Computational creativity and the future of AI

Crypteks physically lockable USB flash drive takes data protection seriously


December 1, 2011

Crypteks USB storage is physically locked inside its aluminum housing, encrypted with a us...

Crypteks USB storage is physically locked inside its aluminum housing, encrypted with a user-created password

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Crypteks is bringing out our inner Robert Langdon with the new physically lockable USB flash drive. Featuring a sleek all-metal solid-aluminum alloy construction, the Crypteks USB storage is physically locked inside its housing encrypted with a user-created password that is input by twisting five rings displaying all 26 letters of the alphabet. And if that's still not secure enough, it also offers 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption.

There is a clear resemblance between the cryptex device featured in The Da Vinci Code and the Crypteks flash drive's locking mechanism - hence the name. Its aluminum housing features five twisting rings with letters of the alphabet which need to be set in the right combination in order to remove the stick from inside.

The outer pass-code is user customizable and is easy to change. After removing the USB stick, you can also remove all the outer rings and then place them back with a new code set accordingly between the couple of red dots. The device offers some 14,348,907 possible combinations and if you happen to forget your password, the Crypteks can be sent back to its maker to have the code reset.

If the mechanical security is not enough, there's also a built-in hardware controller that provides 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption. Of course, there will be another password to remember and this one cannot be reset, the manufacturer notes.

Security aside, the durable solid-aluminum design also features anodized layer that helps to deal with fingerprints and dust, as well as a retractable USB tip. Offered in 4, 8 and 16 GB capacities, the Crypteks supports USB 2.0 and offers 24 MB/s read and 10 MB/s write speeds. Its dimensions are 3.1 x 1.1 in (7.8 x 2.7 cm).

Available via Kickstarter, the Crypteks has already obtained enough backing for production to begin. Initially, two versions can be purchased, the 8 GB for the price of US$130, or 16 GB for US$160. The company says that Kickstarter orders will be shipped "hopefully just in time for Christmas."


"... if you happen to forget your password, the Crypteks can be sent back to its maker to have the code reset." Oh fine, so they even advertise the hidden backdoor. Strange sense of security.

2nd December, 2011 @ 08:58 am PST

I have another back door for the mechanical lock. It's called a Dremel with a cutting disk.

Gregg Eshelman
2nd December, 2011 @ 02:44 pm PST

This is cool...but for $160? Not *THAT* cool...

2nd December, 2011 @ 03:03 pm PST

Actually one of the BEST inventions ever, NOT included by the majority was the humble mechanical WRITE lock switch on USB drives.

The failure to implement and mandate this 1c switch per USB memory stick as a USB standard, has resulted in the spreading of more malware and chaos than any one single stupid idea of tight arsed stupidity ever.

Nice to see even crypteks didn't include it either.

Mr Stiffy
4th December, 2011 @ 05:11 pm PST

I also note that it has pretty lame read / write speeds, compared to the Corsair who use really fast Samsung chips, AND in almost 2012 - it's not in USB 3 either.

Mr Stiffy
4th December, 2011 @ 05:19 pm PST

I haven't seen a mechanical write protect switch on a USB stick since the first one I bought. It was a 128 megabyte Lexar. Cost me $15 on sale.

Gregg Eshelman
30th December, 2011 @ 11:57 pm PST
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