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CipherUSB F2, CBC, Mac View larger

CipherUSB F2, CBC, Mac

Addonics Technologies, Inc.
New product

CipherUSB is a family of hardware encryption solution to provide bullet proof security to your sensitive data stored in the hard drive, removable drive, flash media, optical media or in the Cloud. The CipherUSB products incorporates a

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CipherUSB is a family of hardware encryption solution to provide bullet proof security to your sensitive data stored in the hard drive, removable drive, flash media, optical media or in the Cloud. The CipherUSB products incorporates a NIST and CSE certified hardware crypto engine to secure the data, using the NIST approved AES 256-bit encryption algorithm. Unlike software encryption product that relies on the processor power to encrypt the data, the CipherUSB encrypts data using its integrated hardware crypto engine and result in optimal performance in any system.

The CipherUSB products comes in choice of models with various features to meet the needs of your applications and security:

  • Choice of CipherUSB FLE (File Level Encryption) or FDE (Full Disk encryption). FLE solution allows encrypting any file stored in any drive, media, network or Cloud storage whereas a FDE solution encrypts the entire USB storage attached to the CipherUSB adapter. For further detail, please visit the the quick comparison of these two solutions
  • Choice of model with just hardware authentication or with 2 factors authentication (password plus the matching CipherUSB dongle)
  • Choice of Encryption mode in ECB or CBC*
  • Option to write protection boot sector or the entire disk on the USB storage attached to the CipherUSB. This is a perfect solution for protecting any USB storage against virus and Malware attack. It is also a great solution for forensic application.


Cipher USB FLE (File Level Encryption) - F1 or F2 with USB pass through port

The CipherUSB F1 or F2 is a CipherUSB FLE dongle that comes with a USB pass through port to support any USB storage device. The F1 model comes with an ECB crypto engine whereas the F2 model comes with a CBC crypto engine. Both hardward crypto engines are FIPS 140 certified. In addition, within the F1 and F2 model, there are choices of support for Windows OS only or for both Windows and MAC OS as well as choice with 2 factors authentication.

CipherUSB FLE is easy to use. Simply attach a USB flash drive or hard drive to the CipherUSB FLE pass through port and insert the the CipherUSB FLE dongle into any USB port on the system. There is no password to remember on model with just hardware authentication. Once the CipherUSB FLE dongle is detected by the system, launch the CipherUSB program and select the file you want to encrypt and decrypt.

Illustration of various USB storage devices that can be attached to the CipherUSB F1 or F2 dongle 
(shown with CipherUSB F1 only)


Illustration of how data is encrypted and decrypted by the CipherUSB FLE (F1, F2)
(mouse over the diagram to see the decryption)


Absolute Security

The CipherUSB F1 and F2 are probably the most secure hardware file encryption solution you can find in the market today. In order to encrypt or decrypt any file, The CipherUSB FLE dongle together with a USB storage attached to it must be inserted into the USB port of the system before the CipherUSB encryption utility can be launched. If the CipherUSB FLE dongle requires two factors authentication, a password that matches the password stored in the CipherUSB FLE will also be required before you can get into the encryption utility. Whatever model of CipherUSB FLE that you have, in our opinion they are all extremely secure and impossible to hack into.

Come in size of a typical thumb drive, the CipherUSB F1 and F2 are designed to be powered directly from the USB port. Each CipherUSB F1 and F2 comes with a utility software for you to program your own Data Encryption Key (DEK) through a recovery password. This can be up to 32 characters long with a complex combination of alphabets, numbers and special characters. The recovery password is then secured with AES 256-bit encryption and stored inside the CipherUSB FLE dongle. File encrypted by the CipherUSB FLE can only be decrypted or restored to a normal file with the CipherUSB FLE containing the same password.

What if the CipherUSB FLE dongle is lost or damaged? You can always purchase another CipherUSB FLE dongle and program it with the same recovery password as you have in your old CipherUSB FLE dongle. Remember this solution is designed for absolute security. So there is no back door if you do not remember your recovery password. It is important that you keep your recovery password or an extra CipherUSB somewhere safe in case of a disaster. Also CipherUSB ECB and CBC dongles are not compatible. In other words, a CipherUSB ECB dongle cannot access a CBC encrypted file even the password is the same and vice vesa.


CipherUSB encryption / decryption utility

Each CipherUSB F1 anf F2 comes CipherUSB utility program. For models with 2 factors authentication, this utility is stored in the virtual CD ROM inside the CipherUSB FLE dongle. This utility can be accessed or directly launched from the virtual CD on any Windows system once the CipherUSB is authenticated. Below is a screen shot of the CipherUSB utility. Please note that the CipherUSB utility handles only the commands on what you want to do with the file or folder. The actual file encryption and decryption is processed by the hardware crypto engine inside the CipherUSB dongle.

By highlighting a folder or a drive letter on the left, the contents inside that folder or drive will be displayed on the right. Any file on the right can be encrypted simply by dragging it to the LOCK icon on the top left hand corner of the utility window. The encrypted file will have the same file name but with .addonics file extension added to the end of the file name. Once encrypted, the file can be moved anywhere or email to someone. To decrypt or store the encrypted file back to normal, simply drag the encrypted file to the unlock icon to the right of the LOCK icon.

Please note that when decrypting a file with CipherUSB FLE that has a different recovery password, the CipherUSB utility will issue a warning message and the decryption process will immediately stop.


Write protect the USB drive attached to the CipherUSB key

Under the Write Protect tab in the CipherUSB utility, there are two options to write protect the MBR or the entire disk. This function is an additional feature of the CipherUSB to protect the attached USB storage device from virus attack or any change to the contents in the USB storage. So the CipherUSB can be used as a READ only USB port, a handy utility for forensic and other applications.


Daisy chaning of multiple CipherUSB (equivalent of CBC mode*)

The AES 256-bit encryption inside the CipherUSB FLE is considered the highest level of encryption standard there is, secure enough to protect classified information designated as Top Secret. It is theorectically impossible to penetrate the encryption of a single CipherUSB. You can raise the security level to a more complex level by simply daisy chaining two or more CipherUSB FLE. There is no limit as to the number of CipherUSB that can be linked together in this set-up. The daisy chaining of two or more CipherUSB FLE dongles will raise security to another level when a different person controls each CipherUSB.


Combining CipherUSB with other Addonics Diamond Cipher and Ruby Cipher hard drive

CipherUSB is compatible with any USB mass storage devices. So it can be used in combination with the Diamond Cipher and Ruby Cipher USB drive. This combination will also raise the standard AES-256 bit encryption to another higher level that is practically impenetrable, similar to daisy chaining of two or more CipherUSB adapters,


*CBC mode - Cipher Block Chaining, is a confidentiality mode whose encryption process features the combining ("chaining") of the plaintext blocks with the previous cipher text blocks. In addition to using a given DEK (Data Encryption Key). The security level of a CBC implementation is quadruple trillions times more than that of a single CipherUSB.

gcn.gif2013-07-10 Cipher provides an easy way to secure USB drives

The Cipher USB FLE F1 is a surprisingly inexpensive way to turn unsecured drives...into usable, protected stores of information...F1 as a portable encryption command center makes even more sense, because it could be used anywhere to quickly protect data..

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Data sheet

  • Encrypt any file with AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • Choice of model for encryption in ECB or CBC mode
  • Choice of model with the following authentications
    • hardware authentication - CipherUSB FLE contains the password that you program during initial set up. The CipherUSB FLE functions like a key to start your car. Once CipherUSB FLE dongle is installed onto the computer, the CipherUSB utility can be launched to access the secured files encrypted with the same password. There is no additional password needed to encrypt or decrypt any file. For large deployment and certain application, this is simpler to manage as the user does not have to remember any password.
    • 2 factors authentication (password plus the matching CipherUSB FLE dongle) - in this set up, when the CipherUSB utility is launched, you will be prompted to enter a password that must matches the password stored in the CipherUSB FLE dongle. Note that this only authenticate the CipherUSB dongle. It does not allow you to decrypt any file that was previously encrypted with a CipherUSB dongle that has a different password
  • Choice of model for Windows or Windows and MAC OS
  • USB drive attached to the CipherUSB FLE F1 or F2 can to be set to disable WRITE to the MBR or to the entire drive, great for virus protection or forensic application
  • Military strength AES 256-bit hardware encryption
  • NIST and CSE certified crypto engine from Enova
  • No driver to install
  • Maximum throughput ~ 40MB per sec. Actual performance depends on the speed of the attached USB storage
  • Tamper Evident housing
  • Size of a typical USB flash drive
  • Powered directly from USB port
  • Operation requires attaching a USB hard drive or flash drive to the back of the Cipher FLE dongle
  • Cipher code is stored inside the CipherUSB FLE and encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption
  • USB 2.0/1.1 compliance. Compatible with USB 3.0 port
  • Supported OS: Windows XP or later, MAC OS X (not compatible with Yosemite or later release)
  • RoHS Compliant


Features comparison of the different CipherUSB FLE (F1, F2) models

Authentication Hardware  2 factors  Hardware  2 Factors Hardware 2 Factors Hardware 2 Factors
Supported OS Windows Windows Windows & MAC Windows & MAC Windows Windows Windows & MAC Windows & MAC


  • Connectors: 
    • USB type A male for host
    • USB type A female for device
  • Security: AES 256-bit encryption via a hardware-based NIST certified cryptographic AES engine from Enova
  • Maximum throughput: USB 2.0 - 480 Mbps
  • LED light - for power and drive access
  • Construction - Tamper Evident housing
  • Agency approval: FCC, CE
  • Power consumption: ~100 mA @5V, directly powered from USB port*
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 60 x 20 x 10 mm / 2.36 x .79 x .39 in.
  • Weight: ~ 10 gm / 0.35 oz
  • Operating Temperature: Range: 0 to +50C
  • Operating Humidity: 5% to 95% RH (non-condensing)
  • Storage Temperature: Range: -30 to +60C
  • Storage Humidity: 5% to 90% RH
  • Warranty: One Year
  • RoHS compliant


* most of USB self powered card reader should work by attaching to the CipherUSB FFE. Some USB hard drives may fail to be directly powered from the USB port with the additional power to operate the CipherUSB. In that case, an external power adapter is need to power the USB hard drive.

System Requirements

  • PC/AT or Compatible System
  • USB port
  • Pentium II or Greater
  • Minimum 64 MB RAM
  • Windows XP and later, MAC OS X and later (on model with Mac support)


Frequently Asked Questions