Fred C Th...
Technology & Engineering
Zip Security RSA Conference 2003 Data Security Features of ZIP® Drives and Media Fred Thomas, Chief Technologist (firstname.lastname@example.org) Advanced Research & Development, R&D Iomega Corporation Removable Data Storage Cartridge Security Issues Iomega Zip drives and disks are unique when compared to other forms of mainstream removable data storage. The security features focus on the customer’s needs rather than the needs of industry-driven digital rights management (DRM). Iomega has worked hard to make your data safe and secure. Here are three ways Iomega products meet our customer’s security needs: 1. Data reliability and interchangeability between a huge install base of drives. 2. Personal information security built right into each Zip drive and disk. 3. A factory unique media serial number on every Zip disk. The new Iomega Zip 750MB drive Data Reliability and Interchangeability Iomega’s drives and disks are built flexible and strong, to protect our customer’s data against damage in real world situations. They can be used in almost any compatible Zip drive in the world. The Zip disk media is flexible–allowing it to absorb the shock of being dropped off a desktop. The media, with its important data, flexes and absorbs the shock gracefully. Like a cat with 9 lives, Zip cartridges can survive the stress and shock of the everyday world, unlike other high capacity removable disks that are more fragile. Iomega protects this flexible and resilient data surface with a modern-day suit of armor. The cartridge shells for Iomega media are made of a robust polycarbonate ABS blended plastic. Iomega Zip cartridges are over 2.5 times stronger and more protective than a floppy disk cartridge. The inner walls of the cartridge shell are then lined with Iomega’s patented liners for an extra measure of protection. Iomega also protects the Zip drive with our patented “penny tag” technology. These tags, seen in Figure 1, are found on the underside corner of each Zip disk. The “latent irradiance” tag technology used in both the Zip 250 and 750 disks is similar to the secure identification and authentication technology used on higher denomination U.S. currency for counterfeit detection. These tags prevent the potential damage that may be caused by inserting foreign materials into the drive, such as a 3.5” floppy disk. Figure 1 – The Iomega Zip Disk’s Secure “Penny Tags” Iomega’s quality control over the design and manufacture process ensures compatibility between old and new Zip drives and disks. Zip disks have an interchangeability rate of over 99.5% with Zip drives in the field. Personal Information Security IomegaWare™ software makes it easy to secure information on your Zip disk and is included free with each Zip drive. The user can set one of three security modes for each Zip disk. These modes are: 1) Not Protected, 2) Write Protected and 3) Read & Write Protected. These security settings are controlled by the drive’s firmware making it nearly impossible to break. There are 1.8x1019 possible combinations to try (that’s 18 quintillion, or over 400 billion times 400 billion possible combinations). Figure 2 shows the Zip disk Password Protection menu. Figure 2 – Zip Password Protection Menu Factory Unique Media Serial Numbers Each Zip disk has a unique media serial number written onto it during the manufacturing process. This number cannot be over-written by drives in the field. The serial number is retrievable by host computer applications using both the Iomega vendor command “getMediaSerial#” or the MS- Windows media serial number command. The unique disk serial number can be used by applications to support DRM content management. It is not, however, mandated by the Zip open file format. Conclusion: Customers need more than just an economical data storage solution. They need to know their data is secure, protected, and interchangeable with millions of users worldwide. Iomega Zip drives and disks are up to the challenge!