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Journal: Secure wireless mice 13

Journal by kasperd

Most of you probably already know how annoying the wire on the mouse sometimes may be. That is why the wireless mouse was invented, and now I'm looking for one. But as with any other wireless equipment, security is an important issue. Sometimes these devices work over longer ranges than expected.

The possibility to sniff the input is not my only concern. Authenticity is also important, I don't want anybody within a range of 100m to be able to control my computer. So any product that doesn't do both encryption and MAC (message authentication codes), is out of the question.

It wouldn't be difficult to produce a secure product. Good ciphers and MACs exists, and key exchange can safely be done while the mouse is placed in the recharger. But finding a product that actually does this proves to be difficult.

I searched for wireless mice satisfying most of my needs (that is optical wireless mice with at least three mouse buttons). And I picked five well known manufacturers from the list. None of the informations I could find online answered my questions. So I decided to contact the companies and ask. The result were depressing.

  • The first company had a wide range of wireless mice, but only one product with encryption. And even this product wasn't trustworthy, as it was based on proprietary algorithms. Security through obscurity is generally considered a sign of weakness, and is advised against in more than one place.
  • The second company did not know what encryption and MAC is, and did not consider it to be necessary.
  • The third company never replied to my email.
  • The fourth company replied to my email, but did not try to answer my questions. Instead I was referred me to a reseller. The reseller had never heard about the product.
  • The fifth company did not provide any contact informations on their webpage.

So I am starting to worry, that maybe secure wireless mice simply does not exist. Where should I look for a secure wireless mouse? And if I find a manufacturer, that can provide a good description of a secure product, how should I verify that the implementation actually match the description?

Of course my considerations about wireless mice also applies to keyboards. The keyboard may in fact be even more sensitive than a mouse, and since I don't move my keyboard as much as I move my mouse, I have decided to stick with wired keyboards.

Memory fault -- brain fried

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