Browse Prior Art Database

Self-Destructing Diskette

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000100837D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 93K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, F: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a diskette which can be remotely triggered to destroy itself. One possible use is in high-security installations where very rapid destruction of confidential data may become necessary.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Self-Destructing Diskette

       Disclosed is a diskette which can be remotely triggered
to destroy itself.  One possible use is in high-security
installations where very rapid destruction of confidential data may
become necessary.

      This device provides a secure transmission of encryption keys
by non-electronic means.  One of the major problems with a (single
key) cryptographic system is the distribution of the encryption key
to the person who needs to decrypt the ciphertext.  The longer a
given key is in use, the more likely it is to be compromised, either
accidentally, deliberately, or incidental to personnel change.
Secure distribution of keys usually relies on physically transporting
the new key to the site where it will be installed (perhaps in two
parts by different individuals.)  If the keys (generated at a central
site) could be written on a tamper-proof medium which could only be
read once at the point of use, then less expensive distribution means
could be employed.  The new key would be used only after it was
installed.  If it had self-destructed, that would be evidence of
tampering, and a new key would have to be generated and transmitted.

      Embassies and other institutions where confidential data is
kept require the ability to destroy the confidential data in case of
enemy attack or capture.  Paper shredders and other mechanical
devices are inefficient for destruction of data on diskettes, and may
depend on unreliable electricity for operation.  The disclosed device
provides a means by which the self-destruct mechanism is contained
within the diskette itself and triggered remotely.

      This device makes use of the fact that a 3.5-inch diskette
shell contains enough unused space (in the corners) to hold an
integrated circuit and small battery.  The circuit includes a simple
tuned radio detector which senses the presence of a strong signal at
a given frequency. Molded into the inside of the diskette shell is a
thin re...