Probably you heard about Michael Crooker case regarding DriveLock. If not, doesn’t matter.
On June 23rd 2004, authorities seized Crooker’s laptop after finding some illegal substances that could be used to make bombs. The laptop was purchased in 2002 just because of the “Drive Lock” encryption feature, feature that blocks access to the hard drive content for those that don’t know the key.
After the laptop was seized, it was sent to FBI headquarter to have the encryption broken. Crooker claims that authorities told him that they used a backdoor provided by Compaq.
There is no information indicating how they succeeded, but the encryption was somehow broken and information from his computer was used as evidence against him.
“It is therefore obvious that Compaq did indeed give the FBI backdoor access to Drivelock,” Crooker alleged in his suit.
Is this the truth or Compaq’s DriveLock is not as secure as they say? There is a government law that says no software can be exported if it uses encryption stronger than 128 bits, so probably this is HP’s case too. And we all know that a 128bit key can be broken using a supercomputer in a few weeks. But did they had so much time to crack it or they found a breach?
In any case, take care what you store on your computer. It might be used by someone else.