Tiny Computer Lock Simplifies Security
Sandia National Laboratories has unveiled the Recodable Locking Device, a combination lock about the size of a dime that uses microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology.
The lock has six tiny gear wheels that resemble the locking system on a silicon chip. Like a traditional combination lock, the Recodable Locking Device will accept only a single code.
However, the mechanism gives a user only one chance to select a preset code, and if the code is wrong, the lock will be shut until the owner resets it. Since it operates using electrical signals, the lock might be appropriate for use on computer networks. “It would make it virtually impossible to break into Web sites,” says Frank Peter, the engineer who developed the lock.
Sandia estimates that the chip-based lock can be mass produced cheaply using existing silicon fabrication techniques, and can also be easily checked for vulnerabilities. Other applications for the device include turning off a radiation therapy system if radiation overdosing occurs.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from ZDNet Australia (03/06/03); Goodwins, Rupert .