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USB Device Simulates Mouse Movement

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By David Perera April 18, 2007

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Another example of why cybersecurity is a matter of trust and behavior, not technology: a USB device that simulates the movement of a mouse.

Some PCs and Web sites will automatically log out users after a period of apparent inactivity, such as a few minutes of no detectable movement of the mouse. The feature prevents a user from absent-mindedly walking away from a computer connected to sensitive information, leaving it wide open for passers-by to read. By automatically logging out an inactive user, the system makes a trust decision for you, particularly that it distrusts you’ll remember to log off.

Insert this USB device into your PC, however, and you’ll override the distrust mechanism, and you’ll take back the decision on whether to trust yourself to secure your PC.

Admittedly, this probably is not an option for federal workers, some of whom must deal with a federal IT shop allegedly filling USB ports with epoxy glue to prevent any USB device.

Hat tip: Boing Boing

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