Tools to conclusively destroy data/circuitry when an electronic device is lost, stolen or becomes obsolete, to protect sensitive data and proprietary technology from unauthorized access. Use of energetic technologies would greatly enhance security of data/proprietary technology because an energetic reaction can be initiated by trigger or remote detonation.
Primary Application Area: Electronics, Sensors, Communications
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technologies include: 1) Energetic Potting Material: INL researchers developed a patent-pending energetic potting material that will ignite upon command and burn until potted electronics are destroyed and data on them is no longer accessible. 2) Combustible Structural Composites: INL researchers have developed a patented method of including self-destructing capability within the structure of a device by combining a combustible material with structural-reinforcing fibers to create a sturdy composite material that can form load-bearing components of devices and structures. 3) Self-protecting Electronic Circuit: Researchers at INL have designed a patent-pending self-protecting electronic circuit, which includes energetic material within the substrate of the circuit itself. Electronic circuitry, including initiation circuitry, would be integrated into the energetic substrate. 4) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Destroyer: Scientists at INL have designed this patent-pending method and device for permanently and completely destroying hard drives and data. HDD Destroyer will be a portable, easy-to-use device that uses cartridges of pyrotechnic material to melt and deposit metal directly onto the hard drive platen, piercing the hard drive case, destroying magnetic particles on the platen, heating the platen to a temperature that will destroy all stored data, and melt holes into the platen.
FIGURES OF MERIT:
Value Proposition: Technology benefits:
• Complete destruction of device and data is assured.
• Device destruction could be easily initiated by built-in trigger or remote detonation.
• Self-protecting Electronic Circuit includes fully integrated fire-set, and a flexible, easily tailored design.
• HDD Destroyer uses multiple methods to ensure data is destroyed, provides immediate visual confirmation, works quickly and is portable.
Applications: Military; police; personal electronics, unmanned aerial vehicles; robotics.
Confidential data and proprietary technology are challenging to safeguard when contained in easily portable devices such as cellphones, laptops, tablets and other transient electronics. Although technology exists that is intended to wipe data from phones and tablets, in actual use, data may not always be completely eradicated. Sometimes it would be preferable to physically destroy a device rather than let it fall into the wrong hands. At Idaho National Laboratory, researchers are investigating ways to conclusively destroy data and circuitry when a device is lost, stolen or becomes obsolete, to protect sensitive data and proprietary technology from unauthorized access.
Constructing a device including one or more of these energetic technologies would greatly enhance security of data/proprietary technology because an energetic reaction could be easily initiated by built-in trigger or remote detonation.
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES
External Funding to Date: All of the research was funded by the Department of Energy.