datAshur SSD datAshur Pro
The datAshur cannot be brute force attacked.
The datAshur is not vulnerable to keyloggers as the PIN is entered on the unit rather than the keyboard.
The datAshur does not require any software and can be used on Windows, MAC, Linux, Chrome, Android, Thin Clients and Embedded Systems.
Encryption is performed in real-time thus there is no speed degradation.
No software or drivers are required.
It’s been a while since Daily Review got to get up close and personal with some storage, and so when the word on the street was a debut review, we couldn’t wait for the arrival of not one, but two storage gadgets. With storage capacity being a big thing nowadays, people are always looking for quick and convenient storage, this is where the pen drive comes in to play. Portable, pocket sized storage that is now available in ridiculous capacity variations. The two drives we are taking a look at come branded from iStorage and are the datAshur Pro 16GB and datAshur SSD 30GB flash drives.
PIN activated iStorage datAshur Pro bootable flash drive with built-in military grade XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption. No other secure flash drive can offer you super-fast USB 3.0 speed, 100% data protection, ease of use whenever, wherever, and on any USB device like the ultra-secure datAshur Pro can!
With the datAshur SSD® advanced security features such as read-only mode, auto-lock, self-destruct PIN and brute force protection, delivers complete data security and guarantees 100% protection of your data.
Out of their shipment boxes, both flash drives are identical in appearance, with the exception of each having a different paint job – the datAshur SSD sporting a black paint job while the datAshur Pro possesses a nice metallic blue respray. Taking a look at each separately, up first is the datAshur Pro 16GB drive:
The most obvious feature of the datAshur Pro is it’s fully functional pin activated keypad that spans the whole length of the pen drive. Sitting above the keypad are two small padlock symbols with red/green coloured indicator LED’s above. The closed padlock with red LED symbolizes that the drive is locked, while the locked padlock and green LED indicated just the opposite: the drive is successfully unlocked and ready to be accessed.
Design wise, the datAshur Pro while looking pretty smart with it’s fully numbered keypad, is anything but your ordinary pen drive. Encapsulated within a certified IP57 rated durable aluminium housing, the datAshur Pro is both water resistant and dust resistant and comes in a variety of storage capacities: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The datAshur Pro we are reviewing is the 16GB variety. The internal drive components are sealed with a tamper-proof coating.
What separates the datAshur Pro aside from ordinary pen drives are its features/specifications. Aside from being OS and platform independent (compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, Thin Clients and embedded systems), the datAshur Pro works with Smartphones, tablets, Google Chromebooks, thin clients, printers, scanners, CCTV cameras – any device with a USB or USB OTG port. Furthermore, the datAshur Pro employs military grade XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption. In addition the datAshur Pro is fitted with it’s own internal battery, allowing you to enter your pin using the the keypad before connecting the drive to a USB port. It’s worth nothing that you do only get a certain amount of time to plug the drive in to a USB slot before the drive will automatically lock and will require the pin to be entered again. Furthermore the datAshur Pro is fitted with a timeout lock: set to lock after predetermined amount of time. When the drive is removed from the USB port it will automatically lock the drive requiring either the admin or pre-defined/set user password to unlock it again.
As the iStorage datAshur Pro is unlocked via the on-board keypad and not via a keyboard, it is not vulnerable to software/hardware based key-loggers or brute force attacks. The datAshur Pro protects your data with a “Brute Force Hack Defense Mechanism”. If both Admin and User PINs have been created and a User enters an incorrect User PIN 10 (ten) consecutive times, the datAshur Pro’s brute force mechanism will trigger and the User PIN will be deleted. All data will remain on the datAshur Pro and can only be accessed by the Admin entering the correct Admin PIN. If the Admin enters an incorrect Admin PIN 10 (ten) consecutive times, then both the User and Admin PINs, the encryption key and all data will be deleted and lost forever. The datAshur Pro will then revert back to factory default settings and will need to be formatted before it can be reused.
What is the difference between software and hardware encryption?
– Complex passwords can be cracked easily and quickly with a Brute Force Attack
– Simple password cracking software is readily available on the internet, often free of charge
– Software encryption is vulnerable to key loggers – where every key pressed is logged in either a software or hardware key logger
– Software encryption can be corrupted by viruses
– Software encryption is much slower when compared to hardware encryption
– Software encryption needs to be installed on each computer that the external storage device is used on
– Software encryption shares computers resources to encrypt data with other programs on the computer, making it only as safe as your computer.
– The datAshur Pro cannot be brute force attacked
– The datAshur Pro is not vulnerable to keyloggers as the PIN is entered on the unit rather than the keyboard
– The datAshur Pro does not require any software and can be used on any Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, Thin Clients and Embedded Systems.
– Encryption is performed in real-time thus there is no speed degradation
– No software or drivers are required
Other features offered up with the datAshur Pro flash drive is Read-Only (Write Protect) & Read/Write mode, Super-fast USB 3.0, Immune to BadUSB. BadUSB is a real threat that has serious consequences for computer hardware input devices. BadUSB writes (or overwrites) a USB device’s firmware code to carry out malicious actions. The malicious code is planted in the USB’s firmware, which is executed when the device is plugged into a host. The host can’t detect the firmware code, but the firmware’s code can interact with and modify software on the host computer. The malicious firmware code could plant other malware, steal information, divert Internet traffic, and more – all while bypassing antivirus scans. The datAshur Pro flash drive is immune to this type of malware, leaving you safe in the knowlede that malware will not be implanted on to your drive.
The datAshur SSD looks identical to the datAshur Pro drive, however the datAshur SSD is the beefed up flash drive version – think datAshur Pro, but on steroids, coming in a variety of larger storage capacities (30GB, 60GB, 120GB & 240GB) and with a few extra goodies thrown in for good measure.
Design wise we see the same layout as the Pro, with the keypad spanning the whole length of the drive’s outer housing. Again, sitting above the keypad are two small padlock symbols with red/green coloured indicator LED’s above. The closed padlock with red LED symbolizes that the drive is locked, while the locked padlock and green LED indicated just the opposite: the drive is successfully unlocked and ready to be accessed. Designed with protection in mind, the datAshur SSD incorporates wear resistant keypads to hide key usage and avoid tipping off a potential hacker to the commonly used keys.
With software-free operation, cross-platform compatibility, USB 3.0 speed, increased capacities of up to 240GB, plus a host of high-level security features that you’d never expect to find in a flash drive, datAshur SSD brings a world of advanced data security to your fingertips. This easy to use USB 3.0 flash drive incorporates PIN access with military grade 256-bit AES hardware encryption.
The datashur SSD has been certified as FIPS 140-2 Level 3 having undergone the process of validation to meet the U.S. government standards for information technology and computer security. NIST FIPS 140 is the cryptography standard program required by the US federal government for protection of sensitive data.
The datAshur SSD’s FIPS 140-2 validation covers 11 areas of its cryptographic security system, including physical security, cryptographic key management and design integrity. Available in four levels, the datAshur SSD’s FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification encompasses both the datAshur SSD’s physical tamper-resistant features as well as its identity-based authentication.
Just like the Pro, the datAshur SSD utilizes it’s own internal rechargeable battery. The datAshur SSD enables the user to unlock the drive with a pin code before connecting to the USB port on your computer, tablet or mobile device. As the keypad is embedded on to the flash drive as opposed to being embedded within a piece of software, hardware and software key logging attempts are prevented, disabling then from being able to capture your password which is entered via the host system.
The datAshur SSD can be configured with independent User and Admin PINs, making it ideal for corporate and government deployment. If the User forgets their PIN, the drive can be unlocked using the Admin PIN which can then clear the forgotten User PIN and allow for the User to set a new PIN. Just like the Pro, you are given 10 consecutive attamepts at entering the user pin before the user account is wiped, only leaving the admin account in tact. The admin is also given ten consecutive attempts at entering the correct pin, failure to do so will wipe the drive and reset it back to factory defaults.
Protecting data goes well beyond encryption. Tough enough to go anywhere, the datAshur SSD’s resilient design makes it perfect for travel and field applications. With its rugged, extruded aluminum crush-resistant casing, the datAshur SSD is tamper evident and well-protected against physical damage.
The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is an international standard that tests electrical products against two main environmental factors, liquids and dust. The testing is done independently by a 3rd party and involves two separate tests. In order to receive the certification, the datAshur SSD was subjected to a dust chamber for 8 hours and submerged in a water tank at 1 meter for 30 minutes, after which the datAshur SSD was tested for functionality, and inspected for water and dust in its electronics. The internal drive components are completely protected by a super tough epoxy compound, making it virtually impossible to remove without causing permanent damage to the electronics. This barrier prevents a potential hacker from accessing the encryption circuitry and launching a variety of potential attacks.
The datAshur range of drives from iStorage are undoubtedly a hackers nightmare drive, which is good news for those who want a flash drive that offers maximum protection for all their important data. The specifications/features of both the datAshur Pro and SSD flash drives are unrivaled, however protection like this does come with a price tag. At the time of writing this review the datAshur Pro 16GB drive will set you back £89, while the datAshur SSD 30GB is priced at £159. Compared to your bog standard 16Gb and 32GB flash drives on the market, the price gap is massive – however, if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of losing your irreplaceable data, you’ll understand how the initial investment price can soon become an invaluable possession.