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Van Eck Phreaking

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posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 07:52 AM
Basically, you can view the exact picture of what is on a computer screen by analyzing the electromagnetic radiation that it emits, meaning you could sit outside a building in a van, with your van eck apparatus, and just look at what's on people's screens.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 09:07 AM
Now are you ready for the scary part?

This technology is twenty years old.

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 01:25 PM
However, I don't think it works with LCD screens.

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 09:18 AM
Wow, thanks for the link!

I was actually just thinking i should do a bit of research into this topic, and low and behold here is your thread.

Now, logically i can't see this being an issue with LCD monitors, however does anyone know for sure?

Is it possible some technology may exist that could work on an LCD?

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 10:19 AM
LCD's may generate less RF, but from what I remember of TEMPEST from my BBS days, even in the 80's the technology was sensitive enough to interpret transmissions from the cabling between two shielded devices. Even a keyboard.

So no, LCD is no protection.

If you're concerned about emissions monitoring technology, I would consider the following:

1) Wrap any sensitive equipment completely in aluminum foil, and attach a grounding wire.

2) Buy a whole bunch of NASA space blankets, and wallpaper your house with it. This should also offer protection from infrared detection as well, thus making it slightly more difficult for snipiers to shoot you through the walls.

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 05:31 PM
Google for TEMPEST shielding and you will find all kinds of good stuff to read. There are some cool stories about van eck phreaking like the one"

"In 1987, a very strange occurence concerning forgein nationals from an Eastern
bloc nation entered this country in a large camper-like truck via the border
checkpoint at Niagra Falls, New York. The visitors numbering 4 or 5, were in
the country under tourist visa's and were reported to be representives of the
countries automobile and truck industries here on a promotional tour to
garnner interest in their exportable products. The one problem with the
"visitors" is that none of them had any connection with such industries in
their home country. In fact, the visitors were far from what they supposedly
represented. The group descripton read like a Whos' Who of mid-level
management of Eastern bloc intelligence operations. The group reportedly
consisted of a nuclear physists, a specialist in aerial map-making complete
with a small ultra-light powered aircraft, a communications and computer
expert and two communist party officals. Over a 5 month period, the group
was reported to have visited 17 states looking at 40 to 48 sites dealing with
military and defense contractor sites. The vehicle and its occupants were
reportedly followed by over 100 agents of the FBI, NSA, Secret Service and
State department and at least one over flight of a military reservation was
reported. Even though the overflown site was not identified, one site was.
This site, was the "sensitive" naval communications center for the Pacific
Fleet located in San Diego. It was reported that the truck and it's occupants
were parked a few hundred yards from the facility for several days and
according to law, were in no violation of any current statute at the time. The
group was also at or around at the 2800 acre North Island Naval Air Station
based in Coronado, California. The spokesman for the base stated that you
could not see much of anything going on except for the take-off and landing of
aircraft which you could see from almost any place. Common sense states
that you do not have to be inside the facility in either a physical or
electronic standpoint to collect information. You can park in any lot or
street close
enough to your supposed target and stick up your antennas. No property
violations, no photo restrictions to comply with, no restrictions at all
because you are sitting in a public place, parked or having coffee with your
"ears" on. A good example of such parking was
reported in a paper published in Computers and Security 4, titled
Electromagnetic Radiation from Video Display Units: An Eavesdropping Risk? by
William Van Eck, copyright 1985. He stated that when they were conducting
their experiments in the open on public roadways, with a van and antenna
system that was quite noticable, no one asked what they were doing or had any
thought about the time spent doing such things. The end of this particular
story is as follows: At the end of the suspect journey, the truck was searched
at the Nosgales, AZ border checkpoint and was then released. Nothing
considered illegal was found in the search and the truck and it's passengers
were released and entered Mexico. Now even though the truck was suspected of
performing passive "eavesdropping" operations, the federal goverment had no
legal right to hold either the truck or crew. And the possible intercepted
information was then released from the country. It should be noted that the
truck could have a number of standard "off the shelf" items. These items could
have consisted of 2 general coverage radios with a combined tuning range
between 100 Khz to 2 Ghz., an IBM personal computer clone, various cheap video
and signal enhancment equipment,
printers and modems, and other such complement devices. None of the
equipment would be any "James Bond" type of gear and the basic suspected set-
up would cost the operation less than 10,000 dollars if budgeted correctly.
And if possible, use of other simple off the shelf type radios like the 200.00
unit available from Radio Shack that covers 150 Khz to 30 Mhz is not at all
of due to some budget constraints, and since most emmanated signals generated
by logical devices are within commerical AM and FM frequencies, the use of a
standard auto radio antenna would suffice to use as a pickup."


I know that some govt building have TEMPEST shielded windows etc.. to prevent monitoring. I have heard the use of LCD monitors and DVI cables reduces the amount of EM emmissions but doesn't eliminate them which is what makes van eck phreaking possible.

A good website on TEMPEST and Van Eck Phreaking I found

Here is a pretty good thread on the defcon forums about Van Eck Phreaking

Great article about optical TEMPEST, and how data can be obtained from LED lights on routers, switches etc..

I thought this was pretty crazy:

"The range in which an eavesdropper can monitor emanations varies tremendously according to conditions. In most cases, the emanations can be picked up with proper equipment from a distance of around 200-300 meters. However, in some cases where a signal has been captured by a conductive medium (such as a power line), monitoring can occur over a distance of many kilometers.

Monitoring devices include various kinds of sensitive receivers, which can monitor a wide range of frequencies, and a combination of hardware and software that is capable of processing the received signals into the original data. The data that is picked up is often corrupted by such things as external EMR interference, signal weakness over distances, and partial transmission. Advanced algorithms can help provide a more complete picture of the original information. "


So with pretty standard equipment they can monitor from several kilometers
Can you imagine what somebody like the US govt could do with very expensive specialized equipment and advanced software and algorithims to conduct analysis
I wouldn't be suprised if there are van eck phreak sats in orbit.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by warpboost]

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