Lasers and Electrical Outlets Can Be Used to Steal Stuff Off Computers
Andrea Barisani and Daniele Bianco, two researchers from network security company Inverse Path, will soon be demonstrating how to power lines and off-the-shelf lasers to capture a user's keystrokes at the Black Hat 2009 security conference in Las Vegas. Both methods are similar in that each uses different fluctuations to determine what keys are being pressed: The first uses voltage differences and leaked keyboard signals, while the latter measures the vibrations made when a particular key is hit. It took the two no more than a week to produce verified results, according to a paper published by the two researchers.
The components to create the power line and laser hacks can cost as little as $100 to $500 according to Barisani, with the only essential things needed being the power grid, and a distant line of sight, respectively. The two also bring up a good point saying, "If our small research was able to accomplish acceptable results in a brief development time and with cheap hardware, consider what a dedicated team or government agency can accomplish with more expensive equipment and effort." Head on over to Network World for the nitty-gritty on how each hack works. [From: Network World]