Corsair on Monday announced it had discovered a security issue affecting its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive that could expose your data. If you own one of these drives, Corsair says you can correct the issue by following these steps (be sure to back up your data first):
Drive must be in a LOCKED state. If the drive is plugged into a system, remove it.
Press and hold the KEY button and the 0/1 button down, simultaneously, for five or more seconds.
Release the KEY and 0/1 buttons. Note that at this stage your password MAY have been erased, but data will still exist on the drive.
Wait until any LEDs are no longer illuminated or blinking.
Press and hold the KEY button for three seconds. Both red and green LEDs will illuminate.
Enter a new PIN using the PIN keys. A user PIN may be 4 to 10 digits long; for security, Corsair recommends 6 digits or more.
Press and release the KEY button. Both red and green LEDs will blink in unison.
Re-enter your PIN to confirm.
Press and release the KEY button. Green LED will flash, indicating your PIN has been accepted.
Your drive is now secure.
Corsair didn't say exactly why all this is necessary or whether the issue affects only certain batches of Flash Padlock 2 drives, or all of them.
Good news for secret agents and anyone else who has a need to keep their data both portable and secure - Corsair has gone and doubled up the capacity of its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive to 16GB.
Previously only available in 8GB, the Flash Padlock 2 sports a couple of security safeguards, including a user-defined PIN. A user's PIN can range from four to ten digits, while the data inside remains scrambled with 256-bit AES encryption. It should also be noted that the PIN is hardwired to the drive, so there's no special software to install, allowing you to unlock the drive on any USB-equipped PC, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, and even game consoles.
Corsair didn't say when the 16GB version would be available or for how much, though we'd guess it to command around $100. For reference, the 8GB version sells for around $55 street.
What do you carry on your USB stick? Plans for world domination? Love letters from your mistress? Detroit Lions fan club information and links? Whether you're prone to any of these or simply aspiring to be a secret agent man, Corsair's Flash Padlock 2 USB flash drive might be just the tool you've been looking for.
This 8GB USB key sits in the sweet spot of 'put-it-in-your-pocket' storage, but unlike most other flash drives, this one comes "very cleverly and comprehensively designed to protect your critical business or personal data from unwanted exposure." This "clever" design entails a numeric PIN pad, which you can configure with anywhere from 4-10 digits. Adding a second layer of protection, the Padlock 2 boasts 256-bit AES encryption.
But what happens if you forget your PIN? Corsair says you can reset the drive to its factory default state, securely erasing all your data in the process.