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USB Key Safe – The SplashID

How many times have you registered for a service or product on the web, only to be required to enter a user name and password?  How many times has that website required some 6 or 8 character password which includes numbers, capital letter and lower case letters – basically some abstract combination of characters?  Or you enter a user name only to find it’s already been used or you’re required to enter your email address as your user name.  With most people having mulitple email address its difficult to remember which one, the password or combination there of.  You need a system.

That system could very well be the SplashID from SplashData.

SplashID, USB password

Consider some of the following – would they help you?

  • Never forget a username or password again – ever
  • Secure and backup your passwords, credit card numbers, registration codes, PINs, and more
  • Generate truly random passwords hackers cannot guess
  • Protect yourself from identity theft, keyloggers, and phishing

The SplashID uses a autorun function which automatically opens up the SplashID user interface upon connection to a PC or Mac computer.  Pull the key out, and not a trace of SplashID stays on the system or any of your sensitive data you just gone done using.  So clearly a big value add for passwords, data base of private content and  password generator.

Currently you get the SplashID for $30 with free shipping…although the free shipping is for a limited time.  Here is the link for more info.

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How To: Use Physical Lock To Enable / Disable USB Ports

I came across this very interesting USB hack from TechOat the other day.  The concept of this modification is taking the key of a power box in your computer and turning that into the physical on/off switch for USB communication.

The premise is disassembling the wires of the USB cable and port and weaving that into the circuit of a locking switch on your PC.  I think this illustration shows it best:

USB lock on off

What I particularly like about this USB hack, is the physical requirement to have the key in order to work the USB port.  This type of security [more fun then practical] for USB devices in general is much better than a Truecrypt type solution as that only protects the device, not the system.

So what you need includes:

Small USB thumb drive
USB extension cable or USB socket and plug with cable
Locking switch DPST
Plastic box

The rest is just elbow grease to get it working, for the specific details and tutorial, jump here.

USB lock enable disable

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Chat Stick – USB Flash Drive To Recover All Her Dirty IMs

Several weeks ago I reported on the flash drive which detects p0rn and today I’m letting you know about the Chat Stick.  A flash drive which recovers all those dirty Instant Messages.

The USB Chat Stick is loaded with software which scans the host computer for all instant message conversations, deleted or not, and uses recovery software to localize all those discussions into one, nice, handy place; the flash drive.

USB chat stick

So here’s the obvious spin about the USB Chat Stick.  You can search a computers history for children IM conversations to make sure they aren’t sexting or worse, talking to on-line predators.  Or, for the paranoid spouse, a great tool to finally put your curiosity to rest – are they cheating on me?

But from a business perspective, I think this has a lot of value.  For example, we spend many hours talking to suppliers overseas about flash drives, MP3 players etc and there are many conversation which get deleted away.  Import business transaction information that, one day, you may need to recover.  The USB Chat Stick can help.

Here are the company’s talking points:

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Secure Banking USB Device

Banking giant UBS started deploying a device from IBM which ensures online banking transactions aren’t being manipulated by on-line hackers.

IBM’s ZTIC (Zone Trusted Information Channel) is a smart-card reader that attaches to computer via a USB cable. During an online banking transaction, it bypasses the Web browser and makes a direct connection with the bank.  The connection is an industry standard SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which enables the user to enjoy a secure link between their computer and the bank server.

UBS secure banking

What is great about the USB secure product is that a hacker could not cloak a transaction via the web and show the user a transaction of one amount, while robbing them blind with a different amount as the “actual” transaction.

What is funny about the UBS press release is the following:

If the transaction has been hacked and the account number is different, the customer can abort the payment by hitting a red “x,” or a green check if it’s fine

Well…if they knew the transaction was hacked, wouldn’t they stop it anyway?

Another nice feature of the UBS secure USB device is that a keylogger could not record keystrokes because the sync process between the user and bank happens through the UBS device, no account numbers are used or typed.

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Kingston With Secure Flash Drive Issues

It’s been all over the blogs the last couple of days regarding Kingston and their security issues.  They have been tight lipped about exactly what makes the device vulnerable and with specific information it’s hard to gauge just how hard it would be for someone to crack it.

Kingston secure flash drive

I don’t think the typical user who keeps their personal information secure with this drive [in the event it’s lost] has much to worry about, but the government has purchased plenty of units and that’s clearly a concern.  The list of drives include Data Traveler BlackBox, the Data Traveler Secure – Privacy Edition, and the Data Traveler Elite – Privacy Edition.  Again, a typical computer user probably doesn’t have the tools or skills to unlock the device, but a professional would.

My guess is the IC controller chip which runs the AES 256 encryption is at fault here and someone has figured out how to hack the machine code and disable the encryption, but that’s just my educated guess being in the industry.

PC World did a good write up about the statement and interesting perspective on the whole situation.

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Sony USB Human Vein Reader

You learn something new every day.  Today I learned that Sony has been working on a new bio technology that reads vein structure of a human hand.  The project is called “Mofiria.”

USB vein reader

Object behind this project is taking the biometric finger reading technology one step further, and using vein structure as the authentication code [after all we have all seen movies where a fake silicon finger gets the burglars in].

So now the biometric technology is all buttoned up, Sony developed a USB vein reader that users could implement in the field.

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