panic button / panic shutdown / BusKill - The USB kill cord for your laptop

"Why BusKill?

BusKill is a Dead Man Switch triggered when a magnetic breakaway is tripped, severing a USB connection. "

Has articles about qubes as well:

Sound an interesting project.

@maltfield nice stuff :wink:


Hey @TNT_BOM_BOM, thanks :slight_smile: Here’s the explainer video, which I think unpacks the idea of the cable better than words can convey

We’re just finishing the first production run thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign on crowdsupply, and the cables should be shipping to backers in the next 1-2 months.

Of course, you can also make your own cable (it’s all open-source)

Right now the cross-platform GUI app just locks your screen, but on Linux you can make it shutdown or self-destruct (wipe your LUKS header) in just a few seconds (see the guides linked-to above). It takes 5.2 seconds from cable-separation to shutdown in Ubuntu

Let me know if you have any questions about BusKill :slight_smile:


RAM wipe on shutdown to defeat a cold boot attack seems to be a related feature.

Does BusKill already implement RAM wipe on shutdown? Does the dracut module cold-boot-attack-defense (by security-misc) seem interesting / sanely implemented to you?


Is RAM Wipe possible inside Whonix? Cold Boot Attack Defense

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I guess that is:

Will be posting there.

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I will be interpreting this forum post as a development todo ticket to implement a:

  • panic shutdown script
  • panic button
  • panic shutdown start menu entry
  • panic shutdown on user action such as removal of some USB device (similar to BusKill) / USB kill cord
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