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  1. #1
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ no1_vern's Avatar
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    Wireless key sniffer can record keystrokes from 20 meters away.

    From: Researchers find ways to sniff keystrokes from thin air | ITworld
    by Robert McMillan

    Two separate research teams, from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and security consultancy Inverse Path have taken a close look at the electromagnetic radiation that is generated every time a computer keyboard is tapped. It turns out that this keystroke radiation is actually pretty easy to capture and decode -- if you're a computer hacker-type, that is.

    The Ecole Polytechnique team did its work over the air. Using an oscilloscope and an inexpensive wireless antenna, the team was able to pick up keystrokes from virtually any keyboard, including laptops. "We discovered four different ways to recover the keystroke of a keyboard," said Matin Vuagnoux, a Ph.D. student at the university. With the keyboard's cabling and nearby power wires acting as antennas for these electromagnetic signals, the researchers were able to read keystrokes with 95 percent accuracy over a distance of up to 20 meters (22 yards), in ideal conditions.

    -snip-

    If pulling keystrokes out of thin air isn't bad enough, another team has found a way to get the same kind of information out of a power socket. Using similar techniques, Inverse Path researchers Andrea Barisani and Daniele Bianco say they get accurate results, picking out keyboard signals from keyboard ground cables.

    Their work only applies to older, PS/2 keyboards, but the data they get is "pretty good," they say. On these keyboards, "the data cable is so close to the ground cable, the emanations from the data cable leak onto the ground cable, which acts as an antenna," Barisani said.

    -snip-
    Barisani and Bianco will present their findings at the CanSecWest hacking conference next week in Vancouver. They will also show how they've been able to read keystrokes by pointing a laser microphone at reflective surfaces on a laptop, such as the screen. Using the laser's very precise measurements of the vibrations on the screen's surface caused by typing, they can figure out what is being typed.
    While most of these techniques are still being researched, it probably wont be more than a year, maybe two before we start seeing reports about thieves using these methods to steal peoples passwords and identities.
    They say technology slows down for no one. I know it outruns my wallet. I figure its because my wallet isn't light enough yet.

    TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!
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  2. #2
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    so, copypaste should become our friend, instead of manual password typing?

  3. #3
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ no1_vern's Avatar
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    I dont know sprite. I do know that its getting more and more dangerous to use computers for important/private/business use.
    They say technology slows down for no one. I know it outruns my wallet. I figure its because my wallet isn't light enough yet.

    TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!
    dulce bellum inexpertis

  4. #4
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    I heard of this and its TOTALLY INSANE!!!

    How can you tell what key someone is pressing?? (The keyboard sends data to the computer right telling it which key you hit??)

    Time to get BETTER SHIELDING THAT DOESNT LEAK!! (Then the data cant be gotton)

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Black*Dragon's Avatar
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    Interesting article.

  6. #6
    Millwright stroyal's Avatar
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    Yet another reason to wire your house.
    I have at least 2 CAT5 outlets in every room, if I want to move to another room with my laptop, it takes 15 seconds longer than if I was using wireless.

    I have a wireless router, because they cost the same as wired, but have the wireless part shut off.
    Last edited by stroyal; April 13th, 2009 at 10:33 AM.
    Hard Sayin Not Knowin

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Black*Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroyal View Post
    Yet another reason to wire your house.
    I have at least 2 CAT5 outlets in every room, if I want to move to another room with my laptop, it takes 15 seconds longer than if I was using wireless.

    I have a wireless router, because they cost the same as wired, but have wireless part shut off.
    Your computer generates several RF signals during its operation. This is focusing on the scan generators for your keyboard. Look at the jack for your keyboard and consider the fact that there is far fewer wires in that jack than keys on your keyboard.

  8. #8
    Millwright stroyal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black*Dragon View Post
    Your computer generates several RF signals during its operation. This is focusing on the scan generators for your keyboard. Look at the jack for your keyboard and consider the fact that there is far fewer wires in that jack than keys on your keyboard.
    So your saying a signal can be picked up, even if the computer is not hooked to a network in any way?

    That sucks! Shields up Scotty.
    Last edited by stroyal; April 13th, 2009 at 11:38 AM.
    Hard Sayin Not Knowin

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
    so, copypaste should become our friend, instead of manual password typing?
    Or possibly a bluetooth keyboard. Not sure what type of encryption it uses however. I enjoy my bluetooth keyboard/mouse as it does not lose sync nearly as much as the rf variety.

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