Security is one of the major concerns of many organizations and companies today, so hardware and software manufacturers have been building new security features into their products. Cherry now has a new keyboard, Cherry Secure Board 1.0, with a smart card reader and can encrypt each key to prevent keys from being recorded by malware.
Cherry Secure Board 1.0 is a classic-looking black or white keyboard with a cheap rubber dome switch (Cherry called LPK) with an integrated 2-stage card reader for smart cards and cards/tags with RF/NFC interfaces that meet ISO 7816 and ISO 14443 A/B requirements. Governments and corporate organizations use these cards and tags to identify their employees and control their access levels and operations. The keyboard meets the requirements of FIPS-201.
The key function of Secure Board 1.0 is support for secure mode, which uses special certificates to verify the authenticity of the keyboard to its host PC and encrypts each key when used in safe mode. According to Cherry, the security mode is resistant to BadUSB attacks, and because it encrypts each keystroke, it should be impossible for keystroke loggers to intercept sensitive data or passwords.
Currently, security mode is only available to clients running Linux, while Windows support is still under development. This almost limits the usefulness of the security model to a small number of corporate desktops, but Cherry is a German company and Linux is widely used in Germany, so there won’t be much of a problem. Cherry has already started selling its Secure Board 1.0 keyboard in Europe and the UK for 69.99 euros and 64.99 pounds, respectively.