NSA authorizes Seagate self-encrypting HDD for government use

Seagate's Momentus 5400 FDE.2 HDD has been approved for one of the most demanding security standards in the US government, the National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Policy (NSTISSP) #11.

This marks the second time a federal agency has honored Seagate's product with security accreditation. Last Year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) gave certification to Seagate's Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption algorithm. This transparent hardware-based encryption powers the Momentus hard drive.

Momentus 5400 FDE.2 2.5", 1.5 Gbps SATA drive is offered to consumers in 80, 120, and 160 GB sizes, and can now be deployed in US Government agencies and contractors working in issues of National Security thanks to the NSA clearance and helped by the NIST certification.

In the last three years, the FBI has reported the loss of 160 laptops, with as many as 51 containing classified or sensitive information, The State Department misplaced $30 million worth of laptops containing anti-terror information, and the Commerce department lost 1,137 laptops. The government loses sensitive information on such a grand scale that one begins to wonder if Seagate's encryption would be a band aid applied to a severed artery.

Sure, the drives require pre-boot authentication, maintain hashed passwords, offer on-the-fly erasure, and emergency password recovery files are kept on a separate drive. But if all the thousands of already missing laptops used self-encryption such as that employed by Momentus HDD, the government might have to adjust the way it accounts for data loss, since its loss may no longer necessarily be someone else's gain.

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