The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) published the Opal 2.0 specification for SEDs in Feb 2012 so this isn’t a new topic. However, now that most of the drive manufacturers that supported Opal 1.0 now have, or will soon have, Opal 2.0 drives I have been getting more inquiries about the differences between them.
When I first heard about UEFI a few years ago I thought it was a great idea. It could make life easier in the long run for developers of full disk encryption to provide advanced authentication and maintenance features for their customers. With this in mind I joined WinMagic up to UEFI.org. Having implemented pre-boot authentication on Apple Macs, which used EFI, we were already familiar with UEFI’s predecessor.
The TCG is hosting its annual security workshop at the RSA Security Conference on Mon Feb 25th in San Francisco. I have attended for the last 5 years and always found the panels and speakers well worth the time invested to attend.
Learning a multiplicity of acronyms is pretty much a requirement for navigating any discipline. Every field has its own set of acronyms and the sequence of 3 or 4 letters that usually make up the acronym most likely has a completely different meaning from discipline to discipline. Even within a discipline it is common to see the acronyms muddled together.
I attended the TCG (Trusted Computing Group) annual members meeting last week in beautiful Vancouver and thought I would share a couple of observations.
First of all, a little background – The TCG is an organization whose mandate is to set security standards for commercial use. The scope ranges from small mobile devices to large disk drives used in the enterprise. Key participants (about 100 in person this year) include: the PC OEMs (e.g. Lenovo, HP, Dell, etc.), OSVs (e.g. Microsoft), component manufacturers (e.g. disk drives, TPMs…), governments and ISVs. That’s where WinMagic comes in. We are an Independent Software Vendor and a member of the Storage Work Group (SWG). The SWG is responsible for the “Opal” specification for self-encrypting hard drives (SEDs), as well as, the specification for the larger “enterprise” drives.