Browse Prior Art Database

Lockable USB Port

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000168827D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Mar-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Mar-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 144K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This invention secures the USB key by using a simple key lock apparatus to insert a set of teeth into ubiquitous cutouts in male USB connectors. These teeth prohibit insertion and removal of USB keys when in the locked position. This invention could be applied to existing USB keys and stacked ports. One method of invention would involve modification of the standard USB connector such that a pair of openings would replace the EMC springs on the top of the connector (See callout 1 in figure 1. below). A standard key lock would cause a pair of teeth to rotate downward through these openings into the similar openings on each male end of the USB connector (see figure 2 below) effectively locking the male USB connector (USB cable end, USB key, USB jump drive, etc.) into the female USB connector.

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Lockable USB Port

Background

Two problems would be solved by this invention: (1) unwanted insertion of USB keys (jump drives) into ports and (2) unwanted removal of USB keys (and attached peripherals, etc.) from ports. This invention also reduces the likelihood of theft and provides a hardware-based solution to the installation of malicious software into kiosks, servers, and other compute stations without compromising their versatility and ease-of-use.

One analog solution already exists, at least conceptually, in the form of a 'bike lock' style USB lock. http://blog.scifi.com/tech/archives/2006/08/01/bike_lock_techn.html

Another solution to this problem involves the insertion of a USB lock into a USB port, rending the port unusable.
http://www.lindy.com/uk/productfolder/04/40452/index.php

The Invention

This invention secures the USB key by using a simple key lock apparatus to insert a set of teeth into ubiquitous cutouts in male USB connectors. These teeth prohibit insertion and removal of USB keys when in the locked position. This invention could be applied to existing USB keys and stacked ports.

Sample Embodiments

Two problems would be solved by this invention: (1) unwanted insertion of USB keys (jump drives) into ports and (2) unwanted removal of USB keys (and attached peripherals, etc.) from ports. This invention also reduces the likelihood of theft and provides a hardware-based solution to the installation of malicious software into kiosks, servers, and other compute stations without compromising their versatility and ease-of-use.

One analog solution already exists, at least concep...