nano-lock

'World's smallest combination lock' promises to foil even the best computer hacker, say Sandia developers

This is totally idiotic from a security standpoint (this dingus is equivalent to a hard-to-peel smartcard with a private key on it) but microscopic machines are still cool.

"ENABLED CODE WHEEL -- One of six code wheels is shown here in an enabled position after the correct code was entered. The wheel is 300 microns in diameter, about the size of the period at the end of a sentence in a standard newspaper."

(big picture here)

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5 Responses:

  1. nerpdawg says:

    "To unlock the device, a user must enter a code that identically matches the code stored mechanically in the six code wheels. If the user makes even one wrong entry -- and close doesn't count -- the device mechanically "locks up" and does not allow any further tries until the owner resets it from the secure side."

    Wow. They invented passwords..

    • jwz says:

      I'm guessing it went something like this:

      Researcher: "Look at these neat little gears I made!"
      Marketroid: "I'll write a press release about security!"
      Researcher: "Um... does that mean I get another grant? Ok."

    • wfaulk says:

      If the user makes even one wrong entry ... the device mechanically "locks up" and does not allow any further tries until the owner resets it from the secure side.

      In other news, denial-of-service attacks expected to skyrocket.

  2. nerpdawg says:

    Totally. no self respecting nerd would've let that article through without fat stacks of cash

  3. vxo says:

    Oh, but did you see what it can protect against?

    Remember, kids, hackers are of no danger unless they have flyswatters. Once they get flyswatters, the shit hits the fan.