FIPS 140-2 Sec Level 2 for Sun Tape drive

Perhaps that’s interesting for people needing a highly secure tape storage. As reported by eWeek the StorageTek T10000B tape drive got the FIPS 140-2 certification:

Nonetheless, Sun revealed Aug. 19 that it has become the first enterprise tape drive maker to be granted a prestigious federal security qualification: the FIPS 140-2 Certification at Security Level 2 for its Sun StorageTek T10000B tape drive.

The T10000B drive has the integrated capability to encrypt the data before writing it to the tape. Thus it contains components to do this encryption. The FIPS certification states that a hardware device complies to the standards set by the FIPS 140-2 document, which is headlined “Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules”. A level 2 FIPS certification means (copied from the Wikipedia article):

Security Level 2 improves upon the physical security mechanisms of a Security Level 1 cryptographic module by requiring features that show evidence of tampering, including tamper-evident coatings or seals that must be broken to attain physical access to the plaintext cryptographic keys and critical security parameters (CSPs) within the module, or pick-resistant locks on covers or doors to protect against unauthorized physical access.

Thus you can’t get the key without leaving traces. BTW: I’m sure the messages in “Mission: Impossible” are FIPS140-2 Level 5 certified … “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds” ;) The T10000B is the first tape-drive with this level of certification. If you are interested in this matter, the certification of the T10000B is available the website. The FIPS140-12 document itself is available for download at NIST, too.