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IEEE format allows cross-platform secure USB drives

updated 02:50 pm EST, Tue November 25, 2008

IEEE 1667

A recent IEEE standards group format should reach upcoming operating systems soon and eliminate many of the worries over removable drives at work. Known as IEEE 1667, the standard would establish a way for "transient storage devices" such as USB jump drives, external hard drives, and portable media players to authenticate with a host computer and allow them to be used as removable storage.

The move will let companies both approve a set list of drives that could be used by computers on the local network without also inviting rogue devices. It would also allow home devices with built-in storage to be brought to work with less security risk, such as iPods and other hardware that can act as a bulk drive.

IEEE 1667 is platform-independent and should allow support across multiple operating systems once the software is modified to add the feature. At present, only Microsoft among major operating system builders has publicly pledged support to the standard and plans to make it a default feature of Windows 7. [via CNET]

by MacNN Staff



  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Will this standard stop people from printing documents and taking them home?
    Will it stop people from taking a picture of their monitor with a camera?

    I'm not sure how effective this standard will be. It sounds like something IT staff will pat themselves on the back about, but not actually solve data theft problems.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Shouldn't that read "and plans to make it a default feature of some versions of Windows 7."?

    And all this gets down to is implementation. Can said card be used on systems without the software (like your standard home computer)? Is the card data encrypted so it can't be ripped out and stuck into a non-secure device and be read?

    Both of these seem to bypass the problem with said devices, which would be to keep Fred over there from getting a copy of documents and take them home with him.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And what are you using the USB drives for? If you already have a network, wouldn't transferring the files be easier that way?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    seems to me this is too..

    ...little too late!

    Format a USB Jump Drive to Windows dump files onto it and plug and unplug it from Mac to Windows to Linux at will!

    What's the big deal?

    Some can even add in Password Security.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what this is about

    Folks, what this is about is securing your data, NOT about preventing you from taking files to/from work. It's a cross platform solution for securing the data that you put on the device, so if it gets stolen, the bad guys can't read your files.

    Currently there are no platform independent drive locking or encryption solutions. Sure, I can format a USB drive with Mac using an encrypted image and secure my data, take it home and use it, take it to the office and use it, take it anywhere and use it... so long as I plug it into a Mac. Try plugging it into a Windoze PC, and the PC doesn't know what the he!! to do with it.

    This format solves that problem. Format the drive in IEEE 1667 secure format, and I can use my secured files on any platform - Win, Lin, Mac, Sol, etc... The only catch, is each OS will have to support the new drive format in the OS. A standard is great, but we'll see if everyone signs on to support said standard.

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