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Hardware Thread, Keys in USB ports in Technical; Has anyone seen it where a pupil puts his/her keys into a usb port on a laptop and that causes ...
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    rob998's Avatar
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    Keys in USB ports

    Has anyone seen it where a pupil puts his/her keys into a usb port on a laptop and that causes it to turn off the laptop? It has become a problem here, a game to the pupils. I have been asked how I can stop this but I have no clue and I didn't know it was possible. The laptop are all Acer and have a USB port on the front which is the most common to be 'played' with.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Never heard of that one. Would disabling the port work?

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Is it any usb memory stick or is there certain things on the memory stick such as a script ie vbs or bat etc that when inserted has an autorun.inf that launches the script which does a force shutdown or something ?

    If not then not sure.

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    rob998's Avatar
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    @witch
    The pupils use usb pens all the time so I cannot disable the ports

    @mac_shinobi
    It is actual keys i.e house, shed keys, bike lock etc.

    At first I thought it was a joke but when I tested it and saw it shutdown (not via the normal shutdown routine just off) I was amazed. I have had to send 2 laptops away due to a damaged hard drisk because of this.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Alter the AUP and make the students sign it that if they damage it in any way shape or form that they are responsible for repairing it - only thing with that is that if they dont sign the AUP or agree to it then there has to be some way of not allowing those students to use the laptops which will be the hard part.

    That or find out who the students were and send the bills to there parents ( am guessing the parents will not like that and the pupil in question will get consequences )

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Is it any usb memory stick or is there certain things on the memory stick such as a script ie vbs or bat etc that when inserted has an autorun.inf that launches the script which does a force shutdown or something ?

    If not then not sure.
    I agree, it's got to be something like that.. i dont see how it is possible anyother way unless students are carrying dodgy usb pens which are causing the laptops to restart.

    James.

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    PeterW's Avatar
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    It sounds like they are shorting out the USB port in which case you are very lucky there is no permanent damage on the laptops. Any metal objects being jammed into USB ports is not good, be it keys, paper clips, protractors etc.
    have been asked how I can stop this but I have no clue and I didn't know it was possible.
    The person that has caught them doing it should really be telling them not to do it or taking the laptop off them if it is going to be abused.

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    rob998 (15th June 2009)

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob998 View Post
    @witch
    The pupils use usb pens all the time so I cannot disable the ports

    @mac_shinobi
    It is actual keys i.e house, shed keys, bike lock etc.

    At first I thought it was a joke but when I tested it and saw it shutdown (not via the normal shutdown routine just off) I was amazed. I have had to send 2 laptops away due to a damaged hard drisk because of this.
    OK i delayed abit sending that last comment, their is not much you can do then really apart from add it to the AUP.

    In the area's these laptops are being damaged, cant they keep some kind of log on who is going on what laptop?

    James.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    In the area's these laptops are being damaged, cant they keep some kind of log on who is going on what laptop?

    James.
    Assuming the laptops pull down profiles of some description surely you could view the profiles in list view and sort it by date and that should show date / time etc along with login username. ie by going into c:\documents and settings on the laptop in question.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Assuming the laptops pull down profiles of some description surely you could view the profiles in list view and sort it by date and that should show date / time etc along with login username. ie by going into c:\documents and settings on the laptop in question.
    well yeah something like that would work. at the end of the day though it does come down to the member of staff who is supervising these students.

    We have 1 department, it's a bit old style and it was the departments leader who come up with this.

    Numbered all the laptops, every lesson kept a paper log on who had what machine and at the end of the lesson they were checked for damage.

    Not the best way, and i know there are betters ways..

    James.

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    rob998's Avatar
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    We do have something in our AUP regarding damage to any hardware.

    I use the script that was posted on here that logs each machines logon/logoff events so I know excatly who was on the laptop at the time. The pupils have been dealt with and most pupils know that it won't be tolerated but you still get some rebel pupils that don't care. Our head seems to be reluctant to send bills home

    I best not say anything else on this subject, I don't want to spread the word about this and cause other people headaches!

    Thanks for the help guys

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    well yeah something like that would work. at the end of the day though it does come down to the member of staff who is supervising these students.

    We have 1 department, it's a bit old style and it was the departments leader who come up with this.

    Numbered all the laptops, every lesson kept a paper log on who had what machine and at the end of the lesson they were checked for damage.

    Not the best way, and i know there are betters ways..

    James.
    Tried that at a couple of schools I used to work at and like you say not the best way and there are better ways ( and I say this ) because its down to the member of staff at the point of time when they are meant to be logging who has which laptop etc which as you already know does not always happen.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    To answer the original question: the metal key is shorting the 5v and 0v connectors inside the port, and the overload protection in the power supply cuts in and stops all power reaching the machine.

    You won't be able to stop it through software means: power is still supplied on the rails even if the port is disabled etc. You could disconnect the USB headers inside the machine if it's a desktop, but that does kindof defeat the point of having them.

    Unfortunately, it's my pet hate rearing its ugly head again: this isn't a technology problem, it's a people problem. Being asked to find a way to stop it is like being asked how to perform 24/7 surveillance on each machine while it's in use.

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    rob998 (15th June 2009)

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    rob998's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies. I will be passing on some of your comments to my boss.

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    With tracking who logs onto what machines, if they are logging onto the domain, there is a thread on here about a logon tracker. It runs via script at logon and I have already caught a couple of serial key board tamperers with it. Teachers have also asked for logs to prove who was sitting where with vandalism to the desks.

    Edit: found the thread - Logon Tracker
    Last edited by actech; 15th June 2009 at 10:39 PM.

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