We're happy to announce the release of BusKill v0.7.0
Most importantly, this release allows you to arm the BusKill GUI app such that it shuts-down your computer when the BusKill cable's connection to the computer is severed.
We're happy to announce the release of BusKill v0.6.0
Most importantly, this release allows you to arm the BusKill app such that it shuts-down your computer when the BusKill cable's connection to the computer is severed.
You can upgrade your BusKill app to the latest version either by
We're excited to announce that our first production run of BusKill cables is now in-stock in our distribution center.
The first BusKill prototype was born in 2017. It gained international popularity in 2020 when Michael Altfield described how to build your own BusKill cable. After extensive effort and with the help of several contributors, a Linux hacker's DIY cable got a user-friendly, cross-platform GUI.
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.
To be notified when we've added the soft-shutdown trigger to the BusKill app, you can signup for our newsletter.
We did our best to test BusKill across the three target platforms, but the wide spread of OS versions does leave room for error. If you happen to find a bug with BusKill, please let us know.
If you don't have a BusKill cable yet, you can buy one here on this website or build your own. And for the makers out there, checkout the progress on our 3D printable BusKill magnetic breakaway coupler 🙂
You can also buy a BusKill cable with bitcoin, monero, and other altcoins directly from our BusKill Store
This post will describe how to use BusKill as a dead man switch to trigger your laptop to self-destruct if it's physically separated from you. This guide is specific to QubesOS users.
What if someone literally steals your laptop while you're working with classified information inside a Whonix DispVM? They'd also be able to recover data from previous DispVMs--as Disposable VM's rootfs virtual files are not securely shredded after your DispVM is destroyed.
This is part one of a two-part series. For part two, see Disarm BusKill in QubesOS (2/2)
Are you a security researcher, journalist, or intelligence operative that works in QubesOS--exploiting Qubes' brilliant security-through-compartimentalizatio to keep your data safe? Do you make use of Whonix Disposable VMs for your work? Great! This post is for you.
I'm sure your QubesOS laptop has Full Disk Encryption and you're using a strong passphrase. But what if someone literally steals your laptop while you're working with classified information inside a Whonix DispVM? Not only will they get access to all of your AppVM's private data and the currently-running Whonix DispVM's data, but there's a high chance they'd be able to recover data from previous DispVMs--as Disposable VM's rootfs virtual files (volatile.img) are not securely shredded after your DispVM is destroyed by Qubes!
Let's say you're a journalist, activist, whistleblower, or a human rights worker in an oppressive regime. Or an intelligence operative behind enemy lines doing research or preparing a top-secret document behind a locked door. What do you do to protect your data, sources, or assets when the secret police suddenly batter down your door? How quickly can you actually act to shutdown your laptop and shred your RAM and/or FDE encryption keys?
BusKill utilizes a magnetic trip-wire that tethers your body to your laptop. If you suddenly jump to your feet or fall off your chair (in response to the battering ram crashing through your door) or your laptop is ripped off your table by a group of armed thugs, the data bus' magnetic connection will be severed. This event causes a configurable trigger to execute.
trigger can be anything from:
This post will describe how to setup such a system in QubesOS with BusKill
This post will describe how to add a trigger that initiates a "self-destruct" sequence when your BusKill laptop kill cord's connection is severed--rendering your data permanently & irrevocably destroyed in the event that your laptop were physically separated from you (ie: by a snach-and-run thief).
Many people were disappointed when the original post introducing BusKill only alluded to a self-destruct trigger, without actually describing how to use it with BusKill. This was done for two reasons:
This article will provide that thorough analysis and explain to the reader how to implement a self-destruct trigger with BusKill on linux machines that have FDE with LUKS.