Saturday, May 23, 2020

Linux Laptop: Linux laptop vendor uses a really surprising hack to guard your privacy

Linux Laptop: Linux laptop vendor uses a really surprising hack to guard your privacy

Nail polish on screws may be a good way to guard laptops against tampering while in transit

Several years ago, it had been revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) will sometimes intercept networking gear during shipping so as to switch it to supply backdoor access to the hardware. to urge around this, one company has devised an ingenious hack to make sure that its laptops arrive at customers without being tampered with.

Just six months ago, the social purpose company Purism decided to formalize its anti-interdiction services in order that they appeared as a drop-down choice as against being a “hidden menu item” that was difficult to seek out. The laptop and smartphone maker is one among if not the sole hardware vendor that gives an entire suite of custom anti-interdiction measures to stop its devices from being tampered with during shipping.

What exactly are these anti-interdiction measures? Well for starters, Purism applies glitter nail enamel to all or any of the screws on the rock bottom of its Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops in order that users will know if someone took the device apart after it had been shipped. the corporate also ships its laptops with customized tamper-evident tape on a bag surrounding the device and its box. it'll even send pictures of the laptop measures it performed over encrypted email to customers.

Purism also offers a PureBoot Bundle to detect firmware or OS tampering with a custom pin. this feature includes the company's Librem Key which may be a USB security key to form encryption, key management, and tamper detection convenient and secure. for patrons that want additional security, Purism will even ship the Librem Key and laptop separately to different addresses to form interdiction even harder.

When Purism first formally announced that it might offer anti-interdiction services to its customers, the corporate expected it to be a fringe upgrade that only a little number of individuals would choose. However, many purchasers trying to find additional security decided to upgrade to its anti-interdiction services.

While some people decided to settle on the service because they're during a high threat situation, others just want the peace of mind that comes with knowing their laptop won't be tampered with in transit without their knowledge.

Of the anti-interdiction measures, Purism offers, its glitter nail enamel is extremely popular and customers prefer to have it placed on either the middle screw or all of the screws of their new laptops.

In a blog post, the chief security officer at Purism, Kyle Rankin reflected on the success of the company's anti-interdiction services, saying:

“Six months on I might need to say that the anti-interdiction service has been a hit. we've processed much more orders than I initially thought and for a really diverse range of consumers. Now that the method has become more streamlined we should always be ready to complete future anti-interdiction orders even more quickly and are trying to find other ways we will make it even faster. we've also expanded anti-interdiction services beyond laptops and adapted it to Librem Server, Librem Mini, Librem 5, and Librem 5 USA.”

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