Victorinox Presentation Master Multitool: Because Even James Bond Uses PowerPoint Sometimes

Illustration for article titled Victorinox Presentation Master Multitool: Because Even James Bond Uses PowerPoint Sometimes

They're called "trade secrets" for a reason. And if the competition gets their hands on your company's IP because you drunkenly left it in a bar, you'll need stringent security to keep them from peeping—like the Victorinox Presentation Master's 256-bit AES encryption. It's a Swiss Army Knife on loan from MI6.


What Is It?

The Presentation Master is a secure USB drive—and minimalist multitool—that incorporates controls for Microsoft PowerPoint presentations via a Bluetooth connection.

Who's it For?

Travelling salesmen, account execs, researchers, and anyone else who needs strong data protection and routinely gives PowerPoint presentations. (And needs a knife.)


It looks like a Swiss Army knife—small blade, scissors, nail file—as well as a USB stick. The PowerPoint controls are intuitive—one button advances the presentation by a slide, the other steps it back—and the Class II laser is bright enough to be seen across a 10 meter room. Inside, it features AES 256-bit hardware and software encryption, one of the most secure standards available to consumers.


Using It

It's a thumb drive: just stick it in. Although in addition to the AES encryption, the Presentation Master also uses a biometric fingerprint scanner for access. And once you access the secure area of the drive, you'll be able to sync all of your desktop settings, bookmarks, documents, and media to the drive—basically, your personal computer profile accompanies you at all times and is only accessible by you.


The Best Part

If someone tries to bypass the hardware encryption, the drive is designed to self-destruct. That's some 007 shit right there.


Tragic Flaw

The price: Starting at $170 is expensive even for this level of security. And the OS: it only runs on Windows, sorry Macs.


Test Notes

  • Setting up the drive for the first time can be daunting—you'll have to capture images of all five fingers on one hand and the drive seems a bit finicky about what constitutes a "good" image of the digit—but once you do, it will reliably unlock with a quick finger swipe.
  • The Demolition Man hack—cutting off a finger or an eye—won't work on this. The fingerprint scanner checks the oxygenation level of the blood flowing through your finger as you swipe. No living tissue, no access.
  • The drive also recognizes brute force attacks—and responds by feigning being cracked, displaying dummy folders filled with innocuous files—as well as increases in voltage or current.
  • The only way I could make this more secure is to handcuff it to my wrist.

Should You Buy It?

Yes, but only if you really need the BT control and can justify using it regularly, otherwise there are other less expensive Victorinox options that lack this functionality but offer the same level of security.


Victorinox Presentation Master

• OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
• Capacity: 8GB - 32GB
• Encryption: 256-bit AES
• Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1
• Price: $171 for 8GB - $303 for 32GB


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Unfortunately this thing is pure snake-oil. It uses the same fingerprint reader a cheap "biometric" USB stick uses (i.e. no "life detection", self-destruction, etc) and internally it uses truecrypt - and since biometrics are kind of fuzzy the actual key used for encryption is stored and simply used when the fingerprint is correct. So with some cracking skills you can retrieve it. You don't even need hardware access to it but can do it with the management tool.

From where do I know it? Well, there was this nice presentation where the guy who hacked it demonstrated it: []