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Thread: USB sticks, security

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default USB sticks, security

    I encrypt my USB sticks (memory sticks) by option-click, Encrypt, then use a huge (21 character) password.

    Each time I insert this stick into my USB slot, I have to put in the password before I can see the content.

    And this is how it has been for years, till this morning.

    Put an encrypted USB stick in, and it came straight up, no password needed!

    I take it that the USB hardware has failed in some way, so my question is two-fold.

    a) are any sticks more reliable than any other sticks?

    b) is encryption through option-click just the same as Disk Utility formatting with encryption, or is the DU version more reliable?

    Bit of a shock, all this, as I use sticks to store sensitive data (away from my computers), and have always smugly thought that I was doing the Right Thing!

    Allen, London.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,142

    Default

    Hmm, have to be someone other than me answering this. I've never even thought about encryption on thumb drives. Don't know a darn thing about it. How's that for ignorance? Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Well, continuing my tradition of answering my own questions...

    A workround might be this.

    Encrypt as normal (through Disk Utility - in decades I've never had a hard-drive lose its encryption);

    Then do a Folder Encrypt on a specific folder inside the memory stick, this time using Disk Utility .dmg encryption routine.

    That way you have double-locks. First, the encryption of the stick. Second, even if THAT encryption fails, the Folder Encryption will almost certainly hold (for both to fail really would be like winning the lottery in terms of the Long Odds!)

    Any thoughts?

    Allen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,142

    Default

    Well, sounds doubly likely to be inaccessible, not only to anyone who just picks it up, but twice as likely you won't be able to open the files....

    Now, that said, this is the first time, believe it or not, tat I ever held a conversation about encryption. Wow.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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