Security of Hardware Encryption

Hey guys,

I’ve got just one question. A friend of mine told me that the hardware encryption of my wd elite isn’t so secure then i thought, because he says the drive is encrypted by a master key, which is implemented in the modul, which is decrypting and encrypting the drive. So if someone gets out that key, he can just simply unlock my drive.

Is that true? My problem is that my harddrives contains important things for my company (presentations, movies about new products,…)

and is it true, that western digital has a masterkey, or the masterkeys for the drives, for example when they would work together with the government in case of an abuse or illegal activities or something like that.



I am also curious about the security of the WD HDD, esp the external My Passport Essential drive. I’m not questioning the security nor am I looking for deep, technical information. Just some basic stuff:

  1. what is AES encrypted when password protection is turned on? everything on the disk? just the user’s password? (some HDDs encrypt the password but use simple XOR “encryption” when encrypting the drive’s contents)

  2. what block cipher mode of operation is used? (ECB would be my guess … is that correct?)

  3. how about anti-hammering? I.e., does the drive disallow repeated password guessing?

thank you! looking forward to feedback on this question.

anyone have any insight on my questions? these are pretty simple questions. please advise.

I highly doubt you’re going to get anyone from WD to answer your specific questions.

And unless the information’s public, in which case it’d turn up for you with a simple Google search, any other user’s guess as good as yours.

Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support