[CentOS] self-encrypting drives

Wed Sep 19 02:56:55 UTC 2012
Leonard den Ottolander <leonard at den.ottolander.nl>

Hello John,

On Tue, 2012-09-18 at 18:12 -0700, John R Pierce wrote:
> whats the state of support for self-encrypting drives in CentOS 6 ?     
> these are becoming increasingly common on both laptops and for 
> enterprise storage (particularlly nearline),

>From what I read on
http://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/resources/commonly_asked_questions_and_answers_on_selfencrypting_drives the key is randomly generated on board and gets encrypted with the "authorization key" when it's set, which I suppose is either or both of the master and user ATA drive passwords. On normal drives (non SEDs) these are used to lock and unlock the drive.

Since the key is stored (and generated) on the drive I/O should be
transparent. I assume you just need to prime the SED by setting an
"authorization key" with hdparm and unlock the drive on use. Although
I've implemented most of the ATA security commands in hdparm I've never
attempted to boot from a locked drive. You'd have to do a hdparm call in
rc.sysinit and get the drive password before / is mounted.

> with features like 
> instant-erase via key destruction.

Would that be done using the security erase ATA command? Does it
regenerate the key? Smart reuse of a command :) .

An ATA option to set the drive key - not just reset and regenerate it -
would be desirable. (Master and user key commands could be repurposed to
implement this. When implemented as a new ATA command there's an issue
with syncing the master and user key x drive key crypts when updating
the drive key.)

Please share any experiences and rc.sysinit patches when implementing


mount -t life -o ro /dev/dna /genetic/research