Corsair Padlock 2 8 GB 20

Corsair Padlock 2 8 GB Review

(20 User comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The Corsair Padlock 2 8 GB will set you back around 55 US Dollars. This is adequate for a flash drive with these capabilities.
  • Fairly strong 256-bit AES encryption
  • Seems to use a volume base encryption (VBE)
  • Entering PIN is easy and buttons respond well
  • No software or dependency on host system to enter PIN
  • Master PIN functionality perfect for corporate environments
  • Resilient against de-soldering of the flash IC
  • LEDs to denote encryption status
  • Rubber housing makes the Padlock 2 resistant against everyday wear and tear
  • USB Extension cable included
  • Blue lanyard included
  • Large blue access LED
  • Only five real digits available, not 10
  • Two minute timeout can be circumvented, allowing for a continous brute force attack
  • Fairly slow performance, should not be attributed to the VBE though
  • A bit too large for a key chain
  • You may lose the rubber cap easily
  • Only available in 8 GB - nothing larger or smaller
  • Packaging difficult to open
  • 256-bit AES is not unhackable
Sure, the Padlock 2 may not the fastest flash drive out there. In fact one may categorize it as being slow, but you have to realize who would be buying a flash drive like this. There are plenty of drives out there with 256-bit AES encryption, but very few have an active lock/unlock mechanism in form of a number pad or fingerprint reader. The latter requires active power, having to connect the stick first and then swiping your finger using a software stored on the flash drive itself. This offers various ways to attack the protection to gain access to the stored data. Corsair has gone with the unattached PIN entry with no software required to be run on the host system. This means that there is no way to bypass the system. It is a mystery to me, how Corsair manages to give the user instant access when using VBE, but if that is true, the entire flash memory is encrypted. Even if one opens up the unit and de-solders the flash storage IC and then accesses the data, all the hacker will find is encrypted data. In comparison with the Padlock 1, Corsair has gone the extra mile now to secure the contents of the flash drive and that is what matters to those going for the Padlock 2. Reduced performance is certainly a small price to pay for some real peace of mind, keeping your data secure even if you happen to lose the Padlock 2.
Even with a solid implementation of authentication directly on the product itself, coupled with a fairly large capacity of 8 GB, the Corsair Padlock 2 won't break the bank. While the Padlock 2 does improve on the notoriously easy to circumvent Padlock 1, it still cuts some corners when it comes to the lock-down timer and the fact that there are actually only 5 different PIN "numbers" available, not as they may want you to believe - 10. Nevertheless, the design decision of a "key" button really saves the unit as far as some sturdy security is concerned. Corsair has made sure, that a thief cannot figure out the actual length of the PIN without, as the entry needs to be confirmed with a press of the "key" button first. The Padlock 2 will suffice for home users and those generally worried about their data, but I would not recommend it for corporate applications, especially those with trade or business secrets. For those, an IronKey, Kingston Blackbox or real encryption algorithms on the host system which also extend to removable media may be the better choice.
Next Page »(20 User comments)