IronKey USB Key Has Military Grade Encryption

Plenty of USB storage keys are on the market, but Ironkey is the first to use military level encryption. Sold in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB sizes, the key features a processor called the Cryptochip, which uses Public Key Cryptography ciphers linked to an online account to create encryption keys on the hardware. A Federal Information Processing standard 140-2 compliant true random number generator on the Cryptochip ensure that encryption keys are extremely secure and totally random.

Ironkeys come in different sizes, but there are also three different versions, each with unique features. The basic version has a very James Bond-esque feature to destroy the data on it in case of an emergency. The personal version is loaded with Firefox 3 with various addons that make browsing encrypted and anonymous. The enterprise version is made to order with no specific price on the IronKey site, just a form to order one built to your specifications. All of them support Windows, OS X, and a large amount of Linux distros, and they all come in tamper proof and water resistant cases with a brushed metal finish. We tend to think this level of security is overkill for the average person, but people can’t seem to get with our freewheeling approach to security; remember, we leave our WLAN open.

[via LinuxDevices]

32 thoughts on “IronKey USB Key Has Military Grade Encryption

  1. who cares, this is not why the majority of your readers (or at least what I hope to be) come to this site. i know comments like these are getting old but seriously, this is extremely far from a hack and doesn’t belong here… engadget, gizmodo, etc already stream all of this crap. this site used to be unique, now every third post is some pitch for a p.o.s. commercial product.

  2. dear hackaday.
    you have made it clear that you will not Liston to us readers any longer.
    you are posting utter garbage!
    Juan Aguilar you have solely destroyed this site.
    i think i speak for the majority when i ask you kindly to Liston to comments or leave.

    you have lonst yet another reader


  3. You want a hack? THIS is a hack. There is no such thing as ‘military grade’. That’s nothing more than a marketing term (see for that and more bullshit marketing terms that usually mean the product your buying is bollocks). Paying craploads of money for a shitty product. Why not just use a standard usb key and software? Sure it might not have the ability to ‘self destruct’ but at least it will work (and I’d like to see you try cracking a 4012 bit encrypted virtual partition). All of this hardware can by bypassed. Most likely the data isn’t even encrypted (see the earlier link). You want to market something, at least let it be a decent product or something cool and hackable. How about an openmoko (which has just released it’s first ‘consumer ready’ version of the phone – although it’s more like a casual developer model, but hey). Or at least if you post this kind of stuff give me an on hand review about how someone tried to hack it and failed/succeeded. Just don’t shamelessly product place. Gizmodo is posting more relevant content. Come on. The hint is in the title – Hack A Day. Not Ad A Day. A year ago if it didn’t involve wires and chips it wouldn’t be on this site. Just look back a few months in the archives and compare the content then to the content now. If your so eager to post this stuff set up a new site. Just keep it separate from this one.

  4. “….Ironkey is the first to use military level encryption.”


    It’s called download TrueCrypt PORTABLE, which is FREEWARE, and create an encrypted volume.

  5. Will, I understand you created this site, and it’s your call. I respect the fact that you’ve chosen the help of Juan.

    But that’s where my respect ends.

    These sorts of comments are indeed getting old, but perhaps YOU SHOULD ADDRESS THEM. Before Juan starting posting this shit that is basically a DAMN AD, Hackaday was incredible. Now people are bitching for the first time ever. Shouldn’t you adress what Juan is doing when EVERY COMMENT here is Negative, and saying the same thing?

    I love your site, and it kicks ass- you are busting your ass to post a lot more goodness lately, even stuff that’s not a straight hack, but relavent. Thank you! We love you for it.

    Juan, people here don’t hate you. We just seem to univeraslly hate the ads and like stuff you’ve been posting. Please stop, OK? Not everything you’ve posting has been flamed. Mr. Obrien, can you chat with him or something?

    Please stop pitching us ads masked as articles. That is what Engadget & gizmodo is for.

  6. Yawn, this is getting tired and old.

    This was covered by engadget MONTHS AGO so it is not even new like some of the oink articles *shudder* I realise there is this great filtered link that brings up Wills stuff but some of the other content is interesting too so it is hard to filter.

    The reason i think there are so many negative coments is because people feel betrayed, we had this great little niche site we could call into like the old corner store but now it is starting to feel like a wal-mart chain with no charm at all.

    I would also like to hear just once that our complaints are being heard! Ever since the changes there have been few/no posts on the direction of the site, not even a “bear with us whilst…” letting us know what is happening.

  7. I used to enjoy nearly every post here… There’s not much hack-value in an “advertisement” for a secure flash drive.

    I have nothing against anyone, just against turning HAD into another ad riddled blog with little value.

  8. Dude, thinkgeek has had this for sale for about a year now. It’s not a hack, it’s not news…what, are you going to start posting random things you find interesting on here now? Turning into a boingboing clone? If that’s the case…I can’t wait for the story on russian nesting dolls.

  9. every once in awhile all sites like this post something that readers will treat like a punch the face, just so some readers will come back and post
    -“what the fuk you do that for?!”
    -“to boost our page view count, to bring more money in, to keep the site running. you’re welcome!”
    -“well don’t do it again!”
    -“another page view! cha-ching!”
    -“stop it!!”
    -“you’re too generous! our cup runneth over!”

    and so on. if you don’t like it take it off rss and just visit every few days.

  10. Yesterday’s news… So Where the Hack? This is HACK-a-Day not Ad-a-day right? OK OK you are bound to put up a non-hacking article once in a while but… how about linking to articles that would aid or organize an effort to break it… or lump suff like this in to a challenge list of things you need hack/crack info on.

  11. i c y: If you watch the video on their website it shows that that case is filled with an epoxy or resin that encases the ICs/board so disassembly would be a real problem without some high level precision work to remove/drill down to the tiny conductors. Hard to do without breaking the pathways but it “could” be done with time and perseverance. They are a bit on the expensive side to try and play with the 8GB version lists for 199 but I have seen it elsewhere for about 160. I am thinking that they are full of it when they claim it “destroys” the chip though. I know those who must not be named have been doing that kind of self destruct trap for a long time but doubt that this does any more than destroy the password/key table thus rendering the data permanently encrypted and irretrievable.

  12. ok… one last thought. Instead of bitching (and I do my share of that) how about we pony up and talking about the hacks for a given device or topic ourselves. Without a doubt, Juan may be worthless but that does not mean that we are… right? Or do you guys (myself included) only know how to read about hacks not create and share them? This site and others like it are only as good as we who post to it make it. If the guys running it suck we can still crank up the volume ourselves. Who knows maybe I’ll start using my real name and email address (but probably not).

  13. Wow, I have not seen so much bitching since I was on a mailing list that was taken over by trolls.

    For everyone that are upset, skip the damn post and grow up.

    As far as your TrueCrypt solution, humm lets see your key is in RAM not on a hardware chip.

    Go ahead trust sensitive data, the Feds will love to see you coming through customs with your ultra secure TrueCrypt Drives.

    This key is a good concept although I would as a few others like to see someone try to hack it success or failure. Maybe we should have a few sent to Princeton or some of the original members of the L0pht.

  14. I love how you have “experts” on here talking about how to hack the IRONKEY when they don’t even know anything about the technology put into it.

    You can’t drill to the IC, it’s not just the EPOXY that you need to worry about, it’s the “safety” net around the chip, if that is broken, it fries the chip as well.

    No one has hacked an IRONKEY yet. No one..

  15. old thread but if anybody reading this i will clear up bs and fud

    – just using truecrypt on a regular USB is the dumbest thing on earth. truecrypt themselves warn you not to do this due to wear levelling. protip: your l337 ssd drive is not safe for encryption either

    – ironkey doesn’t even sell ironkeys anymore, they went into the VPN cloud BS business or something. i think imation pumps them out now. look up cryptostick made by german privacy foundation, they are releasing new version which is much better than ironkey

    – it’s a good drive (ironkey) as long as you never store anything unencrypted on it because no proprietary software can be trusted, obviously you would encrypt something, then move it to the drive and store it there for hardware + software enc

    – forget truecrypt just use Threefish + Skein (google pyskein) to encrypt everythng instead. much faster cipher and has better defences against cryptanalysis

  16. Hi, I just want to comment relating to Ironkey storage device, this USB is designed to be the world’s most secure flash drive, it performs a high-protective security and is very unique to others. This device has an ability to prevent unauthorized users from attacks by setting password in order to allow user to use the data in the USB. But after 10 wrong password attempts, the device will self-destruct. At first, I wondered what self-destruct look like, but after some research I found out that self-destruct means that the memory in the USB will be erased and the device will be completely unusable. However, according to my research if your IronKey is lost or stolen, its data remains protected and can even be restored to a new Ironkey from an encrypted backup.

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