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Method For Securing Devices Using Power Signal Keys

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000203435D
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 21K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database


The theft of relatively small electronic gear is a problem for businesses and individuals. Due to size and value such devices are extremely attractive to would-be thieves. Oftentimes, the data on the device can be much more valuable than the device itself. Indeed, reports of identity theft and industrial espionage resulting from mis-appropriated devices are now commonplace. Most of the time, devices containing data are protected by various encryption techniques designed to be unlocked only by authorized individuals. However, once removed from a protective environment, the device is significantly more vulnerable to breaking the protections that might be in place for the data. So, the ability to render a device useless outside of a designated location would be a useful solution. This invention describes a method, using power signals, to secure the device for operation at a specifically designated location.

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Method For Securing Devices Using Power Signal Keys

This invention covers the generation of a key signal in the power source that the secured device will require in order to perform its function. Without the proper key signal, the secured device will not operate. The power signal generation device would be located at a highly secure location served by the same power circuit as the secured device.

This invention consists of a power signal generation module (signal generator) and a power signal detection module (signal detector).

The signal generator will super impose a high frequency key signal on the local power system. It may be placed on the main power line entering a home or office building.

Secured electrical devices would have a signal receiver that would detect the presence of the specified high frequency signal (the key signal) on their power source. The frequency and specifications of key signal would be set at manufacturing time, and would not be easily modifiable afterwards.

When the device is plugged in, the signal detector would check for the presence of the key signal on the power source. In the presence of the key signal the device would operate normally. In the absence of the key signal the device would not operate, or would destroy any data to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. This means that the device would only be useful in the space that it was set up to work in. Stealing a device from an office building for home use would not be wor...