Hackers Can Now Steal Data via Electrical Outlet

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Slumberjack
Hackers Can Now Steal Data via Electrical Outlet

Hackers Can Now Steal Data via Electrical Outlet

"At the Black Hat USA conference later this month, hackers are preparing to unveil their methodology to steal information typed on a computer keyboard using nothing more than the power outlet to which the computer is connected.

The technique behind the exploit isn't as wildly high-tech as you might think, though. Old-fashioned electrical properties are the key to the trick. Here's how it works (in simple terms): When you type on a standard computer keyboard, electrical signals run through the cable to the PC. Those cables aren't shielded, so the signal leaks via the ground wire in the cable and into the ground wire on the computer's power supply."

Essentially, the technology that has up until receenly, only been available to official eavesdrpping agencies, is now becoming common knowledge among the public.  Although the successful probing conducted at distances of up to 15 meters away is a far cry from the long distance capabilities of government intelligence networks.  Relatively inexpensive countermeasures can be put in place through electro-magnetic shielding of the outlet designated for computer use, as well as for the cables and attachments running from the computer.

B9sus4 B9sus4's picture

Only if you have a Microsoft receptacle in your wall. You're pretty safe if you have an Apple receptacle. Me, I use strictly Linux (TM) receptacles in my office although I have an OpenBSD circuit breaker in the electrical panel. (Also I have a magic Swing Fooey coin hanging over my office door to ward off evil spirits. Seems to work okay.) Cool

NorthReport

A Swing Phooey coin - I like that. Could we see what it looks like. Tongue out

HeywoodFloyd

When I read about this, it worked with PS2 and older connectors. Apparently it doesn't work with USB keyboards.

Fidel

So there's an upside to Canada and States having some of the crappiest penetrations of fiber to the home connections in the developed world. Fiber is a lot easier to tap into than having to resort to snooping around the victim's home and power receptacles. And it costs them virtually nothing to provide this "brand new layer" of security (amounting to an EM shield on your service panel I'm assuming.) Way to beat those hackers, Bell and Rogers!

jrootham

ER, no, fiber is much harder to tap without making a mechanical connection.  No radiated RF signal.

 

Fidel

Well what I should have said is that fiber is almost as easy as copper to hack in this day and age. And this would be serious hacking with a real payday at stake not some amateur snooping an average residence to retrieve pin numbers for savings accounts worth peanuts compared to the risk of getting caught. And with fiber, the hacker can be situated a much farther distance from whatever machine is being hacked. Heavy encryption is used with data over fiber trunklines because of the ease with which it can be tapped with the right equipment. I really dont think the banks or "the Pentagon" have anything much to worry about with RF hackers at 15 metres. A few extra junkyard dogs at night or a few more cameras,  or even some rent-a-cops should do the trick(joking). I'm not afraid of RF hackers snooping my keystrokes. They'd have to be really desperate or really amateurish or both to be interested in me and my personal affairs.

NDPP

Foreign Hackers Attack Canadian Government

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2011/02/16/pol-weston-hacking.html

"An unprecedented cyber attack on the Canadian government from China has given foreign hackers access to highly classified federal information, and forced at least two key departments off the internet, CBC News has learned.."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Return of Hacktivism

Cyber-activism is becoming a fighting force.

Micah White , 07 Jun 2011

In recent years, the combination of activism with computer science has yielded mainly tepid, reformist results. From the rise of ineffectual clicktivism to the blind adoption of commercial networks as the space for organizing protests, there has not been much to celebrate about cyber-activism. This is now beginning to change as a vibrant, visceral form of hacktivism is starting to emerge.

The spontaneous defense of WikiLeaks, where thousands of netizens joined together in an Anonymous multitude and targeted the corporations who stood against the whistleblower website, provided the first catalyst for the evolution of hactivism. The model of an Anonymous horde flooding enemy servers worked well for a time but their failure to takedown Amazon, or to permanently disrupt any of their targets, has shown the tactic to be ultimately lacking. Historically, denial of service has been the primary tactic of electronic civil disobedience. Now, we are seeing instead the politicization of highly-skilled, clandestine hacker groups who are explicitly anti-corporate.

One of the first to arise is LulzSecurity. They have hacked Sony six times in a row and dumped internal code. When the United States declared cyberwar an act of war, LulzSecurity mocked the government by hacking an FBI affiliate. "Hacked websites, corporate infiltration scandal, IRC wars, new hacker groups making global headlines – the 1990s are back!" exclaimed 2600, the oldest and most famous hacker periodical. Despite it all, LulzSecurity's servers remain operational, their twitter feed active, and their hacks ongoing....

http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/blackspot-blog/return-hacktivism.html

 

abnormal

NorthReport wrote:

A Swing Phooey coin - I like that. Could we see what it looks like. Tongue out