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Logitech’s Bolt USB dongle bolsters encryption for its new wireless mice and keyboards

Logitech is known mostly for its consumer-facing products, but it’s making a big play to appeal more broadly to businesses that take privacy seriously. It’s launching a range of mice and keyboards that will include a new Logi Bolt USB-A dongle that aims to reduce latency in crowded workplaces and greatly boost security.

These accessories can securely connect to computers and mobile devices via Bluetooth Low Energy — no dongle necessary. Though the Bolt USB dongle is also based on Bluetooth, it will enable a far more secure tether (security mode 1, level 4). Opting for Bluetooth should make the Bolt far less prone to hacking than Logitech’s Unifying 2.4GHz receiver, which was vulnerable to the “MouseJack” hack.

In Logitech’s white paper for the Bolt, it says that security mode 1, level 4 utilizes Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman P-256 (ECDH) and AES-CCM encryption. The company says these measures ensure that “a Logi Bolt wireless product and its Logi Bolt receiver can only communicate with each other.” Logitech is going as far as ensuring that its direct Bolt wireless connections are Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) compliant. These are the standards created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for use within the federal government. If you’re curious about Bluetooth security, the NIST wrote a guide on it.

Curiously, Logitech didn’t opt for a USB-C option for the Bolt dongle.
Image: Logitech

Logitech says its Bolt USB dongle offers a stronger connection, too, at up to 33 feet (10 meters), even if you’re in a congested work environment. One Bolt dongle can connect up to six accessories to your computer. It’s compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Linux, Chrome OS, and Android.

Logitech’s listing for the Bolt dongle says it’s “coming soon” and will cost $14.99. But don’t expect your current Logitech accessories to work with it. Devices that are compatible with Logi Bolt will have a Bolt logo on their underside, according to Logitech’s FAQ.

The first accessories that offer enhanced security via Bluetooth LE and include the Bolt USB dongle will launch in September, according to ZDNet. The early lineup includes Logitech’s MX Master Series for Business, comprised of an MX Master 3 and MX Keys. There are also webpages up for business editions of Logitech’s Ergo K860 split keyboard, the MX Anywhere 3, and the Ergo M575 wireless trackball mouse.

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