This DIY electronics hack turns an old flash drive into a combination USB password generator and USB password key–simply plug it in to unlock your computer.
Joonas Pihlajamaa’s employer requires him to change his password on a regular interval. He wanted to use a strong password but he didn’t want to be bothered remembering a really strong and random password every time he changed it. His solution? Gut a USB flash drive to conceal a random password generator and HID device that types in the new password automatically when plugged in. He can use his combination generator/key to both create strong new passwords and then, once he has changed his login credentials with the new password, simply plug the USB drive, like a key, into his work computer to login.
The USB drive itself looks exactly like a standard thumb drive and, if he were to lose it and someone were to plug it in, it would simply type gibberish (the random password string) with no identifiable information. Hit up the link below to see his build guide including the parts and code you need to create your own generator/key.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 03/6/12