A new economic method allows hackers to steal data from laptops

Ever feared that your personal and sensitive data is in great danger, even though you were not quite sure what they were threatened from? Ever felt like you can’t be safe enough when it comes to protecting all the information contained on your computer or more specifically you laptop?

Well now is probably the time then you may come closest than ever to your fears and below you shall read why.

Some Israeli security researchers recently presented a cheap way that one could intercept secret encryption keys using only a…bread. Confused about the bread? Don’t worry, it’s not a new hack that you are aware of. You will understand soon enough.

The researchers used a gadget which they created, using only cheap components, in order to monitor the radio waves that are broadcasted by a laptop and which can possibly contain information about the security keys.

Through that particular attack technique, which was developed by Professor Daniel Genkin and his research team at the University of Tel Aviv, the attackers are in position to monitor the radio waves that are broadcasted through the laptops while the CPU analyses the data.

The team found out that a specific variety of tasks performed on a computer – for instance when the user is playing a game or when a file is being decoded – produce a certain motif of radio waves. The different amounts of energy that the CPU consumes in order to perform a task, give away some basic information, according to the team’s report that was conducted in order to note their findings.

The attack is possible, when the device is places in a distance of half a meter away from the mobile computer.  By using this technique, the researchers manage to intercept keys that are widely used by encryption programs and algorithms for the data’s security.

As the international news network BBC mentions, until recently it was taken for granted that to record radio waves, the use of a specialized and particularly equipment was a necessity. However, the Israeli team of researchers managed to develop a quite small gadget with cheap materials, which they later hid inside a piece of bread!

They plan to present their results during the technological conference that will take place in September.

If what they present is true – and so far it seems to be – then the team might have accidentally unlocked new hacking techniques which will now require twice the work from people that work against hackers.

Of course on the other hand, the same team may even find a way where such an attack can be used for a good purpose. We might not be quite the experts in such matters but surely, it wouldn’t be the first time that a seemingly malicious technique is used against the bad guys.

But still, while it probably sounds quite amazing the fact that you can intercept someone’s sensitive and personal data using just a piece of bread (not even the whole loaf!), what if it was the other way around? Wouldn’t you then be afraid of breads?


By: Nancy Baker | General | Jan 1 1970
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