No, the pendrive (IronKey) in this story cannot be disassemble and here's why...
The original IronKey was FIPS-140-1 compliant and the current ones are FIPS-140-2 or FIPS-140-3 compliant. These keys are tamper-resistant, because of the design of their metal cases. The encryption key is also stored in a tamper-resistant cryptochip module, which has a self-destruct function in case of physical attacks.
Here are some basic details from vendor documentation:
Device Password Protection: The device password is hashed using salted SHA-256 before being transmitted to the IronKey Secure Flash Drive over a secure and unique USB channel. It is stored in an extremely inaccessible location in the protected hardware. The hashed password is validated in hardware (there is no “getPassword” function that can retrieve the hashed password), and only after the password is validated is the AES encryption key unlocked. The password try-counter is also implemented in hardware to prevent memory rewind attacks. Typing your password incorrectly too many times initiates a patent-pending “flash-trash” self-destruct sequence, which is run in hardware rather than using software, ensuring the ultimate protection for your data.
Here are some more details on the IronKey self-destruct function
Self-Destruct Data Protection:
- Secure volume does not mount until password is verified in hardware
- Password try-counter implemented in tamper-resistant hardware
- Once password try-count is exceeded, all data is erased by hardware
- Solid, rugged case
- Encryption keys stored in the tamper-resistant IronKey Cryptochip
- All chips are protected by epoxy-based potting compound
- Exceeds military waterproof standards (MIL-STD-810F)
Additional Security Features: USB command channel encryption to protect device communications