Password Protect USB Thumb Drive?
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Thread: Password Protect USB Thumb Drive?

  1. #1
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    Password Protect USB Thumb Drive?

    Hello, I was wondering if it is possible to encrypt the contents of a removable storage device like a USB thumb drive to keep the data private. I'm running windows xp and have tried using tools such as truecrypt but it seems you have to be and admin on the computer you want to load it up on to get the drivers working. This isn't much good, as i wish to use the device to transfer my files to and from college. Bassicly i'm just paranoid somones going to steal my work! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    This should do it:

    http://www.dekart.com/howto/howto_di..._drive_cd_dvd/

    It claims that you don't have to install it on remote computers which sounds like what you are wanting?
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion, but i think the claim the software is able to run on any remote computer is false. This is from their FAQ:

    When I connect my encrypted USB drive to a different computer, this error occurs, what is wrong?

    An error occurred while loading pdapi.dll
    Error code: 0000045A
    A dynamic link library DLL initiation routine failed


    One driver that allows the program to transparently mount the encrypted image to a new drive letter cannot be loaded. This driver is very important, as it enables any application to use on-the-fly 256-bit AES encryption.
    Looks like it needs to be able to run drivers after all, something which surely requires admin privillages. I thought maybe using a password-protected zip archive would work. Correct me if i'm wrong, but the problem with that is that you can't modify files and save them without extracting them from the archive first?

  4. #4
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    James...I think that is the easiest way of encrypting contents.

    However these days there are many USB devices which come with their very own programs which lock the drive automatically and when you insert the usb in another computer, they make use of the [AUTORUN] feature and ask you the password. some even feature the ability of HIDE contents by createing a HIDDEN virtual file system.

    I have a device which features both. Better get those devices. Some of them even allow you to copy the PROTECTION software and use them on other devices.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmmm,

    Not wanting to rain on anyone's parade, but perhaps the first move would be to have an informal chat with the college sysadmins?............. like what does the AUP say about external devices?

    just a thought?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
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    If you open a document that is previously encrypted on a public computer then a copy of your document is in the temp folder and system cache. I am unaware of any encryption for thumb drives that doesnt make you install software on the end machine.

  7. #7
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    SanDisk Memory Key comes with it's own encryption program, you don't need to install anything on the end machine.

    The new version of CruzerLock, called CruzerLock 2, will enable users to encrypt, decrypt, compress and password-protect personal files – even entire folders – stored on Cruzer USB drives. Operating on the Windows platform with drag-and-drop functionality, the software will be available first in English, then in other languages.

    “Because of the growing concerns over identity and intellectual property theft, we’ve made it a priority to enhance all SanDisk Cruzer drives in the family – not just one model -- with a more comprehensive and versatile security program,” said Eric Bone, SanDisk’s director of retail product marketing. “This new software uses an industrial-strength commercial algorithm that has 448-bit Blowfish AES encryption and password protection, which is orders of magnitude greater than our original CruzerLock.”
    http://www.pdatoday.com/more/A2110_0_1_0_M/
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  8. #8
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    Um, not that I have looked at it, but wouldnt the fact that it comes with software mean that you have to install it?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Um, not that I have looked at it, but wouldnt the fact that it comes with software mean that you have to install it?
    No, just think of a live CD or even the ubiquitous 3.5" boot floppy

    The software is on the medium itself, rather than the HDD of the system. If USB is supported it will mount the USB device, then all you have to do is access the software on the USB device.

    SanDisks are interesting, in that they have a partition and software on them that will fool a machine into thinking that they are CD/DVDs, and will autorun.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info guys. I reckon the CruzerLock 2 memory stick looks like a good route to take. So because they have a partition with autorun does that mean they will work on a machine with limited access, as opposed to apps like truecrypt which you have to load up manually and have admin privileges to get the drivers that deal with the decryption running? Funnily enough, i have a SanDisk USB drive at the minute, but it does not have the encryption software installed. Maybe it is possible to download it from their website.

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