Sneaky Hack Steals Data By Watching Computer LEDs Blink

mcafee com activate : When an organization needs to make sure that a computer is as secure as possible, it will often “space” it. A computer with air space is not connected to the Internet. It is not even connected to other computers that are connected to the Internet.

While the air gap significantly increases the degree of difficulty for cyber attacks, it does not make a system impenetrable. Numerous ingenious ways have been devised to steal data from isolated systems like these as well. Researchers have succeeded in listening to the sound produced by the cooling fan of a computer, observing it for changes in temperature and emitting an inaudible sound through the integrated speakers of a system.

Now researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have been able to do it by simply looking at the LED flashing on the hard drive of a computer. However, what makes their demonstration particularly dazzling is that they observed those flashes in the parking lot outside the office building where the infected computer was located. The following image will give you an idea of ​​how subtle your method is. That little white spot is the LED that your drone is watching:

mcafee activate

How much data can you transmit using essentially the Morse code? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 bits per second, which according to the research team is 10 times faster than any technique demonstrated earlier that uses a camera to extract data from a computer with empty spaces.

No special equipment is required, either. Almost all computers that are manufactured have a hard drive LED and any camera, whether it’s built into a smartphone, connected to a drone or sitting on a tripod on the roof of a building across the street, can be used to capture data.

Like other airspace attacks, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is placing malware on the target computer. How do you install the malware on a system that does not have an Internet connection? USB devices and SD cards are the most common method, although both require a voluntary accomplice. That’s not necessarily hard to find … if the job pays enough.

mcafee activate

This article was written by Lee Mathews of Forbes and obtained a legal license through the NewsCred publisher network.