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

Logitech is best known for its consumer-oriented products, but it plays a big role in appealing to companies that take privacy seriously more broadly. It is launching a range of mice and keyboards, including a new Logi Bolt USB-A dongle that aims to reduce latency in busy workplaces and significantly improve security.

These accessories can be securely connected to computers and mobile devices via Bluetooth Low Energy – no dongle required. While the Bolt USB dongle is also Bluetooth based, it will allow for a much more secure connection (Security Mode 1, Level 4). Opting for Bluetooth should make the Bolt much less susceptible to hacking than Logitech’s Unifying 2.4GHz receiver, which was vulnerable to the “MouseJack” hack.

Logitech’s white paper for the Bolt states that security mode 1, level 4 uses 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 goes so far as to make its direct wireless Bolt connections compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). These are the standards created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for use within the federal government. If you are curious about Bluetooth security, the NIST has written a guide about it.

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

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

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

The first accessories offering enhanced security over Bluetooth LE and including the Bolt USB dongle will be launched in September. according to ZDNet. The early lineup includes Logitech’s MX Master Series for Business, consisting of an MX Master 3 and MX Keys. There are also web pages for business editions of Logitech’s Ergo K860 split keyboard, the MX Anywhere 3, and the Ergo M575 wireless trackball mouse.