Crypteks physically lockable USB flash drive takes data protection seriously
By Pawel Piejko
December 1, 2011
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."