This ORWL PC will self-destruct if someone tries to hack it
We all have precious information, and we all need to store it somewhere. What happens when you’re not around your computer? For system administrators, physicians, lawyers, and journalists, protecting information is critically important. Sometimes it is even a life or death matter. And yet, when it comes to the computing hardware we all use everyday, most of us don’t even take the simple precautions that we use to protect our money. ORWL was created to bridge this gap and bring hardened physical security to personal computing.
It’s a pint-sized personal computer with some of the most iron clad security features available, and it can even protect from physical hacking via a self-destruct feature that wipes the PC clean of all data if someone tries to break in.
Features & Specifications
- Processor: Intel Skylake M3 (without vPro) or M7 (with vPro)
- Graphics: Integrated Intel 515 chipset supports 4K output
- Ports: 2X USB 3.0 Type C, 1X micro HDMI
- Power: External power adapter connects to either USB 3.0 port
- Memory: 8 GB
- Storage: 180 or 480 GB SSD with automatic AES 256-bit encryption
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac
- Operating Systems: Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux systems, Windows 10
- Secure Microcontroller: MAX32550 DeepCover Secure Cortex-M3 with projected 6-month unplugged battery life
- Authentication: NFC + BLE key fob and user password
- Dimensions: 130 mm diameter, 30 mm height, 400 g weight
- Datasheet: PDF (3.79 MB)
The Orwl, which comes pre-installed with either Windows, Ubuntu, or Qubes OS, boasts some seriously impressive software security specs, including protection against UEFI and DMA attacks, as well as USB-based exploits. The computer works hand-in-hand with a special key fob that uses NFC to verify that the user is authorized to use it, and when the special sensor is out of range — like when you walk away from your computer — the PC locks down its USB ports to prevent any malicious tampering.
But what’s most impressive about the Orwl is its ability to actually prevent physical hacking. Typically, software-based attacks are reasonably easy to mitigate with the right tools, but someone in possession of your computer has an endless number of options for mining its information. Orwl counters this by detecting tempering of its electrical components (even if the computer is unplugged) and then “irrevocably” wiping its encryption key to prevent anyone from gaining access to your data.
Of course, most of us don’t have anything on our PCs worth such all-encompassing security measures, but if you do, Orwl is expected to launch in August with a starting price of $1,699.