Engineer Michael Altfield created the BusKill USB cable, which can disconnect or “kill” a Linux laptop if the device is unexpectedly snatched out of the hands of the owner and attempted to steal.
Altfield notes that, despite all kinds of protection (using VPN, 2FA, password managers and so on), criminals can still just steal someone else's laptop in a public place, and then all this is unlikely to help. BusKill comes to the rescue here.
BusKill works very simply: at one end the cable is connected to the USB port of the laptop with the Linux board, and at the other end it is attached to the host of the device itself using a carbine (for example, to its belt). When someone unexpectedly grabs a laptop from a man’s knees or from a table, the USB cable is disconnected and thereby runs the udev script, which performs a series of predefined operations.
The reaction to disconnecting the cable can be different: from simply activating the screensaver or turning off the device (which will force the thief to bypass the authentication mechanism), up to completely erasing all data or deleting certain folders (which will protect against theft of critical sensitive data and will not allow attackers to obtain confidential information or access to secure business backends).
– David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) January 2, 2020
The developer does not sell BusKill, but on his website he published detailed DIY instructionsWith which anyone can create their own cable. For assembly, you will need a USB drive, a carabiner for attaching the cable, a magnetic adapter and the USB cable itself. As a result, the device will cost $ 20-45, depending on the required configuration and components.