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iStorage DiskAshur drives could take six billion years to crack

When security commentator John Walker set out to discover whether iStorage’s DiskAshur PRO external drives can keep your data safe, he found that recovery time could be in lengthy.

Files would likely remain indecipherable.

“As an example, secured by a 12-character passcode, it is estimated it would take six billion years to brute-force,” Walker, who is a visiting professor at the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), wrote in a report for Information Security Buzz.

He said that even if the time to brute-force could be significantly reduced, for example as a result of future tech advances, it would still take “maybe a billion” years given that the secured data objects had been processed with AES-XTS 256 full-disk hardware encryption.

“You will need to have some time on your hands (and possibly an extended life),” he quipped.

Walker loaded the 500GB device up with data and then broke it into pieces to assess its true vulnerability via a number of tests, after first checking it was working correctly on both Linux and Windows 10.

This was, he said, a matter of gradually peeling back the drive internals and deconstructing every part from the build. Then it was again mounted, the PIN entered, and authenticated, and access gained to the drive contents.

After all that, the part-disassembled drive was still working via the PIN pad.

“The last acid test to be carried out was to attach the removed hard drive to a USB 3.0 TO IDE/SATA interface, which had been tested to assure it was in full working condition,” Walker said.

“It is at this juncture where it was proven, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the data stored in encrypted form on the iStorage drive was secure – in fact, the drive would not even mount in a raw format.”

When the encryption algorithm keys were destroyed, access similarly could not be achieved and the drive was locked, he added.

iStorage‘s newest encrypted drives are the DiskAshur M2 SSD and the DatAshur BT flash drive.

The FIPS-compliant AES-XTS 256-bit hardware encrypted DatAshur BT drive was reviewed in March by ThinkComputers, whose reviewer scored the 64GB device 9/10 for being close to its advertised speeds with an easy-to-use app and excellent security features.

The DiskAshur 2TB also made TechRadar’s latest list of best external desktop and portable hard disk drives for 2021.

( Photo by Jainath Ponnala on Unsplash )

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