You shouldn’t: minimize a fullscreen application on a public computer.

What is it?

Sticky Keys, the feature that turns a keyboard into a soundboard when you press shift 5 times.

Of course this is an accessibility feature to help computer users who have physical disabilities,
but let’s analyse those keys in function of a fullscreen application for example a Kiosk Browser.

Do you need it?

Do you need the Windows key? Nope.
Do you need the Control key? Not really, maybe copy paste but you can still do that with the mouse.
Do you need the Shift and Alt key? Yes, to get access to the more interesting characters.

So we assume we need Sticky Keys and leave them available under the shift key.
Now what happens when you do use 5 times shift? The Sticky Keys window appears,
but that’s not all! Also the task bar shows up, making it possible to right click the item of the kiosk program and choose, minimize.

And there you go, desktop access to that public computer.

How do you fix it?

As a developer, add the functionality in the program so users with physical disabilities don’t need Sticky Keys and optional add documentation on how to turn Sticky Keys off.
It’s as simple as adding tree toggle buttons in the GUI, Control, Alt C-C-C-Combo Breaker! and Shift.

As a sysadmin, well just turn Sticky Keys off and if possible use special keyboards.

What can go wrong?

In a certain public library after minimizing the kiosk program you could use the basic windows tool to search for shares and computers on the network. Being able to access a share where the backup files are stored in zip files is bad. Being able to access the web interface of the database where you can login with “root” and no password is worse.


an explanation about what should change was emailed and a thank you was replied and a while later a 10 Euro voucher (books only) was received. ^^


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