Signet High-capacity

An all-in-one encrypted USB flash drive, two-factor authentication token, and password manager

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Jun 01, 2020

Project update 20 of 20

Electrical Stability and Feature Development Schedule

by Neils N

We’ve had a chance to use the devices more and we’ve discovered that the device can stall under certain circumstances: The stalls occur when the USB power line is nosier than the device can handle, which seems to happen mostly on desktops and high-powered laptops when the system load is high (such as when playing a 3D game) or when exiting sleep mode. This causes either the USB interface or the eMMC chip to stall and the device needs to be removed and reinserted to recover.

The good news is that the problem is most likely to occur when the device is idle, so there is very little risk of data loss. The bad news is that on some systems you might want to unplug the device when you’re not using it in order to avoid stalls. If you find yourself encountering this problem often we will offer to exchange your device for a replacement once we have a solution.

Features timeline

We are starting to plan on adding the features that we advertised in the campaign that did not ship with the device. Here is our rough schedule for additional work on the product.

Device configuration (Volume and profile management): ~4 weeks

Currently the device storage is pre-divided, and the device only supports one user profile.

Storage currently allocates 8GB to unencrypted storage and 24GB allocated to encrypted storage. Volume configuration will allow you to dictate how the storage space should be used and enable us to develop volume specific features, such as read-only volumes or one time-use volumes.

Profile management will make it possible to login to your device with multiple passwords, each associated with a different profile. Depending on which profile you login with different subsets of your data will be visible.

Basic cryptographic features: ~2 weeks

For the first round of cryptographic features we will focus on features that can be exposed through the GUI or command line applications that we create. In this development phase we can’t implement everything, but we will make sure to cover features that people have expressed the greatest interest in such as file encryption, SSH authentication, and one-time-use passwords

GPG integration: ~3 weeks

Integrating Signet HC with GPG opens up a lot of convenient use cases. We will do this initially by making Signet HC act as a OpenPGP smart card by using code from the open source Gnuk project. In parallel we will look into other ways we might integrate with GPG outside of OpenPGP and whether they have any significant upsides.

Physically protected volumes: ~3 weeks

These are volumes that are not directly exposed to the operating system. Instead they store data file system visible to the client that is linked to your personal information database. You should be able to set individual folders to be visible only under some profiles and folders that can be marked as requiring a device button press to view.

More cryptographic features: Unknown time-frame

This task would include everything that anyone has asked for that isn’t handled by the GPG integration or our first set of standalone encryption features. As this will be an ever expanding category we can’t really give a time estimate on it.

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