Shades of Mission Impossible?
This USB stick will self destruct in 5..4..3..2..1..0
Chinese flash biz Runcore has built a self-destructing solid-state drive. The ironically named InVincible SATA SSD is aimed at military applications and customised SSD markets where a very high degree of data protection is required. It comes in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch rugged form factors with SATA, PATA and CF Card interfaces, …
No, shades of Apple Design (TM).
Look where the red and green buttons are wired to - these go to the unused pins on the SATA interface, the same ones Apple uses for their cursed "special thermal management" system in iMacs. I bet this drive has an entertaining compatibility problem - plug it into a reasonably new Mac and it will selfdestruct spontaneously straight away.
This post has been deleted by its author
Think about it -- anyone with high enough security requirements *will* *not* *want* a publically available protocol for remote detonation: they'll want a top secret, in-house one. They can roll their own and simply connect it to the appropriate pins on the device.
I mean, imagine if the US army invaded Iran with this stuff in their equipment and the Iranians just started saturating the airwaves with remote destruct signals.
So the manufacturer can't make the remote option as standard.
remote detonation sadly is "not an option in the United Kingdom of Great Britain...." due to the safety at work regulations". Moreover, the EU directive No 433337532/EC/43443B-1Aa/4332466645/2016 makes it illegal to "install explosives in the working environment with the presence of a human operator in the proximity of 5 km (5,000 metres) due to the potential loss of life, hearing and other unforseen but strictly prohibited circumstances"
Thales used to sell a VPN device which had a small block of explosive over the IC with a motion sensor component to prevent theft. Apparently a certain military thought they were a good idea until someone did a certain manoeuvre in a submarine and the unit under test destroyed itself.
Yes, but there's never a sledgehammer handy when you are stopped for a search at customs.
Finally a use for those armed guards walking around.. Aim here, please..
Actually, I can see it now - a new coin driven machine with the kind of pulse degausser that is guaranteed to melt the NHS amalgam out of every Brit in the vicinity with NHS dental treatment. Hmm, must go and look in the old shed if I find parts..
If your a soldier in combat about to be overridden by the enemy I think you would rather have a covered button to press for destroying all the data that run around trying to find a big hammer, and just shooting it a few times would not ensure the data was not recoverable.
This would also be ideal for embassy kit, as the days of opening the lead acid batteries used for backup power and pouring the contents over the equipment are hopefully gone (standard practice I'm told for the 1960's and 70's), plus this would be a lot quicker.
I don't know about UK procedures but I'm given to understand that the US armed forces employ a three-part procedure to destroy their data. First they format the drives, then they cut the drives into pieces with an industrial cutter, then they pile them up with a few cases of thermite and throw a match. You know, just in case.
This post has been deleted by its author
I'd want the drive to have the option of having to depress the green button on power up to avoid the drive wipe, and have it as a firmware option that you can update using a utility. That way you can only change it while it's powered up.
Even better would be if you had to provide a key string within a certain time period or it self destructed, and it has enough capacitors on board to do it even if the power is subsequently removed.
This post has been deleted by its author
Narrator: How can he possibly resist the maddening urge to erradicate history at the mere push of a single button? The beautiful, shiny button? The jolly, candy-like button? Will he hold out, folks? Can he hold out?
Stimpy: No I can't! Yeagh!
There are many, many, many Shiny Red Buttons. Don't press them.
Roger is one dead raccoon as soon as Doc and Sandy get hold of him.
Power could be an issue then - can I plug my laptop in so I can self destruct it?
My drives are truecrypted but what I want is a truecrypt delete password - type in the right password and all is good, type in the specific delete password and it scrambles the lot. If anyone forces me to disclose the password I can give the delete one.
That a couple of post-grad students doing a research degree accidently destroyed their processor, back when such things were exotic.
On the one spare backup processor, they single stepped the code until they came to an error: an undocumented opcode.
Which short-circuited the power supply through a path through the centre of the chip. They had been shipped a military version of the processor.
Distant memories suggest that may have been an 8 bit, 6800 derivative?
There was a chip (early SOC) of that eara that had an illegal instruction that opened up the serial lines and/or power lines directly onto the address buss and fried the CPU in seconds.
Actually, no - that's the exhaust fan on the XPC, and if it's anything like mine, unless the machine is doing something intense, it's very slow and quiet, one of the reasons I love my XPCs.
The smoke does drift away slowly, which is roughly what I'd expect at the range (my little incense burner, alongside my SX58H7 is hardly affected at about 3 inches range - until I play a decent game, when the smoke goes horizontally...
What a fantastic video!
The lass presenting looks like she has been dubbed, but in a 1970's kung-fu movie kinda way! lol!
Can see this been useful in china, africa and parts of the middle east. I canny see EU or US military peeps taking a boatload of these! Not in the current climate of cyber-suspicion...
I have the feeling they didn't do too many takes - it gets costly with a physically destructing drive (although I personally would not be above "accidentally" screwing up so I could so it again :).
You can see that in how she keeps away from the drive - she had no idea what it was going to do..
Unless pressing the red button does the same as the green, then blows to chips, there's no way this will enter any military systems. just going down the physical destruction of the chips won't suffice - I have recovered data from damaged flash chips in the past. Not easy, but well within the budget for a government body.
From the video, it looks to me like the button directs current, probably from the +12V line, directly into the flash cells thus releasing their magic blue smoke. I'm no double-E, but I'm pretty sure that'll wipe all the cells pretty thoroughly.
But honestly, if you're paranoid/concerned enough to have a self-destructing disk you would surely encrypt it as well, the idea being to make it as difficult as possible to recover anything.
Can anyone spot a problem with this scenario...
TSA: Excuse me sir, please come with us, and we'll take your computer
You: Before you take it, can I just power it up and press the shiny red button?
TSA: That sounds very reasonable, please continue
A destructive mechanism is surely more useful if the owner needs to DE-activate it every time it's switched on. How often are you likely to be just about to fall into enemy hands and yet also have enough time to power up the system and press the red button? I would have thought that a more common scenario is this: the equipment is taken (surprise attack / theft / seizure) before you can destroy the data - you may in fact not even realise it's gone. In which case you need to be sure that if the correct password isn't entered at boot-up the thing will self-destruct.
I'm given to understand that law enforcement usually remove the drive and make a copy before doing anything. Therefore what is required is an internal capacitor wired into the standard power supply so as to blow the drive as soon as power is supplied. On your PC you have this circuit earthed so that it never charges up. Ergo it's is safe for the crim to use but as soon as plod raid you, they remove the drive, power it up to make a copy and kaboom. I think I'll patent it,
All you need is a fairly cryptic voice activation control.. something you wouldn't say by accident, like:
"I call upon the power of the dark side! Sidious, give me power! Vader, give me control! Death star, vapourize the rebel planet.. er.. flash drive"
..or in a more Harry Potter sort of world:
"Flash discus incinero"
It would be almost worth it to see the cop's reaction
US Mil did for a while have a spec that demanded the physical destruction of flash media. I have been told that they have since relaxed that to where some kind of errasure is sufficent. Silicon Systems was one company I know that made them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Systems_Inc
*Bang Bang Crash* "FBI! Hands in the air!"
"Crap, the feds. Quick, hit the red button!"
Replace FBI with law enforcement body of choice. I could see this being very popular amoung paranoid criminals even without a remote. Ditto for spies, though I'd imagine they'd have a bit less time to get to the button.
There have been spinny disks with this tech in for a while. They contain a small vial of acid that eats the surface coating of the disk, rendering the data gone forever (supposed to be more secure than the "secure erase" app that wrote over the data with random blocks 10 times - and would've taken about a week for w hole disk).
There are a couple of options; there is a mechanical option (lever ISTR) or an electrical input.
switched the "red button" with Jim's 'e' key. Let's watch as the hillarity ensues.
I wouldn't be so presumptious to speak for most 'institutionalized' IT professionals, but I know I for one would abuse the piss out of the red button, just out of principle. Another evening of unpaid overtime? zap. Being asked by boss "how to open excel spreadsheet"? zap. Crude, elaborate practical joke perpatrated on unsuspecting coworkers who built home made taser and wired it to my mouse "for their amusement"? zap.
Think of all the possibilities of remote detonation: User: "I can't get to the internet and I can't understand why you guys are just sitting around looking at your screens?" Zap (note to self: for extra negative reenforcement, get said coworkers taser mouse deployed to the masses, immediately!)
Receive lol cats email from relatives or friends? zap. Receive FB friend request from, well, anybody? ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP zap zap ZAP!!!