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Anelok: revisiting tamper protection

Werner Almesberger werner at almesberger.net
Mon Mar 13 16:11:49 UTC 2017

A looong time ago, I presented an idea of making it relatively
straightforward to detect when the electronics of an Anelok device
have been tampered with.


Back then, I thought of some resin or silicone, into which strings
of paint are mixed. That ought to work but would require the
development of a new production process.

Today, I found this:


and then this


Glitter nail polish is readily available, not too expensive, and
ought to do the trick just as well. It may be less friendly for
(legitimate) rework/repair than, say, silicone, but that could
probably be fixed by using a suitable substrate (polyurethane or
such). Also simply not caring too much about the repairability of
"sealed" boards (and making the sealing optional) may be an option.

I found these pictures of such polish with good contrast and high

Quick research on the local eBay equivalent showed that also just
the ingredients of glitter nail polish are available, so one could
fine-tune colors and particle density.

The particles probably contain metals, so they're probably
conductive. Thus, a first protective coating would be needed.

- Werner

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