Portable and Secure

There are a growing number of projects to provide a relatively secure environment on alien, and possibly untrusted computers. This is unsurprising, given that occasionally even the most technologically advanced of us is likely to need to use an internet cafe at some point. The last one I used reminded me a lot of Mos Eisley – “a more wretched hive of scum and villainy you will not see”, only without the cantina music, and with more spyware, remote control programs and backdoors than you could possibly imagine (and I know you could imagine a lot).

When you’re running on such an untrusted computer, it doesn’t really matter if you load up your personal environment on a virtual machine running off a USB stick, if the host has a keylogger, you’re toast. However, it seems to me that it would be relatively easy to make a small hardware device that the keyboard plugs into which scrambles the keypresses, so to the host Windows, you’re typing complete nonesense, but to the virtual machine, which knows what the game is, the keypresses can be decoded back into what you actually typed.

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