The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity

Feb/08

22

How to physically take a computer without interrupting the power.

One of my folks at Anonymizer pointed me towards this site WiebeTech HotPlug as a follow up to my blog post yesterday about recovering data from RAM after it has been removed from power. The HotPlug tool is sold to law enforcement to enable seizure of a computer without ever turning it off. The system has several methods that allow a running computer to be transitioned to a portable UPS system without causing the computer to shut down or react in any way. It can then be transported to a lab with the OS still running.As an additional clever trick, they have a USB dongle called the “Mouse Jiggler” which simulates a mouse making constant small motions, thus preventing a screen saver from ever activating. This allows the attacker to take all the time he needs without worrying about a password protected screen saver, or any other inactivity based security trigger, activating.All this enables the attacker to get the computer back to controlled laboratory conditions before trying to access the machine or pulling the power to capture the RAM image. Yet another argument for not walking away from a running computer with sensitive information. 

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