OWRL – The Super Secure Computer Named After George Orwell

There has never been a larger range of Pcs, Macs, laptops and other devices then there is right now. Further more computing technology is advancing at an all time rate. With this computers are getting smaller. One could only look inside their pocket to realise that they a carrying around a phone with over million times more computing power then what was used in the Apollo 432.

Something you’d might ask yourself however; is the security of these systems moving at the same pace? It feels as if every day there are new security breaches and vulnerabilities. In the past year we have seen Yahoo, Myspace and The Red Cross hacked with millions of confidential information stolen. And it has left everyone questioning whether security is a big concern.

The Most Secure Computer Ever?

Nevertheless, these concerns have been solved by ORWL, a UFO look a like computer made for the those with high priority on security. Currently in their second attempt to crowdfund, the team building the OWRL failed to to reach their initial $100,000 so they’ve decided to give it another go, aiming for a more achievable $30,000 goal.

The computer is named after the surname of 1986 novelist, George Orwell. OWRL is built with an Intel Skylake Core M3 processor, is equipped with eight gigs of RAM, and has an option of 128 GB or storage or 480 GB of storage. The input hardware on the device consists of USB Type-C ports, as well as USB 3.0 ports and Micro HDMI port, which supports 4K display. The mini desktop is designed to work best with Ubuntu or any other Linux system, however will also work with Windows 10. For maximum security however, it works best with Qubes operating system.

What makes this computer so special is a micro-controller unit that stores a cryptographic key. This chip is set on the main board, generating and storing a cryptographic key, and will require  verification of the key before allowing to start.

The team building OWRL thought that this still was not enough so they also added another layer of security called ‘active mesh.’ This active mesh covers the board and was inspired by the protection techniques used to protect ATMs. The case has an embedded circuit board that will break if you try to drill it, thus, sending instructions to the micro-controller unit to destroy the encryption key. Even if you try to open the clamp like shell, it will activate the same response and the device will become inaccessible.

The computer comes with a corresponding encrypted key chip that is used to unlock the computer. The key chip does this using ORWL’s on board NFC technology. Similar to the way you use ‘Tap & Go’ bank cards. Furthermore, the device uses Bluetooth technology to monitor the key’s range; if the key goes out if its range, the minicomputer locks itself until the NFC key is brought near it.

With that said, ORWL’s creators are saying that they will make everything open source, from the hardware design to the firmware used for the BIOS and security controls used within it.

All in all it is an extremely interesting concept. As there is no reason for a personal computer to be accessible while you aren’t physically there, this kind of technology could possibly be implemented into commercially available computers in the near future. Only time will tell.

Sources: AnonHQ, PCWorld,

‘OWRL – The Super Secure Computer Named After George Orwell’ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You have permission to republish this article with attribution to the author and Blog.trustico.com.
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