This USB device will self-destruct in 5 seconds

Fujitsu's prototype USB device erases itself after specified time period and only allows upload to pre-determined server.

Fujitsu self-destructing USB drive
Fujitsu's self-destructing USB drive. Fujitsu

Now this is something any spy could use.

Fujitsu Labs unveiled a self-destructing USB drive Friday. It's still just a prototype, but it appears ready to solve real-world problems.

It's larger than the average 1GB USB drive, but there's also a lot more going on inside. The device has a processor and a battery. The owner of the drive has two options: the information can be automatically erased after a set time period, or if the USB drive is plugged into a non-authorized computer, the data will erase itself or the entire device will become unusable.

Fujitsu also plans to ensure that the data on the secure device can only be uploaded to a specific server. By installing Fujitsu's file redirect software on a PC, it can prevent data from the USB drive from being uploaded to file-sharing networks, sent as e-mail attachments, or printed, according to Fujitsu.

Beyond international espionage, there are very practical applications for the average corporate cubicle dweller with Fujitsu's new technology. The software/hardware combination can be used to prevent data theft, but also to keep companies in line with compliance rules.

Fujitsu says the prototype is still undergoing internal testing, and that consideration for the device becoming an actual product will come later.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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