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Seattle-area technology company ClevX is partnering with Kingston to boost the security of two models of Kingston USB flash drives. The ClevX technology runs on the flash drives themselves to keep them free of rootkits, viruses and other digital threats.

It’s an approach that could grab the attention of corporate IT managers. The need for better security on USB drives has been underscored by the notorious Stuxnet virus, which spread in part through flash drives.

The ClevX technology is being offered on two flash drives from Kingston Digital: the DataTraveler 4000 and DataTraveler Vault Privacy.

The deal is a high-profile partnership for ClevX, a Kirkland, Wash.-based company founded in 2005 by inventor and entrepreneur Lev Bolotin, who was previously an executive with Data I/O Corp. The company’s name stands for “Clever Extensions.” ClevX has developed and patented a variety of mobile, data and other technologies that it offers under intellectual property licenses.

Other products powered by ClevX include USB drives with physical keypads for entering passwords.

The ClevX technology being used by Kingston is called DriveSecurity. It’s powered by an antimalware engine from ESET, which updates its virus signature and checks the flash drive for malware and other threats after the user logs in and enters a secure password on a computer.

InformationWeek, reporting on Kingston’s ClevX deal, cites the onboard antivirus engine as weapon to fight Stuxnet and similar viruses. NetworkWorld listed the enhanced Kingston drives as one of its products of the week, and StorageReview published this detailed review.

Also see this technical rundown from Tom’s Hardware.

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