Pretec creates self-destructing SSD

September 9, 2009 // 10:07 a.m.

Tags: #encryption #military-ssd #pretec #pretec-ssd #secure-erase #security #self-destruction #ssd

Solid-state specialist Pretec has announced an SSD with a twist: a self-destruction feature.

As revealed over on I4U, the device - which is aimed at military use, but is likely to be purchased by paranoid civilian types - features a patented self-destruction feature that is capable of wiping the entire memory beyond recovery in less than one two-hundredth the time of a regular SSD.

Once the self-destruction instruction is sent to the drive - and you'd better be sure you really mean it - the contents of the SSD is completely wiped in around 0.1 seconds. Once erased, recovery is pretty much impossible - which should please military and spy types who have to take sensitive data to some pretty scary places.

When triggered, the ultra-fast erase cycle cannot be interrupted: even if you manage to power down the system or yank the drive during the 0.1 second window of opportunity the data will still be unrecoverable, Pretec claims.

While the device isn't a replacement for whole-disk encryption, it's a neat idea which should certainly boost uptake of SSD use in the military - just in case the whole 'shock resistant' sales pitch hadn't convinced them already.

Thus far Pretec hasn't released any performance specifications for its quick-erase drives, but the devices are thought to be based around its 'industrial' range of SATA drives which are available in sizes up to 192GB and capable of 65MB/s read speed.

The main sticking point for the new devices will, of course, be price: while the military market might not be cost-sensitive, if Pretec wants to sell the technology outside that very exclusive sector it will need to ensure that it doesn't come at too much of a premium.

Could you be tempted by a device which can be completely scrambled in a tenth of a second, or does that just sound like an accident waiting to happen? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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