It may well thwart the casual thief who, unable to simply plug it in to a spare USB port and peruse your precious
porn stash data like it were a thumb drive, but anyone who really wants to get at your data probably isn’t going to have much trouble.
Adam left a comment on the original blog post, suggesting that the way the drive is constructed makes it highly likely that the AES key is stored on a non-volatile memory chip on the circuit board.
This could well be desoldered and read in order to discover the code and hence grab the data.
Everyday consumers may well be lulled into a false sense of security, while geeks with other geeks for friends (or, indeed, enemies) will probably steer well clear of the device in the first place.
Adam also maintains that most people won’t be able to remember an 18-digit numerical code (apart from Pi, perhaps, which could well be the geeky version of using “1234” as a PIN), though the unit does include the alpha equivalents (much like a phone keypad) so you could spell out a word or phrase instead.
I think true physical security of external hard drives is more important. The Data Locker drive, which comes in 160GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities, does have a self-destruct mode if it detects a brute-force attack — however that pretty much means you’ll need another hard drive to back this one up, in case your data is destroyed by meddlesome fingers.
If you want one you can get it here.