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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: Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

New ioSafe Water Proof & Fire Proof 2TB USB Hard Drive

For those who need disaster recovery protocols put into place, the new ioSafe 2TB hard drive is your best friend.  The USB hard drive is both water proof and fire proof making it the most durable drive on the market, and essential for disaster recovery mandates. I can tell you one thing, seeing is believing.  Check out this 2 minute video where the ioSafe is getting wet and wild and then dried off at over 1,500 degrees.
<a href="https://www.linkedtube.com/5fo1DDqdo1o82adc390a818482494ab0f48de0e9340.htm">LinkedTube</a>
The USB hard drive ioSafe can be submersed in water for 3 days without damage to the digital content. The ioSafe USB hard drive can withstand fire excess of 1,500 degrees for over 15 minutes without damage to the digital content.  So how do they do it?  Continue Reading

USB Ban at DoD to Be Lifted?

USB ban at DoDLets face it, USB sticks are an everyday tool for doing business.  That’s why I was surprised to hear the ban on USB flash drives at the Pentagon back in November of 08.  However, I can see the security concerns they would have with the power a USB stick can behold. Today, we found out the ban will be lifted from the DoD in the coming months.
Robert Cary the CIO for the Navy states. “In the future, we expect that a government-owned and procured USB flash media that is uniquely and electronically identifiable for use in support of mission-essential functions on DoD networks will be permitted for use by authorized individuals,” Cary said in his blog. “The bottom line is, the days of using personally owned flash media or using flash media collected at conferences or trade shows are long gone. What we connect to our home PCs is very different from what is and will be allowed to occur on DON [Department of Navy] networks.”
This policy is more in line with what I’d expect from the military and devices like the Encryptakey I would think become a staple at locations like the Pentagon. Source:  DarkReading. Continue Reading

USB Silent Keystroke Recorder

USB key loggerHere at GetUSB.info we are a fan of the USB key logger technology.  After all, what better way to find out what employees, girlfriends and such are doing with their spare time.  Especially with all the social network, it’s important to know what is, or is not, being said about you. We have reported about USB key loggers before, but this one is especially nice with the old school PS/2 connector.  Great for the older machines. The device comes with 2MB of internal memory, but check it often as that amount of space will be filled quickly. Pricing is a bit different depending on the connection type you need.  $60-$75. Here is the USB key logger product page. Reminder from UberGizmo. Continue Reading

USB IceBox by Windows

The Windows IceBox is an interesting little tool.  It’s a software program which runs from a USB stick that locks down partitions on your hard drive.  The concept is that you lock down partitions on your hard drive so that other users, like your kids, don’t get in there and start accidentally deleting important files, registry entries, uninstalling software,etc.

USB Windows IceBox

The USB Windows IceBox includes recovery software for your hard drive and has the ability to block virus software or malware programs from getting into your computer. From my perspective, it’s a nice little tool, but if you have the smarts to partition up your hard drive, you probably have the smarts to create multiple users as well.  See the USB Windows IceBox will lock down your partitions when you walk away [certain amount of idle time] but you can do the same thing with User Login priveleges.  Just don’t give your kids Continue Reading

USB Hard Drive Case With Biometric Encryption

So here is a sweet little deal I stumbled upon at USBFever.  For $27 you can get a USB hard drive case with biometric fingerprint encryption scanner.

USB hard drive biometrics

Given how cheap USB hard drives are these days, it’s easy to have them become your backup device of choice.  Well, if you’re like me, chances are you are backing up the QuickBooks or MAS90 accounting programs which need a bit more security.  It would be bad enough to lose your portable hard drive, so at least protect it with your fingerprint. The USB hard drive case with biometric encryption supports the IDE / USB 2.5″ hard drive sizes along with plug & play insertion and removal. The fingerprint biometrics supports all Windows platforms, but not Mac.  So if you’re about to drop $15-$20 for an external case, pay just a couple bucks more and get the USB encrypted version. Continue Reading

Personal USB Swipe Credit Card Reader

USB smartswipe You personal security for on-line shopping has finally arrived.  No more malware keylogging your credit cards, pins and CID number.  With this personal credit card swipe machine you are very secure to buy all that gadget crap off eBay. SmartSwipe is the first to introduce this brilliant product.  What the USB swipe credit card machine does, is read the mag strip, encrypts the data and sends it Continue Reading

USB Copy Protection vs. USB Encryption

There are some fundamental differences between USB copy protection and USB encryption to files on a flash drive.  I have seen many companies confuse and muddy the terminology between the two.  It’s time to clear things up and explain the difference. In short; USB copy protection secures a file or set of files so they cannot be copied – thus copy protection.  USB encryption scrambles the source files so they cannot be read unless you decrypt them.  Take a moment and think about this…there is a BIG difference.

USB encryption

Encryption is the process of scrambling files and data so they cannot be accessed unless a password or key is supplied to reassemble the content and put everything back together.  This process is known as decryption. The fundamental use for USB encryption is to protect files and data in the event the USB stick is lost or stolen. Where encryption and USB copy protection differ is with “encryption” once you have the password you can Continue Reading

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