BusKill

The USB kill cord for your laptop

This project is coming soon. Sign up to receive updates and be notified when this project launches.


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!

A Lifesaver for Tourists, Journalists, Activists, and More

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.

BusKill Demo

Features & Specifications

  • Supports Linux, Windows, and MacOS
  • Open source GUI app with secure auto-update functionality for pulling future releases (eg: new triggers)
  • BusKill app has arm/disarm functionality, so you can pause BusKill trigger events before locking your screen
  • Hardware kill cable is simpler and less vulnerable to attacks (compared to radio-based solutions)
  • Strong N52 neodymium magnets reduce false-positives

Incredibly Simple to Use

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 App Arm/Disarm Demo

Comparisons

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.

BusKillDay TripperUVB Impulse RadarWindows 10 Dynamic LockNear LockBlue Proximity
Open-SourceYes Yes No No No Yes
Active DevelopmentYes Yes ? ? No No
Magnetic BreakawayYes No No No No No
Easy to UseYes Windows Only Yes Yes Yes Yes
SecureYes No No No No No
Supports WindowsYes Yes Yes Yes No No
Supports MacOSYes Yes No No Yes No
Supports LinuxYes No No No No Yes

Open Source Documentation

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.

Interested in This Project?

You can sign up to be notified when this campaign launches, and to get any other useful updates, right at the top of this page. We work hard to only send out useful information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

See Also

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects: