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Toshiba releases new USB sticks featuring numeric keypads

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February 6, 2015

Toshiba said earlier today that it has released a new range of USB sticks that feature numeric keypads needed to unlock their encrypted contents.

The keypad adds an extra layer of security to the USB stick by requiring a personal identification number (PIN) to be entered before the device will be useful when connected to a personal computer or laptop.

Once users unplug their sticks, all content is held encrypted using 256-bit AES in CBC mode.

Typing in the correct code needed decrypts the data safely. Ten consecutive unsuccessful attempts to enter the PIN disables the stick.

We guess that the data is always stored encrypted in the stick's flash memory and is decrypted when read, or encrypted on write, through the USB port by a built-in controller if a correct PIN is entered.

Toshiba says “enterprises, government agencies and concerned individuals” will be keen on the new device, which comes at a recommended price of US $95 MSRP for 4 GB, $112 for 8 GB, $140 for 16 GB and $200 for the 32 GB model.

To be sure, those numbers are currently competitive with street prices for similar products from the likes of Ironkey, which also offer content encryption but lacks the built-in keypad.

At just $95 for the entry-level USB stick, isn't that money worth it for your peace of mind? We think this will be a popular solution to storing data.

In December Toshiba said that it is offering new 6 TB disk drives. The MG-04, with capacities of 2, 4, 5 and 6 TB, spins at 7200 RPMs, making it a nearline drive.

Toshiba claims it is good for 24/7 usage such as in servers. It has 12 Gbit/s SAS or 6 GBit/s SATA interfaces and a secure instant erase option to prevent encrypted data falling into the wrong hands.

This is a 2nd generation MG-04 drive. The prior one topped out at 5 TB and used 6 Gbit/s SAS and SATA interfaces.

Source: Toshiba.

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