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Glitter nail varnish saves the day!

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Many people fit tamper-proof seals over ports and screws on their laptops etc. but these can easily be cleanly opened or replicated quickly by people with minimal training.

Security researchers Eric Michaud and Ryan Lackey have the answer – create a seal that cannot be copied. Glitter nail varnish is perfect for making a seal because it creates a completely random pattern – unlike standard paint or a sticker.

Once applied, a photo can be taken on a device such as a smart phone that doesn’t leave your side – or can be left at home – to ensure the image has not been tampered with.

Taking a second picture once you’ve returned from a trip or become suspicious that your laptop has been meddled with, then running the two through a program that allows the two images to be rapidly switched between, means you can spot any differences – showing if the glitter nail polish has been removed and repainted.

The technique is inspired by that used by astronomers to spot minute changes in the night sky.

In the next few months the pair plan release a cheap piece of software that allows the images to be easily analysed, as well as enabling a second step so a device cannot be connected to a company system – potentially compromising it – until the images have been verified.


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