Usually to get on-the-fly hardware encryption for a PC you would end up dealing with exotic 3rd-party solutions that could cost enormous sums. Beyond that, you are left with software solutions that were much easier to be defeated, aside from being more susceptible to leaving both the bad guys and you out of your data. VIA has now presented us with StrongBox, a hardware encryption method that uses the already existing padlock technology that is present in the C7 and C7-M processors, and some older C3 processors. The encryption method both makes data unreadable in realtime, and unaccessible as well. Via is offering a $5000 prize at a hacker conference in Malaysia to anyone who can defeat the protection. The technology is aimed at notebook consumers, who are starting to be much more interested in technology that can help protect their personal, sensitive data as thieves become more clever and notebooks disappear more often.