Hi-tech Swiss Army Knife 'unhackable'

Posted by Emma Woollacott

I feel very hard done by: mine just had scissors, a sharp knife that actually rather frightened me, and a device for getting stones out of horses' hooves. This last didn't get a lot of use in a west London suburb.

But the latest Swiss Army Knife has gone all hi-security, with the addition of a USB stick offering up to 32GB of storage which maker Victorinox claims is the most secure of its type available.

The Victorinox Secure uses several layers of security including fingerprint identification and a thermal sensor - "so that the finger alone, detached from the body, will still not give access to the memory stick’s contents", they say. That's really nice to know.

It's also been made tamper-proof. Any attempt to forcibly open it triggers a self-destruct mechanism that irrevocably burns its CPU and memory chip - so much easier than having to eat the thing. 

Victorinox is so confident, it offered a £100,000 prize to a team of professional hackers if they could break into it during a two-hour period - they couldn't.

"Life is becoming more digital every day,” says designer Martin Kuster. “And yet people do so little to protect their data. The world’s most common password is ‘12345’ - and even encryption can be broken given time." 

The Secure comes with other tools as well - a blade, nailfile, screwdriver, scissors, key ring, LED light and ballpoint pen.

Another version of the device, which will give printouts of the contents on e-paper, is in the pipeline.