Whether you have sensitive information on your laptop or if you’re just simply a private person, having your laptop tampered with either by a nosey sibling or by a corporate spy is a big no-no on your list, and while there are ways for you to check if your computer has been messed around with, it seems that one cheap and reportedly effective way to do so is through the use of nail polish! This is according to security researchers, Eric Michaud and Ryan Lackey, both of whom gave a presentation at the Chaos Communication Congress (the same event in which Jacob Appelbaum presented his NSA findings as well) where they revealed that nail polish, along with a host of other cheap methods, could be used to see if your computer has been tampered with.
While there are seals that one could use, they claim that these seals can be easily broken, not to mention if one takes their time, could replace it with a new seal in almost the same same spot, leaving you to think none the wiser. The idea behind nail polish is to create what seems like a random pattern which makes it harder for the tamperer to replicate. The use of glitter nail polish is similar to what astronomers use to detect changes in the night sky, called blink comparison. Because each application of nail polish seemingly creates a random pattern in the glitter, it would be almost impossible for the tamperer to reapply it in exactly the same way.
Of course once the device has been tampered with, and with data possibly stolen or malware installed, it might be too late, but at the very least you know that it has been messed with and you can take the appropriate action, as opposed to finding out at the last minute.
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- 2014-04-11: NSA Apparently Knew About Heartbleed Vulnerability For Years [Report]
- 2014-03-27: MIT Researchers Develop New Encryption System That Is Allegedly More Secure
- 2014-03-13: Some Galaxy Devices Found To Have A Security Flaw