LSI Discovers SandForce 256-Bit Encryption Limited To 128-Bit – Problem Resolved and Fix On The Way


Fountain Valley, CA — June 11, 2012 Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, along with LSI, its SSD processor partner, have recently been in discussions related to the encryption capabilities of the SF-2000 platform. It was discovered that the self encrypting feature that Kingston® markets on both the SSDNow V+200 and KC100 lines runs in 128-bit AES encryption mode, not the originally stated 256-bit mode. Both AES modes encrypt and secure the data on the SSD from unauthorized access ? just to different encryption standards.

Kingston is working with LSI to correct this and to ensure that future production of the aforementioned drives delivers 256-bit AES encryption mode.

Feedback from Kingston’s customer base regarding the SSDNow V+200 and KC100 model SSDs does not indicate that the encryption feature is critical or widely used in most deployments. Kingstons teams will work closely with customers who require 256-bit AES encryption to ensure that they are taken care of, and are able to swap out their current drives for ones with the correct encryption level when it becomes available. Kingston customers with further questions are encouraged to contact Kingston technical support for additional clarification.

Kingston will notate the 128-bit AES encryption mode going forward on all literature to avoid confusion until the issue is remedied. Please note that this issue affects all manufacturers of SSDs utilizing the SF-2000 family of products and is not a Kingston-centric issue. Kingston believes in the importance of a great customer experience and will continue to communicate openly with our valued customer base.

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  1. That statement about ..monkeys!!! I loved it

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    Looks like Intel is offering to exchange 520 128 AES drives for 256 when they come available or refund full purchase price! Doubt Ocz will do the same tho…

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    OCZ statement so far (at least on their international board, nothing on the German one so far)

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    The error or bug was found by Intel on there yearly audit, not LSI, Intel are giving returns, in there specifications they state both encryption states, and they sell a lot of these drives to companies who require good encryption, all I’ve seen so far from LSI is excuses.
    According to Sandforce, you need to set a password for the encryption to work anyway and they consider 95% of users don’t use it anyway and OCZ at some time or other have advertised the 256 bit encryption so the email is also a excuse.
    If both OCZ and Sandforce new about the limitation, they kept there mouths firmly closed. If they didn’t, fair enough. Sorry Les not sure I agree with you or LSI on this one.


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      I spoke with LSI in the initial interview and then subsequent to the Intel release and was told it was a LSI discovery. I might have thought if Intel had discovered it they would have ramrodded the initial release and not been held back until the LSI release. To this point, there is no discussion by anyone with Intel other than there release, whereas, I spoke with LSI at length about this under NDA.

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        No offense meant Les and I can understand why you would have that opinion, the fact that Sandforce drives didn’t have the advertised 256bit encryption didn’t worry me at all, even LSI statement, I found it rather amusing actually, ( I wish my x-wife gave me statements like that, I’d have known about the affair she was having behind my back ) I read this report when you first published it. What annoyed me was the link made by OCZ, I’m sure LSI discovered and notified OCZ who removed the 256bit encryption from there specs.

        Had OCZ not made that statement, I wouldn’t have given your report a second glance, it looks to me that both LSI and OCZ knew beforehand that the 256bit encryption didn’t work and they didn’t consider it important enough to at least notify Intel or the other manufacturers that it didn’t work.

        You are right, we are never going to know the true story and it is a storm in a teacup to most manufacturers, but obviously not in Intel’s case. But hey! who would you have to argue with if I wasn’t around. Best of luck Mate.

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        Never an argument with you Pommie and we go back a long way now. I appreciate you visiting and jumping in here when you have the opportunity and have to concede that it would be great to see your presence here.

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    I wonder what, if anything, OWC offers. They make nothing but SandForce-based SSD’s.

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      256 Bit encryption has been proven to be less secure than 128 bit. Add to that the fact that, unlike other manufacturers, LSI SandForce has encryption engines on both sides of the data and the fact that very few even use 256 Bit. Most manufacturers have simply not jumped in to respond because this isn’t as bif of a story as most would like it to be.

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        It goes to show how much more Intel stands behind its products 100%, as compared to XXX, for example. They still list “256-bit chip-based encryption” on their site as of 6/24/12 @ 4:23pm PT.

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        I appreciate your response and have edited out the specific manufacturer as your point led me to check others to which I found the same. Interesting…

        Apologies if it offends in any way but I believe the point is best served without ‘targeting’ if I might mention it in that way. Tx!

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    So if I buy a SSD with a SandForce SF-2281 controller with no intentions of using encryption, is there anything I need to be concerned about in regards to this?

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    I heard lot about; that OCZ also comes with encryption
    model I tried to search on the Internet as well but can’t find anything strong related
    to it. Do you know anything about it ?

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