Creating, memorizing, and even just typing in passwords can be a serious drag. If you adhere to some of the more hardcore security personal security regimens, you’ll have to be walking around with a dozen or so unique, nonsensical, alpha-numeric, camel-capped character strings in your head at any given time. What a drag. So, what’s a guy to do? One option is to just have really crumby, reused passwords, another option is to hack together a USB drive that will generate, remember, and enter your password for you when you jam it into your USB drive. That’s what Joonas Pihlajamaa did.
The device is basically just a gutted thumb drive that’s been retrofitted with an ATtiny85 microcontroller that’s rigged up to act like a USB keyboard. When it’s plugged in, it automatically “types” out the stored password and hits enter. Bam. Logged in. As a bonus, it only takes a couple of keystrokes to tell the USB key to generate another password and memorize that one, making it easy when your employer forces you to switch a lot.
Granted, this isn’t the most secure or convenient solution. For one, it means that anyone who has your USB stick (and knows what it is) has access to your box, unlike if you had a normal password, in which case they’d have to torture it out of you. It also means that you probably won’t know your password, which could be a problem if you lose or break the key. Lastly, it’s only going to work to log on to a computer, and only one at that, unless you commit the cardinal sin of reusing passwords. Nonetheless, it’s definitely cooler than entering a password, and under the right circumstances, arguably as safe.
(via Hack a Day)
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