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I stress this is just me noodling around, and that I'm not talking about real world risks. But: Is it possible to read unencrypted data of the flash drive the hard way?

Obviously, if it's sensibly encrypted there's no point. But a person may think they have physically destroyed a flash drive only to have left information available.

Here's some links to DIY de-capping and microscopy of a variety of ICs:




I imagine it's probably possible. The trick with flash drives though I think is the size. You could easily swallow a micro sd card without anyone even noticing.

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