Sigh. I don't even know where to begin...
As as been said (and confirmed) - it would be impossible to infect a machine with sound waves. Complete and utter crock. The magic "airgap" infection?
Enough people explained why, so I'll move along.
Anyone that has spent 5 minutes in front of a computer and tried to install new hardware or software will tell you the frustration of "compatibility".
There are endless compatibility issues just between different PC platforms. Trying to get something to work on Mac, PC and Linux!? Good luck.
Or let's put it this way: Currently there are (roughly) 34 different operating systems in use. Now multiply that with the amount of different
CMOS/ROM/VRAM/whatever you feel like calling it and also the different BIOS versions. Now multiply that with the amount of anti-virus and anti-malware
software packages and you have a pretty big variation on possible device configurations....
No, it's not impossible to have a piece of code that would be able to understand all platforms, bypass all security measures and be able to distribute
itself and take control of said hardware... But if you were able to write the code to something like that, you would be a very, very rich
Well, that's my opinons anyway.
All that said. I'm not sure what to make of the concept in general. I have spent thousands of hours in front of computers and I have seen some very
weird, and technically "impossible" behavior from both software and hardware. I've seen enough to have a tiny bit of believe in "the ghost
in the machine" or some sort of "self-awareness-intelligence" (for lack of better word). Some computers have personalities. Some computers are not
bound by the rules of 1's and 0's.
So, the idea of something completely "new" and "impossible" like described in the article is not completely beyond my believe. If it's real, I'll bet
my hat that it's not man-made.
"Good day. Welcome to Skynet."
"Hallo?! HAL 9000? Is that you?"
Been There! Done That!
Actually it is VERY POSSIBLE to spread computer virii via audio waveforms
(via PCM - Pulse Coded Modulation) on a computer that has had its Audio
BIOS chip compromised. Barely audible pulsed waveforms running at say
192khz at 15 khz (most adults cannot hear that!) converting PCM data
to executable code that can run either directly on the
DSP (Digital Signal Processor) of the soundcard
OR converted to executable microcode that
can run on any given Intel, AMD and ARM chip
used on mobile and desktop computers and smartphones.
And since MANY soundcards have Ring-1 and sometimes
even Ring-0 privilege in any given OS, data execution or
deep code inspection can be BYPASSED and then the mcirocode can
have its way in adding keyboard hooks, Norton anti-virus bypass or
hooks onto the Write_Disk() and Read_Disk() routines of almost
all OS file input/output which can then be COPIED and sent over to
the Network Interface Card as an encrypted packet for a nefarious 3rd party entity!!!!
SO YUP!!! It can be done using audio waveforms or pulsed lighting to transmit data...
The Soviets did that in the late 80's and Early 90's on their Washington-oriented office
spy rings! While web cams were NOT common at all in those days, expensive audio and
video frame buffers (TGA/TIGA/TARGA/Matrox/EGA-Wonder/VGA-Wonder/SoundBlaster/AdLib)
video and audio cards WERE common in business environments which made SENSE for agencies
to SPY on people using these novel methods!
Now for today's world:
There are ONLY 9 major chip manufacturers that make
THEIR OWN Common Core CPU/GPU intellectual property:
1) IBM (International Business Machines): Power Series Processors
2) Intel: Pentium, I3/i5/i76-series processors
3) ARM: (Advanced RISC Machines) 32/64 bit embedded processors for mobile and embedded devices
4) AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Athlon, Opteron CPU's and Radeon/Firepro graphics
5) NVIDIA: Kepler and CUDA-oriented graphics processors
6) Matrox: CAD/CAM/Pro Video/Frame Buffer GPU processors
7) Oracle/Sun : SuperSPARC/UltraSPARC workstation/server class CPUs
8) MIPS (Reduced Instruction Set) embedded processors.
9) Texas Instruments: Digital Signal Processors and embedded microcontrollers.
AND EVEN THEN the core IP (Intellectual Property) is pretty similar.
AND THEREFORE it is actually QUITE EASY to create a CROSS COMPILER
to run code in something called a HyperVisor or VM (Virtual Machine) mode
that is privileged code:
See this Ring-0 code link:
VM (Virtual machine)
which allows to to run a DEBUGGER or Disassembler:
and even decompose machine code BACK INTO C++ or PASCAL:
Since there only a FEW major network communications chips
and IO (Input Output ) chip manufacturers,,,you don't even
need a BIOS to call the motherboard parts...just send the
commands directly across the PCI-x buss directly to the
chips and control serial/parallel port IO, USB IO, RJ-45 IO,
Wireless/Wifi, etc all by yourselves.
Even hard disk and Flash Drive IO uses the basic commands
known by ALL manufacturers so its actually quite easy to
create a universal boot program (i.e. like WinBoot, Partition Magic, etc)
that can run your own debuggers and scan for rogue microcode on BIOS
chips located on NIC and Graphics cards, Audio Card BIOS, Flash ROM bios,
Wifi BIOS and even router, witch and Gateway bioses.
BUT AS I DESCRIBE BELOW THERE ARE TWO MORE NEFARIOUS WAYS TO SPREAD
VIRI using the HIDDEN write-levelling cache areas on USB/Flash Drives
and on the HIDDEN checksum areas of NON-volatile RAM/Flash chips
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edit on 2013/11/1 by StargateSG7 because: sp.