Self-destructing USB flash drive set to go on sale — and while it comes without encryption, at least there's no finger licking involved this time around

Ovrdrive USB drive
(Image credit: Interrupt Labs)

If you're the sort of person who needs to carry sensitive data around with you and worry about it falling into the wrong hands, you might be interested in a new USB flash drive with a self-destruct feature which is set to go on sale later this year. 

The Ovrdrive USB, developed by Ryan Walker of Interrupt Labs, is a unique device that heats its flash chip to over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) as a security measure. 

The first version of the Ovrdrive USB required wet fingers to activate the drive, a feature that has thankfully since been removed. It now instead requires a secret three-insertion process to unlock the data safely. If this process is not followed, the drive's partition remains hidden, making it appear broken (the drive was originally designed to self-destruct instead, but this proved too challenging for mass production). 

No encryption

Ovrdrive USB's self-destruct mechanism reverses the voltage supplied to the device, heating it to around 100 degrees Celsius. While this may not be hot enough to destroy the flash chips, users can add a compound (not supplied for obvious reasons) to ensure complete self-destruction. 

Unlike other security-focused flash drives, the Ovrdrive USB does not encrypt its contents by default, making it legal in countries where encryption is banned. If you need added protection, you can easily encrypt the USB drive yourself using Windows' BitLocker or the open-source VeraCrypt. 

The Ovrdrive USB is currently being crowdfunded on Crowd Supply, with a release date set for August 2024. It is priced at $69 with free US domestic shipping (or $12 international shipping) and is currently 104% funded with 22 days of the campaign remaining. 

While the Ovrdrive USB is not a replacement for the security offered by cryptographic encryption, it is undeniably very cool, with a unique physical security feature that wouldn't look out of place in a Mission Impossible movie.

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.