Security_Key
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  • Security_Key has been discontinued
  • Developer
    Raymond Lewis Jones
Security_Key lets you create a "Security_Key" (similar to an ignition on a car) out of a USB Flash Drive. This "Security_Key" must be present when the machine boots or it willl immediately put the display to sleep. Also, if you eject the disk, your computer will immediately sleep. Now, you cannot wake the machine up untill the "Security_Key" is re-inserted.

I recommend making a clone of this "Security_Key" on a CD and storing somewhere for emergency situations.
What's New
Version 1.2:
  • You can set the Firmware password. This prevents anyone from booting your computer as: single-user, safe-mode, target-disc mode (firewire), verbose mode, blocks re-setting PRAM, and prevents a user from holding "option" to select his/her own startup disc.
Requirements
Intel/PPC, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Admin account.

*Previously available here






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Security_Key User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 1.x:
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:

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burypromote
Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 10 Aug 2007
Okay, but who actually carries the tools to open up you mac with them? For that matter, who actually carries around extra RAM just in case they need to hack a mac? If they are opening up your computer, chances are: it is NOT in your possession anymore. So, what would it really matter, anyways?
[Version 1.2]


burypromote

+143
Borlox commented on 09 Aug 2007
Firmware password protection can be bypassed by changing the RAM configuration. Its only use is to prevent rebooting something like a kiosk machine in single-user mode, where the box is physically locked up and only the keyboard and mouse are accessible. Otherwise it's worthless.

Physical security of data comes from encryption, not from being unable to boot the machine. If the developer wants to do something useful, he should try devising a two-factor authentication system like the SmartCard support already built into the Mac, but without the need for specialized hardware and media.
[Version 1.2]


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Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 07 Aug 2007
What features, System Preferences, Network Preferenc es, etc would you like to see added? I was thinking of being able to launch applications as root from the Security Key, like Terminal, Text Wrangler, etc. What do you think?

Probably would have to add a GUI app that launches when the Key is inserted and from there maybe a small launcher list of apps.
[Version 1.1]

2 Replies

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gizmomo commented on 09 Aug 2007
This is an interesting idea. I don't think I would use it only because of the 'sleep' idea. I would love something for locking access to a server, but it won't do having it go to sleep with the key removed. Have a locking screen saver or something, but not sleep. Sleep stops all work a server may be doing, making it not much of a server, albiet quite secure ;)
burypromote
Electric Eel Productions (developer) replied on 09 Aug 2007
My app only puts the disply to sleep, not the hard disks.
burypromote
Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 06 Aug 2007
check for an update later today with all the modifications.
[Version 1.0]


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Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 06 Aug 2007
Okay, now I have even gotten past the single-user-mode. Now I can make the machine just reboot itself if single-user-mode is ever entered. HA!!!!!!!!!!!

I even set up a function that checks to see if the machine was just booted. If it was just booted the daemon pauses for 15 seconds to let all the Volumes mount. This prevents the machine from going to sleep immediately after startup because the disk is inserted but hasn't been mounted yet.
[Version 1.0]


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Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 06 Aug 2007
Okay, just for kicks, I created a little test daemon. Bootied in safe-mode and it worked. Then I booted into single-user-mode and of course I was presented with a command-prompt. I tried to "rm /path/to/my/daemon" with several different combos of options, It dod not work!!!!!!! The prompt told me that it was a read-only filesystem.

Now, I think everybody knows that you could always just boot the machine in target-disk-mode, connect it to another mac and get everything you want off of it. So, I guess you could get what you want off the machine in single-user-mode also.
[Version 1.0]


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Electric Eel Productions (developer) commented on 05 Aug 2007
Yeah, There is no need to partition it. You can use the free space any way you want. You can store whatever on it, just don't re-name it.
[Version 1.0]


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+3
Soundman commented on 04 Aug 2007
Just as there are different degrees of security, there are different levels of users (from novice or technically indifferent to power users). This utility could easily find it's niche somewhere in there. Perhaps a touch more magnaminity would be in order from casual reviewers. There is an art to reviewing, just as developing software is an art.

I think a possible way to overcome the single boot mode would be to encrypt the daemon, and then on the key, install a script to decrypt on the fly as the system was booting up (though this would take a fair amount of craft but, where there is a will....). Or if not, settle for a lower level user niche.

I certainly encourage creativity...who knows what the end result could be?
[Version 1.0]


burypromote
datruhd commented on 04 Aug 2007
I have a 2GB flash drive. Is it possible for security key to use a partition since I don't want to waste space and to use the other free space for me files?
[Version 1.0]


burypromote

+143
Borlox commented on 03 Aug 2007
I don't like to criticize someone who contributes a free (as in beer) project, but it seems the developer is considering charging money for it. I've known 9-year-old children who could bypass this by booting in single-user mode. No one should install it with the idea that it provides any security against tampering by an attacker with physical access to the computer. There are ways to provide that kind of security, but this isn't one of them. I really can't see any point in this software at all.
[Version 1.0]


burypromote
landysenjen54 had trouble on 10 Dec 2007
i did the steps but it will not work, my computer will just sleep now, it will turn on for a second then go to sleep, how can i fix this, please some respond ASAP
[Version 1.2]


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Downloads:2,050
Version Downloads:1,435
Type:Utilities : System
License:Free
Date:09 Aug 2007
Platform:PPC 32 / Intel 32 / OS X
Price:Free0.00
Overall (Version 1.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
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Security_Key lets you create a "Security_Key" (similar to an ignition on a car) out of a USB Flash Drive. This "Security_Key" must be present when the machine boots or it willl immediately put the display to sleep. Also, if you eject the disk, your computer will immediately sleep. Now, you cannot wake the machine up untill the "Security_Key" is re-inserted.

I recommend making a clone of this "Security_Key" on a CD and storing somewhere for emergency situations.


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