Seagate announces the world's first encrypting 3.5 inch drive

Shortly after releasing the world's first notebook hard disk with built-in hardware encryption, Seagate announced the Barracuda FDE (full disc encryption) series of hard disk for desktop use.

Weighing in at up to 1 terabyte (TB), this 7,200-rpm series of disk is certainly no pushover.

According to the press release:

The Barracuda FDE hard drive is the world’s first 3.5-inch desktop PC drive with native encryption to prevent unauthorized access to data on lost or stolen hard drives or systems. Using AES encryption, a government-grade security protocol and the strongest that is commercially available, The Barracuda FDE hard drive delivers endpoint security for powered-down systems. Logging back on requires a pre-boot user password that can be buttressed with other layers of authentication such as smart cards and biometrics.

Basically, the Seagate security platform automatically protects all data stored throughout the drive and is not limited by partitions or files. In essence, its security operates independently even of the file system(s), preserving the hard drive's full performance and is transparent to the operating system.

Like the IronKey USB flash drive, the fact that hardware encryption is employed here means that the entire drive can be "erased" by simply deleting the encryption key. Without the encryption key, the remaining data is (theoretically) as good as just random bits on a platter.

It remains to be seen, however, if such an option would be acceptable to government departments in place of a proper hardware wipe.

Does the Barracuda FDE hard disk appeal to you?