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IDEA: Laptop Security - Lock system/send keystroke unless key pressed in n sec

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UPDATE: Added link to the program here. It's beta and doesn't yet have all the super-secure (if the adversary is prepared and knows what he's doing) features discussed here, but it works.
Edit the file to set the timer values. The key combination to reset the timer is Win+3.
You also need to have installed.
Original code that has a different timeout (fake) warning (task tray balloon) below.

Use the computer with full confidence in situations where it can be snatched (stolen) from your hands. Any public areas actually qualify - and even your (g/b) friend, parent, teacher, bouncer, security guard, police, may just choose to take a look. Or if you absentmindedly leave your system unsupervised for a while, they can't get a (long) peek. The more portable things get, the more easily you lose physical control of them. The solution: you need to provide a "heartbeat" to the computer. They'll get the body but not the mind...
Send keystroke, activate screen saver, blank screen, display an image (favorites: black screen with "Missing Operating System", or "NTLDR is missing", or "Operating system not found", actually switching to DOS graphics mode or the trusty old BSOD), run video, run program, shut down, etc. unless a key is repeatedly pressed within, say, 10 sec. Could be one time only, e.g. during startup.
If you fail, it will optionally ask for a (probably quick and easy to type) password or a (modifier combo) key (or no dialog, you'll just type it) and if you fail to provide it in, say, 30 seconds, it will send a keystroke which will e.g. forcefully dismount encrypted drives.
Optional visible countdown timer with custom position, font, color, transparency. It could stay invisible until 5 sec remain and then change color from green through amber to red, or become more opaque and start blinking when 3 sec remain. If wrong key is entered, the color will optionally change, and optionally a sound will play (lowest priority feature).
Use a string of characters that has to be entered in order, repeating, or any one of them. So e.g. you'd keep on pressing Ctrl+Win+A, Ctrl+Win+S, Ctrl+Win+D to keep the system happy.
The key can be anything, with a modifier or modifier combo or no modifier.

Could support the finger print reader, microphone input (one of a group of recorded sounds/words).

You could just set the screensaver (lots of them available) to run after 1 minute (smallest timeout available), and have it lock the screen ofcourse, but all in all it would just be annoying. And if I want to lock the system I can quickly press Win-L.

Can't see any use-case for this :huh: :down:

Your inability to see any use case is simply the inability to see a common scenario that has occurred many many times:

You're sitting in the public typing. Suddenly you notice you're typing thin air. Some guys are running away with a large bag (no laptop in sight) and disappear behind the corner.

Can't see any way a screensaver would help in this case. The thieves of course know about them, and keep on typing, moving the cursor, and then go and disable it. Just in case the drive is encrypted, they insert a USB drive and steal everything from your drive before letting the system shut down.

This is a basic security feature that is sorely missing.

Ah, that was not quite clear from your original post :-[
So you're either missing a finer control over the screen-saver settings, or a kensington lock, connected to your body in some way (yes, that's not very comfortable), and to the laptop, ofcourse :-\

Similar problems exist when using a mobile phone in public, IMHO, and on most mobile phones, there's no kensington lock connector, AFAIK.

It'd be ok for version 0.1 to have just a countdown timer that will send a keystroke if it doesn't receive a key (combo) within n sec, that's all.


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