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Think you're safe from hackers offline? This drone steals data from a PC's blinking LED
Security researchers from Israel's Ben Gurion University have just demonstrated that if an attacker did manage to infect an air-gapped computer, they could steal data semi-remotely at their leisure by using a camera to capture signals from the LED lights of its hard-disk drive (HDD).
As Wired reports, the malware that the researchers devised can force an HDD LED to blink 6,000 times per second. If those lights are visible from a window, a camera-equipped drone or telescopic lens can capture the signals at a distance.
The researchers explain in a new paper that data can be leaked from HDD LEDs at a rate of 4kbps. That speed is incredibly slow by today's USB standards, but it's more than enough to steal encryption keys or text and binary files. According to the researchers, it's an impressive 10 times faster than previous optical covert channels for leaking data from air-gapped computers.
That speed is incredibly slow by today's USB standards, but it's more than enough to steal encryption keys or text and binary files
More details at Link
The research paper
originally posted by: CalibratedZeus
The key to this working, is somehow getting the software onto the hard-drive of an air gapped computer. Someone who uses an air gapped computer is either just a paranoid and who cares what is on it, or is some government agency where you would have to get the software in there Mission: Impossible style.
originally posted by: roadgravel
a reply to: savemebarry
The idea is controlling the disk access to use the led as a signalling device.