[CentOS] Dell 120 GB 5400 RPM Encrypted Serial ATA Hard Drive

Rob Kampen rkampen at kampensonline.com
Thu Mar 26 21:04:06 UTC 2009



nate wrote:
> Agile Aspect wrote:
>   
>> Hi - I've been asked to re-partition a
>>
>>     Dell 120 GB 5400 RPM Encrypted Serial ATA Hard Drive
>>
>> and install CentOS 5 on the new partition.
>>
>> It's a Dell Lattitude E5400 laptop.
>>
>> Is this even possible with encrypted drives?
>>     
>
> How is it encrypted? Some new laptops come with drive encryption
> built into the hardware which I believe is totally transparent
> to the OS, sample device:
> http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_momentus_5400_fde_3.pdf
>
> Looking at this:
> http://accessories.dell.com/sna/products/Internal_Hard_Drives/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&l=en&s=dhs&cs=cadhs1&sku=341-6557
>
> The drive they have seems similar, so I would expect
> re-partitioning to work fine, though of course backup any
> important data before trying.
>
> nate
>
>   
Excuse a really dumb question, how does this provide me with security?
I assume it still uses the normal SATA interface and thus the OS writes 
to the drive as normal, but now it is encrypted onto the physical 
media..... so now I steal the laptop, or just the physical drive, plug 
it into my SATA controller and voila read all the encrypted data off the 
drive???
I am obviously missing something - there must be a key somewhere off the 
drive for this to work as a securely encrypted system.
Flumoxed!
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>   
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