[Cryptography] Understanding state can be important.

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
Tue Dec 29 23:52:40 EST 2015

Ray Dillinger <bear at sonic.net> writes:

>We live now in a world where our devices offer no physical security against
>being written, and no physical certainty of the success of any erasure.

There is still one vendor that makes USB devices with write-protect switches,
Kanguru.  OK, so you can still in theory get an infected host with USB-level
0day that 0wns the Kanguru USB firmware, but against anything less
sophisticated than that you're OK.  I keep several of them for taking slides
to conferences and the like, since I have no idea of the state of the machine
they'll be plugged into.

They're also useful for dealing with OS X devices, which insist on scribbling
all over any media that's plugged in as soon as you insert it.  At least it's
slightly less bad then it used to be, the system would refuse to mount a
device if it couldn't scribble to it.


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