BusKill is the world’s first laptop kill cord, a hardware "dead man’s switch" that executes a user-configurable trigger when your machine is physically separated from you. BusKill can protect the data stored on your (encrypted) device and any accounts that you’re currently logged into from the worst case scenario of a snatch-and-run thief. It is designed to be easy-to-use on Linux, Windows 10, and MacOS. The GUI app currently supports the ability to trigger a lockscreen on all three platforms. Even better, we’ll soon be releasing built-in triggers to shutdown the computer when the cable disconnects.
Advanced Linux users can manually add auxiliary triggers, such as a self-destruct trigger that wipes the LUKS header, making the entire disk permanently inaccessible (even to rubber-hose cryptanalysis). Note that this is an advanced feature that is intentionally inaccessible upon startup. BusKill will, of course, not ship with any destructive triggers!
BusKill is useful in a wide variety of situations.
Primarily, BusKill can help journalists operating in oppressive regime keep their documents and their sources safe when the political police suddenly raid their workplace.
BusKill can also protect a tourist’s important accounts from a snatch-and-run laptop thief when logged-in, or keep an activist’s affinity group safe when the secret police suddenly raid an organizer’s home.
It can protect the private keys stored on a crypto trader’s machine while trading OTC or on an exchange, and generally prevent an unlocked computer from ending-up in any competitor’s hands.
1. Attach BusKill cord to your belt loop, or another secure attachment point (we suggest on your person).
2. Plug BusKill in.
Then simply navigate to the BusKill app on your computer (if you don’t already have it, it is easily downloadable on GitHub), and click the "arm" button.
BusKill is the first-ever implementation of a hardware kill cord for laptops. As such, there aren’t any real competitors on the market.
While there are many "convenience" tools on the market that try to automatically lock your machine when you walk away from your laptop, none of them are designed with security in mind like BusKill. Bluetooth-based solutions often even unlock the device when you enter range again, which really wouldn’t work, for example, for journalists operating in oppressive regimes.
Not only are radio/heartbeat solutions full of false-positives (and therefore tuned to be exceedingly slow), any radio-based solution just opens the floodgates for potential attack like radio jamming, replay attacks, etc.
BusKill is the only trustworthy product on the market that will immediately and safely lock you machine when it’s physically separated from you.
|BusKill||Day Tripper||UVB Impulse Radar||Windows 10 Dynamic Lock||Near Lock||Blue Proximity|
|Easy to Use||Yes||Windows Only||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
We believe in open source. All our designs and documentation are licensed CC-BY-SA and our code is GPLv3.
Our "Hardware Developer Guide" in our documentation is here. The BusKill app is on github here, and progress on 3D printable components can be found here.
Finally, if you have a question about BusKill, you can reach us using the Ask a technical question link below.
BusKill is made up of the following components:
BusKill is designed to be easy-to-use for folks of all (and no) technical literacy. It ships with a simple GUI app, and it runs on Linux, Windows, and MacOS. Typically, ease-of-use and security are mutually exclusive. This is a challenge for BusKill and all security products.
Our customers can buy the BusKill cable kit including a USB drive with the BusKill GUI pre-installed. While this is incredibly convenient, it introduces risk.
We’ve gone through significant effort to secure the software supply chain (limited and pinned dependencies, cryptographically signed releases & updates) and to provide our customers a means to secure the physical supply chain (ordering over Tor with Monero).
The BusKill cable itself does not have a PCB (just supply your own USB drive). We are also working on designing a 3d-printable magnetic breakaway component, whoose hardware integrity can be verified by non-destructive disassembly & reassembly. By supporting this project, you’re supporting continued development on this and other safeguards.
"Data can be extremely valuable, so Alt Shift designed the BusKill USB kill cord that will automatically execute a user-configurable trigger when your machine is physically separated from you."
"The idea behind it is great...that you can attach this to yourself and if you walk away from your computer it will kill the computer."
"Device theft is one thing, but data theft could be disastrous... [Buskill] is a clever idea and a great way to keep your data, keys, and wallets safe from terrible interlopers."
"Journalists, activists, and human rights defenders face a constant battle to keep files safe from a growing set of digital threats... BusKill...acts as a “dead man’s switch,” locking a computer if someone physically snatches it..."
Produced by Alt Shift in Kesklinna linnaosa, Tallinn, Estonia.
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
This kit includes a custom magnetic-breakaway cable, a carabiner, and a USB Type-A drive preloaded with the BusKill software. It's designed to be a complete hardware kill-cable solution that is straightforward and easy-to-use. No high-tech knowledge required!