Electronic Design
Apricornrsquos Aegis Secure Key 30 has an onboard battery so it can be unlocked before it is plugged into a USB socket

Apricorn’s Aegis Secure Key 3.0 has an on-board battery so it can be unlocked before it is plugged into a USB socket.

Hands on a Secured USB 3 Flash Drive

Apricorn’s Aegis Secure Key 3.0 is a secure solid-state drive that runs at USB 3.0 speeds. It uses military-grade, full-disk 256-bit AES hardware encryption. FIPS 140-2 Level 3 is pending. The keypad is used to enter a 7- to 16-digit PIN password. There is a master PIN and user PIN. The latter can be reset. A drive reset clears all data including both PINs. This will occur if the wrong PIN is entered 20 times or when the reset sequence is entered.

What I like about using the new Aegis Secure Key is that it has an on-board battery that is charged when plugged into a USB socket. This allows the unit to run when disconnected. This includes all management functions as well as unlocking the drive. It can then be plugged into the system. Removing it or pressing the lock key locks the device. 

The nice thing about this flash drive is that it encrypts the data, but it is not susceptible to key logging since the PIN is entered on the drive’s keyboard, not the PC’s keyboard. The Secure Key works with any operating system, since it is essentially a normal USB flash drive once a valid PIN is entered.

The unit is sealed in epoxy. This provides some additional protection from physical attacks. It has a wear-resistant keyboard that should provide a long operational life. The key comes with an aluminum cover that provides IP58 protection (pending). It should handle submersion at 1 m for half an hour.

Pricing starts at $199 for a 30 Gbyte unit. The 250 Gbyte unit is priced at $369. All units have a three-year warranty. Just don’t forget your admin PIN.

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