Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/5/2013 (8 months 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 (8 months 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

MARK OF THE BEAST: Microchip implants in humans becoming more viable Watch

Image of Chips are already being used to manage farm animals. Farmers can track sheep, pigs and horses as they move through a gate, weigh them instantly and make sure they are eating properly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A microchip implanted on human beings has chilling implications, conjuring up images of the "Mark of the Beast" as mentioned in the Book of revelations. Such an accessory would certainly be a boon for a totalitarian society - but there are scientists who say ... continue reading


Google, Internet search engine - branches off with DRONE DELIVERY Watch

Image of Google engineers coupled with experts on unmanned aerial vehicles, called UAVs, safely carried out more than 30 test flights this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The unquestioned leader of Internet search engines, Google, has branched off into a most unexpected venture. Google is now considering delivery with drone aircraft, running its first test flights earlier this month as part of "Project Wing," a secretive, ... continue reading


What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... 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 Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... 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 September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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