Toshiba releases new hard drive that erases itself when removed from a PC

Toshiba has come up with a type of self-encrypting hard drive (SED) that can automatically wipe data if it is removed from a paired computer by an attacker.

Available in capacities up to 640GB, the new MKxx61GSYG drive upgrades the capabilities of an identically named drive announced last December, which launched the company’s family of drives complying with the Trusted Computing Group’s Opal SSC specification.

The new version adds new feature to the mix for OEMs, including the ability to cause either part or all of the drive to become crypto-erased if the drive detects that it is not operating inside a particular PC.

According to Toshiba, this is useful for point-of-sale terminals as well as some laptops to protect against drive data being accessed when it is at the end of its life or being re-provisioned.

The company is also pushing the case of this type of drive in niche applications such as multi-function printers that cache and retain images of faxes and printed documents. Undoubtedly, however, the technology could herald a move towards drives that are designed to wipe themselves out when removed from paired computers or devices.

It’s important to also note that data can also be set to erase from sections of the drive based on remote commands.

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