After cracking the password-secured and self-destructing Secustick, and busting the security of two fingerprint-secured USB-sticks, the people at www.mobile-harddisk.nl contacted me. They have two hard disks which are also secured: one uses a password-based authentication, the other uses a fingerprint. They asked me to try and crack the security of the two devices.

Both HDs arrived in standard cardboard packages. The units are basically manufactured as enclosures, but mobile-harddisk.nl offers them with drives already built-in: perfect for people who are afraid to handle a screwdriver when near a sensitive electronic device. The iUSB-enclosure is the metallic one in the white/blue box. It is made by Synology. The other one is branded BIO-250U and doesn't seem to be made by any particular manufacturer. The price of the enclosures themselves, without an HD built in, is E55,- for the BIO-250U and E75,- for the iUSB. Not only mobile-harddisk.nl sells these enclosures, they're sold around the world.

Both HDs arrived with a CD with drivers on it and 2 USB-cables (one for data, one for extra power.) I'm not a big fan of the 2-cables-to-get-power-idea myself; the solution needs two USB-ports to work OK and usually HDs using this 'bend' the USB-specs too much to be considered elegant. On the other hand: it eliminates the power-adapter, which is a good thing if you're using a laptop. According to mobile-harddisks.nl, the second USB-cable usually isn't necessary most of the time, but seeing the HDs inside the enclosure can suck up to 1 ampere from the powerlines which are specced to put out at max 500mA, that solution is a bit dodgy too.

Both disks have some extra features, apart from securing data: the iUSB has a program to back up your data (not only files, but also Outlook-data) by one click of a button. The BIO-250U can encrypt files on your HD using your fingerprint, too.

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