USB drive, reimagined

Supply Chain Crisis in a World Under Nuclear and Cyber Threat

This article discusses the impacts on global semiconductor chip supplies for public use due to nuclear and cyber threats from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

A worsening supply chain crisis

Supply chain problems are extensively discussed and arbitrated about from news media outlet from any wing of politics, in regards to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is perhaps the most widely documented and recorded conflict in history, thanks to the wide access to cameras and internet.

This also leads to many false claims and allegations, from both sides of the conflict, so ultimately it becomes hard for anyone to have a clear picture of what is really going on over in Ukraine, despite having millions of pictures and images available.

Trade restrictions and its implications

And like usual, when there is a national conflict, trade shuts down. Russia has been faced with countless sanctions on goods such as semiconductor chips, which are now no longer available for public consumers, because it gets redistributed to government facilities so they can do whatever the hell they want with it instead.

To compound the problem, the US economy is in recession, with jobs becoming more and more scarce, paying less and less, and cost of goods are increasing at the same time, with a gallon of Regular gas passing the $6 mark in California, not good when you actually need gas in order to perform your job, such as being a truck or food delivery driver.

Federal economic immunity

But while the common folks are suffering and living on ramen, the government agencies and their allies are essentially shielded, as they have the power to simply print more money to serve whatever needs they have. Of course, I must wonder if the goals that they are pursuing are worth the price, or if they know how to solve this problem in the first place.

Cyber vs nuclear threats

Nuclear threats unfortunately, are not the only threat, as cyber threats, where federal agencies and their top team of hackers relentlessly bruteforce their way into their enemies’ databases and internet grid, while these foreign countries return the same favor in kind. Allegations of both Russia and Ukraine implementing malware injections to their belligerents in order to disrupt transport, drain bank accounts, and extract classified information from key individuals have been circulating long before the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

This cyber threat could be mitigated by increasingly complex and unmanageable firewalls and encryptions, but will continue to exist as long as it is connected to the internet. Unless of course, some of this data was migrated off the internet, into a USB drive which then would store this data, such as personal information, so hackers wouldn’t be able to even see it on the web. The drive does not have to store the raw data itself, it could store the private key to that data, which can only be decrypted by the person in possession of that drive, and if hackers were able to recover the data without the private key, all they would get is a long string of incomprehensible letters, symbols and characters.

Migrating data off the grid

A device like the i-SECUR, while marketed as a consumer electronics product for backing up data, albeit it does the job quite well, it also aims to have its uses in government and military applications, such as being the next generation of dog-tags or CAC.

2 i-SECUR prototype drives connected to a chain necklace.

With government applications, these drives would not only have a far wider reach for people, especially these days when cyber attacks are only becoming more prevalent and more bold, but it would potentially allow for a far safer and faster way of identifying American citizens or otherwise, as it could store an individual’s naturalization certificate, passport, and driver’s license (I touched about this concept in another blog here), instead of having to carry around a huge piece of cardboard paper or passport which is already twice as big as the i-SECUR and half as durable. This isn’t the first time a private company has successfully contracted with the government to provide equipment for them: Camelbak, an outdoor equipment LLC in Petaluma, California, makes hydration bladders for outdoor hikers, but the bladder eventually made its way into the military, where it became standard equipment for soldiers.

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