Browse Prior Art Database

Physically Keyed USB Security

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000207259D
Publication Date: 2011-May-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of accomplishing physically keyed Universal Serial Bus (USB) security while leaving the communication ports easily accessible for field technicians and updates.

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Physically Keyed USB Security

Current point of sale (POS) devices and printers use a standard Universal Serial Bus (USB) port for data transfer. System units located in the retail environment are susceptible to malicious attack through exposed communication ports. Retailers are forced to hide their system units from easy access by placing them under the counter or a similar location, or by equipping the units with expensive unintended connection detection software.

Current solutions include placing a keyed cover over the USB port and only allowing the store manager to have to key. Alternate solutions have software and/or hardware authentication between the two devices (e.g., USB key with data and USB port of the system unit).

Similar/related prior art includes:
• Hardware Encrypting Storage Device with Physically Separable Key Storage Device [1]

• Physical Encryption Key System [2]

The disclosed solution is a method of accomplishing physically keyed USB security while leaving the communication ports easily accessible for field technicians and updates.

In the preferred embodiment (shown in the figure below), easily accessible system units are equipped with "uniquely keyed" communication connectors. The internal logic of these connectors behaves exactly as USB logic, with the four predefined signals (D+, D-, VCC, GND). Similarly, the internal logic of the system unit treats the connector as a standard USB connector.

In order for a user to interact with the conn...