Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'Air gap' between computers can inadvertently reveal sensitive information

Computer malware that can capture keystrokes from a computer and then hijack the sound-card to send data to a nearby machine has been developed by researchers. These high-frequency sounds, unable to be detected by the human ear, can inadvertently send sensitive information to other parties - which poses a new security risk.

Using frequencies outside the range of human hearing, it's likely that such messages would escape detection - even when they are beamed across an office full of staff.

Using frequencies outside the range of human hearing, it's likely that such messages would escape detection - even when they are beamed across an office full of staff.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Keystrokes, security concerns, air gap, malware


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - within high-security environments, it's common practice to create an "air gap" between PCs containing sensitive information. This protects it from remote, malicious attacks. New research has shown that it would be possible to use computer speakers and microphones to surmount this. Sensitive information can be sent back to a remote attacker, which, the authors warn is a "considerable threat to computer security."

Researchers were able to use the built-in speakers and the microphones of computers to transmit passwords and other data at a rate of 20 bits per second over a distance of almost 20 meters. This allows the malware to "secretly leak critical data to the outside world."

"If we want to exploit a rigorously hardened and tested type of computing system or networks of this type of computing system, we have to break new ground," Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics, said in the recent report.

Using frequencies outside the range of human hearing, it's likely that such messages would escape detection - even when they are beamed across an office full of staff. Speakers and microphones are often overlooked in security planning.

Such an attempt wouldn't merely stop at transmitting audio from one computer to another. It would attempt to infect as many PCs as possible, creating a mesh network to enable multi-hop communication. Most alarmingly, the victim's machine and the computer which transmits data back to the attacker via the internet do not have to be within audible range of each other.

The experiment used five Lenovo T400 laptops running Debian 7.1 and was performed in a standard computer lab with no particularly unusual audio characteristics.

Transmissions were sent at around 20kHz and were found to be far below the range of humans during the experiment. The paper suggests that this frequency could be even higher, to make it even less likely to be detected, but that this would reduce the broadcast range.

Researchers were able to covertly log the keystrokes made by a user at one computer and broadcast them over audio through a chain of other computers. The message was eventually passed to a machine connected to the Internet, and sent back to a attacker.

"Alongside keystroke information it would also be possible to forward other security critical data such as private encryption keys or small-sized text files with classified information from the infected victim to the covert network," researchers said.

"This data could be sent out periodically to maximize the likelihood of data extraction from the host and it could also be spread to different environments when the computing system is carried around.

"We have shown that the establishment of covert acoustical mesh networks in air is feasible in setups with commonly available business laptops."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Technology

HACK ATTACK: Islamic State Hacking Division claims Ghost Security is all talk Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The digital war between the Islamic State Hacking Division and Ghost Security has come to a head with the ISHD reporting to The Blaze that Ghost Security "have hacked nothing" and "are all talk." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After the claim that Ghost Security ... continue reading


SMARTPHONE BREAKTHROUGH: Hydrogen-powered battery powers iPhone for a week Watch

Image of Containing a rechargeable battery and its own-patented technology, the device recreates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British-based Intelligent Energy, thought to be working closely with Apple, have reported success in creating the world's first hydrogen-fueled battery. The battery, they say, will enable users to charge their iPhone for up to a week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Chicago Pastor creates mobile Bible app to personalize verses Watch

Image of Smartphone users can now personalize Bible verses through ToYou app.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are in for something new as a pastor from Chicago came up with an app that lets users personalize Bible verses according to their name and gender. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Pastor Gregory Ijiwola, who serves at The CityLight Church in ... continue reading


Single DNA molecule to store digital information for millions of year Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern technology has earned us numerous breakthroughs, including digital information systems and storage, making our day to day tasks easier. However, drives we use for information technology can only last from a couple of years to few decades, which is limiting the ... continue reading


7 Healthy Tech Habits to Teach Kids this Year Watch

Image of

By Stephanie Pacheco

The near-infinite web of information available online is a double-edged sword: it can be harnessed to help us learn and communicate, but it can swiftly degenerate into instant-gratification and isolation. Technology has branched out from computers to tablets and ... continue reading


They're watching you! Digital peepholes face a fine line between security and invasion of privacy Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sharing your thoughts, activities and whereabouts has never been easier and faster with the internet and connected devices. More and more people are sharing more of their daily lives that it's compelling to say that to know everything is becoming common and normal. ... continue reading


Innovative space invention promises to reach space locations in record times Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A once rejected drive can now revolutionize the entire outer space research, as NASA and several others confirmed this program actually works. The invention was previously rejected by scientists after it defied the physics concept of the conservation of momentum, ... continue reading


Is your phone in danger? Threatening malicious text message can hack Android's inner system Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With just a simple text message, your phone and all its data may be compromised without you even knowing. The core of this nightmare is at the heart of the operating system itself - Stagefright, an Android code library. Users currently have nothing much to protect ... continue reading


Pope Francis uses iPad to become first person registered for 2016's World Youth Day Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On Sunday, Pope Francis successfully became the first person registered for the 2016 edition of the World Youth Day, using an iPad. Before registering, he addressed thousands at the St. Peter's Square in an appeal for the release of an Italian Jesuit priest kidnapped ... continue reading


EARTH'S TWIN: Kepler 452b heralded as the most similar planet to Earth yet discovered Watch

Image of While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, it's 385-day orbit is only five percent longer. Furthermore, the planet is five percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kepler-452b has astronomers calling the planet "the closest twin to Earth" they have yet seen. The planet is the smallest world found orbiting in the habitable zone of a star. Kepler-452b orbits its star at approximately the same distance that Earth orbits the ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1, 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 31st, 2015 Image

St. Raymond Nonnatus
August 31: Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter