Quality Issue Restricts SSDs With SandForce SF-2000 Series Controllers To 128-Bit AES Encryption



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Since my laptop is my work laptop, and I don't want to be "that guy" I encrypt the whole thing using Fedora & LUKS. I'm feeling sort of dumb that I didn't even realize that SSDs were starting to come with built-in encryption though. I second the motion that a white paper or article on this in the regular magazine would be a good read.



I would use a 256 bit encryption. But if you have one built into the drive, do you even need TrueCrypt? Could you even use both?



Yes, unless you have a strong password when you log in. The encryption on the SSD only protects you if someone takes your computer.



But don't strong passwords apply across the board?

I have a 256-bit hardware encrypted SSD on my netbook as my primary concern is loss/theft. The drive itself enforces a very strong password.



I only care that they advertised 256-bit encryption capabilities but obviously didn't test that it was possible, which begs one to wonder what other things have been missed in the Q/A process. Off topic, and not to be a jerk, but you should double-check this brief column as it contains a couple typos.



Hardware encryption like this is utterly useless if the drive will vomit up any data on it without so much as a password.



Just a strange thought, but I've never even noticed a guide from you on using hardware encryption on drives. I've got LUKS for linux, and bitlocker for windows, so I definitely use software encryption, but this hardware stuff puzzles me. a how-to to enabling hardware encryption across platforms for linux, windows, and macos would be much appreciated.


Brad Chacos

Here's one for Bitlocker:




I've used Bitlocker on Windows in the past. It worked very well (though it is obviously a "paid upgrade.")

TrueCrypt is my go-to for all platforms for encrypting files and external drives. I've used it on Mac OS, Windows, and Ubuntu. (Beware on Fedora it is rebranded as RealCrypt to conform to the Fedora standard of complete open-source or whatever.)

For full-disk encryption OS X Lion has it built in if you enable it. Fedora also. I have used Ubuntu with FDE in the past but it's not standard--and a serious PitA if you don't know exactly what to do when installing from the alternate install disk. It's not a novice install for sure.

TrueCrypt, I believe, has FDE option but I've never tried it. A quick search will probably reveal any issues it may have (especially with Windows hibernation, performance on older CPUs, etc.)

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