Patent number 8639873 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates generally to data storage, and more particularly to detachable storage devices with ram cache.
"As data processing becomes ubiquitous, users are increasingly demanding that data be both mobile and secure. Although networks, such as the Internet, can transmit data from one computer to another, users often must identify and transmit the data they need to the proper destination. Unfortunately, the data may fail to be transmitted due to firewalls, proxies, spam blockers, size limitations, technical error, or human error. Further, it is not always practical for users to guess what data is needed at a future time and the location of the need. The data is also often routed through unsecure servers or network devices which can intercept the data and further compromise security.
"As a result of these problems, users often load data on USB memory devices (e.g., a memory stick) and carry data with them. Unfortunately, USB memory devices can be stolen and accessed by thieves. Some USB memory devices have passwords which must be entered on the host computer before accessing the stored data. However, the password can be cracked (e.g., a brute force attack) and the data accessed.
"Some USB memory devices lock the stored data after a predetermined number of password attempts have been made to prevent data theft. Unfortunately, the lock is often easy to reset. Further, the attacker can make a copy of the data stored in the USB memory device, enter the predetermined number of password attempts, delete the data, recopy the data, and enter new password attempts. This process can be repeated until successful thereby inevitably accessing the data.
"Current USB memory devices do not have active security or security programs that help to protect the user's data or computer resources. In one example, current USB memory devices do not assist the user to identify web sites that are not secure or help update information to help make browsing safer.
"Although applications may be stored on a USB memory device, performance may be poor and reduce the overall lifespan of the USB memory device. Typically, the flash memory contained within USB memory devices transfers data slowly when compared to a hard drive. As a result, the performance of applications stored within flash memory may be significantly slower than applications stored in a computer. Further, most flash memory has a limited duty cycle. As a result, applications with data that is constantly saved and/or retrieved from flash memory may limit the life expectancy of the USB memory device."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "An exemplary system to store data within a detachable storage device can comprise a ram cache, a device controller, and a storage system. The ram cache may be configured to receive data from a digital device. The device controller may be configured to transfer the data from the ram cache to the storage system. The storage system may be configured to store the data at a predetermined event, the predetermined event can be when the detachable storage device is decoupled from the digital device.
"The detachable storage device can be a USB storage device. The storage system within the detachable storage device may comprise a storage system. The ram cache can comprise dynamic random access memory (DRAM).
"In various embodiments, the detachable storage device can further comprise a user interface and circuitry. The user interface can be configured to receive a user code from a user when the detachable storage device is in a detached state to authorize access to a storage partition within the storage system. The circuitry can be configured to authorize access to the stored data within the storage system based, at least in part, on the user code and provide access to the storage partition.
"The detachable storage device may also comprise a communications interface configured to send a signal to the digital device that a storage partition is authorized for access. The circuitry may be configured to alert the user that access to the storage partition is allowed based on the authorization. The circuitry can also be configured to decrypt a security code based on the user code. Further, the circuitry can be configured to decrypt at least some of the stored data within the storage partition.
"An exemplary method for storing data within a detachable storage device can comprise receiving data from a digital device with the detachable storage device; storing the data within a ram cache; and transferring the data from the ram cache to a storage system within the detachable storage device at a predetermined event.
"An exemplary computer readable medium can have embodied thereon a program. The program is executable by a processor to perform a method for storing data within a detachable storage device. The method may comprise receiving data from a digital device with the detachable storage device, storing the data within a ram cache, and transferring the data from the ram cache to a storage system within the detachable storage device at a predetermined event."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Jevans,
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