Self-erasing & self-encrypting Toshiba MKxx61GSYG hard drive

Toshiba self-encrypting (SED) and self-erasing drive, series MKxx61GSYG, are targeted at Governments and corporations with high data protection needs, this 2.5″ self erasing hard drive can be used in PC, photocopiers and printers, high end printers and photocopiers can have an internal hard disk caching a copy of the documents to be copied, that data can be retrieved.

The hard drive uses security technology based on specifications from the Trusted Computing Group, a not-for-profit organization with the likes of AMD, Microsoft, IBM and Intel, formed to develop a vendor neutral,  industry standard platform for trusted computing.

How does the self-erasing drive works?

Every time you power up a device equipped with the Toshiba MKxx61GSYG hard drive a security check is performed to make sure that the host authenticates as valid, meaning that it checks the hard drive it is still plugged in the original hardware and has not been removed and plugged in elsewhere. If the authentication process fails, the hard drive can block access to the data, wipe the entire hard disk, wipe specific data blocks or carry out a cryptographic erase of the hard drive.

Toshiba MKxx61GSYG Series

Toshiba MKxx61GSYG Series

What is a cryptographic erase?

A cryptographic erase is the process by which keys that allow a system to decrypt data are wiped, this is different from a regular erase that takes a long time to be carried out, by erasing the crypto keys to the fully encrypted drive the data will be permanently encrypted and unreadable, it is possible to keep a backup of the encryption keys by the owner and when reinstated, hard drive decryption will be possible again.

Toshiba hard drive encryption

The files on the hard drive remain encrypted at all times, data is decrypted on the fly while the drive is used, the Toshiba Kxx61GSYG series encrypts data using AES 256-bit, a very strong cipher with no back door that not even state sponsored adversaries can crack, the hard drive is FIPS 197 certified by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).