security - Copy-proof flash drive

  • Mohamed

    I'm looking for a solution that make it possible to make a flash drive which protects the data from being copied so that the data is data could be "played" only The main aim for the flash drive is to be used for playing video files on TV sets that uses flash drives as data input or if stream is an option this might be nice.

  • Answers
  • ultrasawblade

    It is not possible to completely protect media on a standard PC. The data needs to be read and temporarily live on the PC in unencrypted form in some fashion for the PC to display the video. So there will always be some way on a standard PC to snatch that data.

    You never know, PCs of the future may be controlled by a "security hypervisor" with manufactuer and plaform specific sealed keys and will then be able to support almost-truly secure media delivery. It isn't today by any means.

    However, if you uniquely watermark your media, with a unique watermark per user, then if illicit copies surface you know who to blame.

    Towards the specifics of your question, I don't know of any TVs that support what you are trying to do. If there are, you might look on the manufactuer's website for a tool to create such media, when/if this exists, it's probably going to be expensive.

    You may find this an interesting read. The original Xbox by Microsoft was pretty much based on the PC architecture. This was done to save on development costs. Microsoft took measures to secure games and media on the platform but failed. Microsoft has had much better (but not total) success in security with the non-PC-based Xbox 360.

  • zolar1

    No, sorry. If you can put it on the flash drive initially then it can be copied.

    If it could be done don't you think that the RIAA and other extremists would have done it to stop fair use or ahem piracy?

    The usual way to protect your copyrighted stuff is to legally register the material for copyright protection.

    It is possible that you could use hardware encryption/decryption but that would make it slow and difficult for most people to afford to view.

    Disney was playing with a self destructing media. You open the package, and the disk will only play up to 3 days before disintegrating. But that would not stop copying.

    People have the right to make backup copies. This is built into the system under fair use. Let's say you bought a movie on DVD and it got scratched and wouldn't play again. Should you be forced to buy another one when you could just burn the backup to a new disk and continue?

    Let's say that DVD was Snow White (Disney). And they do not release it but every 20 years or so. So you must wait 20 more years to replace your scratched disk? That would be unreasonable.

    What you are trying to do is exactly what I described that should not be done - prevent copying.

    IMHO I think that copyrights go too far. They should expire 3 days after inception or registration, whichever is shorter. Patents too.

    Progress is being stifled at an alarming rate.

    Just think how much further technically and medically we would be if greed was eliminated from the world? Greed meaning unreasonable and lengthy legal protections.

    We probably would have cures for a great many things...

  • Related Question

    windows - Partitioning a bootable Flash drive
  • mmc

    Is it possible to have a 2 partition Flash drive that looks like the following:

    • A partition that is bootable to OS X (this will require a GUID partition table)
    • A second partition formatted either FAT32 or NTFS that is readable on both OS X and various flavors of Windows

    I have set up a disk using Disk Utility on the Mac, and it boots fine with a second FAT32 partition... but Windows does not see it. Any flavor of Windows wants to format the entire drive.

    Has anyone done this, and if so, can you explain the steps you followed?

    EDIT: Making it bootable is no problem. I have that. I'm wondering how to make the second partition on a Flash drive visible to Windows. It's possible that the "second partition" is the problem, and I need Windows to be first, and HFS to be second. I'll try that tonight.

  • Related Answers
  • Chris Nava

    Unfortunately, the windows accessable partition must be the first partition on a thumb drive or windows will not mount it. Linux installs can get around this limitation by putting the bootloader configuration files on the windows partition and everything else on the second partition. I'm not sure if you can do this with Mac though. My Mac is to old to try (as it is PPC based.)

  • mcandre

    The Geniuses at the Apple stores use external USB drives that boot to Mac OS X. So it's possible.

    iHackintosh shows you how. rEFIt helps to make drives bootable for Mac and Windows. You'll need something like it in order to keep the two partition managers (Mac and Windows/Linux) in sync.