with classified materials. You won’t get better encryption in the public sector. Keys and encryption are performed through on-board processors and software.
Performance of the device is pretty decent for what it is doing – to copy 1.59 GB to the device took about 35 seconds on my Lenovo W510 laptop. I tried copying a bunch of files – detaching the device and re-attaching it; moving files on and off. There’s no doubt a bit of a hit, but for what the thing is doing it is pretty darn amazing how small that hit is.
Here’s some additional information on the device’s capabilities. Pretty darn cool.
To use the device – after it is initialized all you do is insert it, a drive gets mounted, and then you open that up, double click the launcher, enter the password, and the encrypted drive is mounted for you. It remains decrypted until you remove it. Pretty darn good – and access to the files is very fast.
DT-6000 – the Verdict
Wicked cool! Insanely secure – can’t even be hacked with an electron microscope or chip peeling!. I’ve moved all my files (tax records, password stuff, etc) onto the device. Its designed and made here in the USA – go Kingston! Love it – get one – its also a tank unit (titanium, steel, waterproof) and feels like a vault in your hand.