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ORWL – First physically secure open source computer

ORWL – First physically secure open source computer

ORWL – First physically secure open source computer

Samurai were famous for their loyalty: these warriors died protecting their lord and if they failed by any reason, they committed a ritual suicide called seppuku. ORWL – the crowd-funded computer, can do just that. It erases all the data when being hacked. And when a culprit attempts to tamper with the system, it destroys itself.


  • Processor: Intel Skylake M3 (without vPro) or M7 (with vPro).
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel 515 chipset supports 4K output.
  • Ports: 2X USB 3.0 Type C, 1X micro HDMI.
  • Power: External power adapter connects to either USB 3.0 port.
  • Memory: 8 GB.
  • Storage: 120 or 480 GB SSD with automatic AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, NFC.
  • Operating Systems: Ubuntu and other GNU/Linux systems, Windows 10, Qubes OS.
  • Secure Microcontroller: MAX32550 DeepCover Secure Cortex-M3 with projected 6-month unplugged battery life.
  • Authentication: NFC + BLE key fob and user password.
  • Dimensions: 130 mm diameter, 30 mm height, 400 g weight.

In a nutshell, this ‘boy’ features all possible wireless communications, Intel CPUs of next-to-the-last generation, a decent amount of RAM and a fabulous battery life. But, this is not all that make it.


Let’s list all the features an ideal 100% safe computer should have:


ORWL can be accessed with the Key Fob and the user password only. The Key Fob comes from the box. When sent to sleep, the computer blocks all the USB and HDMI ports, which remain inactive until the master presses the fob against the lock pictogram on top of the computer.

But the fob is not yet over with the job, it is just beginning. Usually, wireless authentication involves either NFC or Bluetooth and ORWL features both as you can see from the specifications above. The problem is, that NFC works at a very close distance while wider range Bluetooth is easy to intercept. The Key Fob is engineered in a way that uses both technologies to its advantage. NFC is used to lock the computer, while Bluetooth keeps it awake. You press the fob to get an access, and keep it within the Bluetooth range to keep the computer working. As soon as you’re out of this range, your little samurai goes to sleep and blocks the ports again.


ORWL features an encrypted SSD drive. The encryption key is hard to hack, and takes a lot of time. Very often, criminals just rip the drive from the system and take it with them to work with it later, when they have all the time in the world. But, our little warrior has a surprise. The hardware is covered with a so called, “active mesh” –a sheet of resin material with finely printed circuitry that shatters if drilled. As soon as a culprit tries to open the active mesh case, the SSD’s encryption key is wiped. Physical access to the data is now impossible. This kind of protection is used by the banks, army, telecom, and healthcare industries, for Hardware Secure Modules (HSMs), ATMs, telecom cryptographic key protection, and in some medical devices. In other words, everywhere where losing the data is more dangerous than deleting it.


Though ORWL can run Windows 10, it comes with Linux from the box and recently, with Qubes platform. When Windows 10 uses different personal accounts, Qubes uses virtual machines. Each machine can run an independent OS and a user can share the data between them. One machine can be personal, another other machine can be dedicated to work. Virtual machines can also be created just for a single task such as opening emails, or running a new application and then deleted immediately afterwards.

Of course, the ORWL with Qubes aboard is the best choice from the security point of view.


ORWL is available at https://www.crowdsupply.com/design-shift/orwl for pre-order. Initially, the creators ran for $25,000 tops, but managed to get four times more – $101,231. There are two models of this amazing device: Plastic Enclosure and Glass Enclosure.


  • Processor: Intel Skylake M3.
    Memory: 8 GB.
    Storage: 120 GB SSD with automatic AES 256-bit encryption.
    OS Aboard: Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04. LTS, Qubes OS.
    Secure Key Fob: yes.
    Price: $1,699.
    US Ground Shipment: Free.
    Worldwide Shipment: $80.


  • Processor: Intel Skylake M7.
  • Memory: 8 GB.
  • Storage: 480 GB SSD with automatic AES 256-bit encryption.
  • OS Aboard: Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04. LTS, Qubes OS.
  • Secure Key Fob: yes.
  • Price: $2,399.
  • US Ground Shipment: Free.
  • Worldwide Shipment: $80.

Three ORWL can form a server station, and so the Rackmount Server Chassis is available at extra cost of $349.

orwl - ORWL - First physically secure open source computer

Source of the photo: zdnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2017/07/02/ddf88fd9-a587-4aaa-bb74-fadf71e3ece4/resize/770xauto/a380d8cec2c13d86aafe010b2258fc67/crdfshveaafgdp.jpg

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