This flash drive will self-destruct (if you want it to)

This flash drive will self-destruct (if you want it to)

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Losing gear is painful, but everything is replaceable.

Letting data fall into someone else’s hands is the ultimate headache. Once your data is available in the wild, it’s game over.

The “solution” is to encrypt your data. But the problem with this solution is that unless the encryption is simple and foolproof, users will sacrifice data security for convenience.

If you want easy-to-use, high-security encryption, you need hardware aimed at professionals, and that hardware doesn’t get much better than the Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3.0.

Also: This Unusual Ransomware Attack Targets Home PCs, So Beware

Technical specifications Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3.0:

  • No software – so there’s nothing to save or hack.
  • Operating system independent – the device is fully compatible with multiple platforms.
  • Built-in keypad – all authentication takes place in the device itself.
  • All data, passwords and encryption keys are 256-bit encrypted at rest.
  • No host computer is involved in configuration, authentication or encryption.
  • Forced enrollment – no default PIN ensures that data is not put at risk by employees who do not change a factory-set PIN before deployment.
  • IP68 rated against water and dust damage.
  • Separate administrator and user access.
  • Read-only options that can be applied by the administrator or set by the user if allowed by policy.
  • Highly configurable with policies such as timeout values, data recovery PINs, and programmable PIN lengths.
  • Protection against brute force PIN attacks.
  • Extruded aluminum housing with protective sleeve.
  • FIPS 140-2 level 3 validated.
  • Can be automatically configured remotely using Apricorn’s Aegis Configurator tool.
  • Up to 195MB/s read speed/162MB/s write speed.
  • Super Speed ​​USB 3.2 (backward compatible with USB 3.0, 2.0 and 1.1)
  • Capacities ranging from 30 GB to 2 TB.
Not much bigger than a regular USB flash drive

Not much bigger than a regular USB flash drive

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Resembling an oversized thumb drive, the Aegis Secure Key 3.0 packs a lot of high tech into the rugged aluminum shell.

The first thing that immediately stands out is the built-in keyboard which is used to enter the password, which eliminates the risk of your password being compromised by a keylogger.

The keyboard is sturdy and blocks passcode leaks as a result of keyloggers

The keyboard is sturdy and blocks passcode leaks as a result of keyloggers

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

When I first started using Aegis Encrypted USBs with the built-in keyboard, I expected the polymer coated buttons to be the weak link, but they’re extremely durable and don’t seem to wear out over time to reveal the most commonly used buttons. . I have similar drives that have been in regular use for several years and the keyboards still look brand new.

It’s not just the keyboard that’s tough. The flash drive is covered in aluminum (which also acts as a heat sink to keep the drive cool when in use), and there’s even an extruded aluminum protective sleeve that protects the keyboard and connector.

Not only secure, but also very resistant

Not only secure, but also very resistant

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The drive is IP68 rated against water and dust damage, making it a truly rugged storage drive that’s just as at home in the wild as it is in an air-conditioned office.

In use, the simplicity of the Aegis Secure Key 3.0 really shines. Once you’ve set up a password, you can unlock and lock the drive in seconds with just a few keystrokes on the keypad.

You can unlock it easily. But the wicked cannot.

The drive has a built-in brute-force decryption defense to wipe the drive if someone tries to guess the password, and it has a built-in unattended auto-lock feature that secures the drive in case you you would distance yourself from it or be distracted.

For an added level of security, it’s also possible to set a self-destructing PIN to quickly wipe the drive of its contents while making it look like it’s fully functioning.

How James Bond is that?

Drive works great on USB-C Macs using a third-party USB-C to USB-A adapter

Drive works great on USB-C Macs using a third-party USB-C to USB-A adapter

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

All internal components are physically protected against tampering with hardened epoxy and the firmware is locked making it immune to malware attacks such as BadUSB.

The Aegis Secure Key 3.0 is fully cross-platform compatible and independent of the operating system. Whether you use Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, or Chrome, this encrypted storage drive will work as long as a powered USB port and storage file system are available. All drive encryption, decryption, and control happens on the drive.

On the performance side, the drive is capable of read and write speeds of up to 195MB/s and 162MB/s, respectively. I tested this and found the actual numbers to be close to these published specs.

Actual performance is within published specifications

Actual performance is within published specifications

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3.0 is also available in a wide range of capacities, ranging from 30 GB to 2 TB, with prices ranging from $129 to $999.

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