by Design SHIFT

An open source, physically secure personal computer.

View all updates Feb 15, 2017

Mitigating In-transit Modifications

We’ve been asked several times to highlight how we protect against the kind of in-transit modifying that have been performed on other products in the past.

Many of our security features are good mitigation to this kind of interference in a general sense. The security mesh, for example, prevents things such as physical replacement of SPI flash (where BIOS is stored) or any other component for that matter. The one component that could theoretically be replaced to get around the tamper protection is the secure microcontroller itself, so we’ve designed the following:

  • During manufacturing the ORWL unit is tasked with generating a random 4-digit PIN and a separate ORWL ID. When we ship, we will ship the PIN and the ORWL ID in a PIN mailer, separate from the ORWL unit.
  • When you receive the ORWL, plug it in, and turn it on, the first thing you have to do is enter your PIN from the mailer to indicate you are the correct recipient. The ORWL unit will respond to the correct PIN by displaying it’s ID. The owner will verify it matches the ORWL ID in the PIN mailer.

In this way, if the unit is intercepted mid-shipment, it cannot be replaced with a dummy unit that can emulate the same behavior as the attacker will not know either the PIN or the ORWL ID. Further, the keyfob is still unpaired at this point. The pairing mechanism makes use of proper banking encryption running in a JavaCard OS on the keyfob (from G & D). The pairing applet must be a signed genuine app from Design SHIFT in order for the pairing process to proceed. So replacing a keyfob during shipment will also not create an opening.

$102,446 raised

of $25,000 goal

409% Funded!
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Oct 06 2016
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Product Choices


ORWL - Glass Enclosure

The world's most physically secure computer. Comes with 8GB RAM, one secure key fob, Intel Skylake M7 processor, 480 GB storage capacity, operating system, and glass enclosure.


ORWL - Plastic Enclosure

The world's most physically secure computer. Comes with 8GB RAM, one secure key fob, Intel Skylake M3 processor, 120 GB storage capacity, operating system, and plastic enclosure.


Rackmount Server Chassis

This 1U steel rackmount server chassis is the perfect solution for housing up to three ORWL computers in a co-located server environment.


Design SHIFT

Design SHIFT was started in 2009 with the simple idea that with passion and focus small teams can deliver breakthrough products.

Daniel Nelson

Olivier Boireau

Gupta Shreeranganath

George Crum

James Pan

Michele McIntosh

Nick Yen

Pearl Lai

Stefan Carpentier

Alfie Lin

Tim Chen

Sean Wen

Erik Chen

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