BusKill – A new USB Kill Cord Switch to Self-Destruct Your Data on Linux Machine

Discussion in 'hardware' started by mood, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    BusKill – A new USB Kill Cord Switch to Self-Destruct Your Data on Linux Machine
    January 3, 2020
    https://gbhackers.com/buskill/
    Introducing BusKill: A Kill Cord for your Laptop
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well, it's not really "self-destruct". Just lock or shut down.

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21943258
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, they are talking about the data, not the notebook itself. The user has the option to configure what happens when the Killbus device is detached. While it says "self-destruct the Laptop", that is poorly worded. The hardware does not go up in smoke Mission Impossible style.

    Not sure I would like this idea. The circuit is made only by a magnetic connection. These type plugs have been used for years on many devices, like home deep-fat fryers to keep them and hot grease from getting pulled on to the floor by somebody tripping over the cord. In other words, they are designed to "easily" disconnect.

    These Killbus cords are meant to be used when you are using your computer in airports, coffee shops and other "unfamiliar" places - places where it might be too easy to "accidentally" disconnect that cord. Then what?

    Or what if you simply forget, and go to refill your coffee cup or pick up a print job and accidentally step one step too far away?

    I think some form of auto-encryption of the drive(s) would be just as effective, but safer.
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It would have saved DPR lots of grief. And it would have saved his employees, whose PII he kept on that laptop, even more grief.

    There, two agents created a diversion, while another grabbed his laptop. So the NSA two-button kill switch wouldn't have worked.

    And he would have wanted total data destruction, because otherwise he'd likely have faced contempt charges for refusing to provide a password. But maybe he'd then have faced charges for destruction of evidence.

    For sure it's a tradeoff. However, with up-to-date backups, accidental data loss is less of an issue. But then where do you keep the backups?
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    DPR?

    This thread is not about a two-button kill switch but regardless, I see no reason for one of those either. It seems to me they would only work if you had advance notice a bad guy was coming. At least with the Killbus, it would work with no warning and hopefully the bad guy would not notice the device until long gone.

    I note the dongle left behind looks similar to a BT or wifi dongle or even a charger Data Blocker device and again, would be ignored during the snatch.

    As far as contempt charges for refusing to provide the password, that does not bother me. I would not be doing anything with my computer that would bring law enforcement, the courts, or a court order in my direction. If the authorities come to me with a warrant, I'll let them in. Freedom is NOT free!
    On the external drive right next to your laptop, of course. :rolleyes:
     
  6. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    :argh:

    Good question. In the olden golden days confidential material/data was transcribed onto microdot. But obviously that isn't an option in the digital age, long now rendered obsolete.
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Dead Pirate Roberts aka Ross Ulbricht
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well, MicroSDHC hold up to 32GB, and MicroSDXC at least 200GB.

    And those shouldn't be that hard to hide.
     
  9. longshots

    longshots Registered Member

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    A Linux laptop? Not quite as rare as rocking horse $?#t, but almost.
     
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