Seagate announces hardware FDE for laptop and desktop machines

travis+ml-cryptography at travis+ml-cryptography at
Wed Jun 10 19:19:53 EDT 2009

Reading really old email, but have new information to add.

On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 02:15:38PM +1000, Daniel Carosone wrote:
> Speculation: the drive always encrypts the platters with a (fixed) AES
> key, obviating the need to track which sectors are encrypted or
> not. Setting the drive password simply changes the key-handling.
> Implication: fixed keys may be known and data recoverable from factory
> records, e.g. for law enforcement, even if this is not provided as an
> end-user service.

There was an interesting article in 2600 recently about ATA drive

It's in Volume 26, Number 1 (Spring 2009).  Sorry that I don't have an
electronic copy.

The relevant bit of it is that there are two keys.  One key is for the
user, and one (IIRC, it is called a master key) is set by the factory.

IIRC, there was a court case recently where law enforcement was able
to read the contents of a locked disk, contrary to the vendor's claims
that nobody, even them, would be able to do so.  The man in question
had his drives sized by the FBI and they read the drives, uncovering
emails between the man and his lawyer.  He was suing the manufacturer
for false advertising.

Here are the links from the 2600 article:
hdparm -security-erase-enhanced in Linux
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that your mail program doesn't understand. | 
If you are a spammer, please email john at to get blacklisted.
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