On Jun 10, 2009, at 4:19 PM, travis+ml-cryptogra...@subspacefield.org wrote:

Reading really old email, but have new information to add.

On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 02:15:38PM +1000, Daniel Carosone wrote:
Speculation: the drive always encrypts the platters with a (fixed) AES
key, obviating the need to track which sectors are encrypted or
not. Setting the drive password simply changes the key-handling.

Implication: fixed keys may be known and data recoverable from factory
records, e.g. for law enforcement, even if this is not provided as an
end-user service.

There was an interesting article in 2600 recently about ATA drive

It's in Volume 26, Number 1 (Spring 2009).  Sorry that I don't have an
electronic copy.

The relevant bit of it is that there are two keys.  One key is for the
user, and one (IIRC, it is called a master key) is set by the factory.

IIRC, there was a court case recently where law enforcement was able
to read the contents of a locked disk, contrary to the vendor's claims
that nobody, even them, would be able to do so.

All of these statements may be true. The standardization of the command set for encrypting disk drive does has a "set master key" command. If this command does exist, and if the user had software that resets this master password, then the backdoor would have been closed. (I know, there area lot of "ifs" in that sentence.)
and from universities you can access


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