When the only USB-A magnetic breakaway coupler on the market became out of stock and EOL'd, we raised $18,507 on CrowdSupply in early 2022 to manufacture our own injection-molded cable. One thousand logistics challenges later, Mouser started shipping BusKill cables to our backers in October 2022.
Now that the hardware is out the door, we're hard at work on new features for the BusKill app. Our top goal is to add a soft-shutdown trigger to the existing lock-screen trigger. At the time of writing, this is functional on Linux and Windows. We're just working out the kinks of privilege escalation on MacOS.
Besides the obvious anonymity benefits--allowing our customers to purchase our products anonymously--we chose to make our website accessible at the above .onion address to take advantage of tor's superior Public Key Infrastructure to the clearnet's flawed x509 model (read: it's more secure).
In short, users are much safer when communicating directly to a website using a .onion domain than its clearnet domain.
We've always made sure that our site's content was fully accessible to Tor Browser on strict mode. Unlike other popular websites, we would never use Google reCAPTCHA or blanket block Tor exit nodes.
We want and encourage our customers to be able to use all of our services over Tor. And by adding our service over an Onion Service, our customers with a healthy distrust for the X.509 PKI can take comfort in knowing that accessing our website through our Onion Service address will give them end-to-end encryption using our Tor-generated certificate.
This post will introduce a simple udev rule and ~$20 in USB hardware that effectively implements a kill cord Dead Man Switch to trigger your machine to self-destruct in the event that you're kicked out of the helm position.
ⓘ Note: This is an old article that is out-of-date.
Let's consider a scenario: You're at a public location (let's say a cafe) while necessarily authenticated into some super important service (let's say online banking). But what if--after you've carefully authenticated--someone snatch-and-runs with your laptop?
Maybe you can call your bank to freeze your accounts before they've done significant financial harm. Maybe you can't.
Or maybe your laptop was connected to your work VPN. In less than 60 seconds and with the help of a rubber ducky, the thief could literally cause millions of dollars in damages to your organization.
Surely there must be some solution to trigger your computer to lock, shutdown, or self-destruct when it's physically separated from you! There is: I call it BusKill.