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Hardware Hacking Displays Security Science

Laptops And Flat Panels Now Vulnerable to Van Eck Methods 144

Posted by Zonk
from the i-seee-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Using radio to eavesdrop on CRTs has been around since the 80s, but Cambridge University researchers have now shown that laptops and flat-panel displays are vulnerable too. Using basic radio equipment and an FPGA board totaling less than $2,000 it was possible for researchers to read text from a laptop three offices away. 'Kuhn also mentioned that one laptop was vulnerable because it had metal hinges that carried the signal of the display cable. I asked if you could alter a device to make it easier to spy on. "There are a lot of innocuous modifications you can make to maximize the chance of getting a good signal," he told me. For example, adding small pieces of wire or cable to a display could make a big difference.'"
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Laptops And Flat Panels Now Vulnerable to Van Eck Methods

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  • Telling question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:22PM (#18817459)
    "I asked if you could alter a device to make it easier to spy on."

    Okay, see, that's the type of questions the NSA likes to see its potential employees ask. Any other type of person would ask if you could alter a device to make it *harder* to spy on.
  • ch0wned! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:23PM (#18817471)

    I think this means they've always been vulnerable, but no one knew. It's not like someone turned on the Vulnerable switch.

    • Re:ch0wned! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:33PM (#18817607) Homepage Journal
      I wonder if this could be used (at close range to reduce errors) for the only remaining analog hole

      The MPAA will be furious!
      • by grub (11606)
        Ohhh... good thinking!
        The MPAA will be at your door in minutes, nice knowing you.
    • I think this means they've always been vulnerable, but no one knew.


      Or, rather, no one publicly announced it.

      I doubt if the NSA, for instance, had discovered this vulnerability years ago, they would have trumpeted it publicly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lehk228 (705449)
        actually the NSA is pretty good about disclosing vulnerabilities such as that. the threat of foreign corporate and military espionage is much greater than the usefullness of such technology for domestic abuses.
    • Oh bull (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:01PM (#18818609)
      No one knew? That's utter nonsense. I noticed that my laptop lcd monitor would cause interferce at times on my FM radio seven years ago, depending on what it was doing, and what station I was listening to.

      That's a pretty big red flag that these suckers were subject to Van Eck.

      And if the NSA could hear Scott McNealy's friggin keyboard outside in the parking lot (as they later told him during a meeting in the late 1990's), you'd better believe that the NSA has had LCD monitor reading capability for at least that long.

      Just because it's not in the popular press, or published papers, hardly means that no one knew. The only thing surprising here is that it took so long for someone to get a paper out it.

      I don't mean to disparage the researchers, who deserve a lot of credit to finally bringing this to public knowledge, but this is really low-hanging fruit.
    • by billstewart (78916) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:22PM (#18818829) Journal
      ... i.e. just about as long as laptops have been usable. Wireless eavesdropping and TEMPEST issues were a common discussion topic back in the Cypherpunks era, among the technical experts as well as among the tinfoil hat crowd, and a number of us had worked with TEMPEST professionally.

      My ~1995 laptop (486? Pentium 60? MHz) would display on my parents' TV screen when I visited them. (No, I didn't live in their basement, I'd just avoided having a TV in my house back then:-) It wasn't in sync, so there were three partial screen images scrolling slowly, and there weren't enough pixels, but it was readable enough to be obvious that a real receiver would be able to display the output cleanly. My guess was that the culprit wasn't really the LCD drivers, but the auxiliary VGA port on the back of the laptop; I no longer remember if I tried turning that on and off, or exactly which laptop model it was, but Google probably knows.


      The real difficulties are getting enough focus to only grab signals from the laptop you're looking for, and not all the other CRTs and TVs and LCDs around, which is why you're reading an interview with an expert like Markus Kuhn and not just some 1337 k1dd13z, and doing so without parking a big antennaful van on the street in front of your target.


      If you look at the real security threats here, there are two sides -

      • Crackers trolling for whatever they can find, like passwords and credit card numbers they can abuse, who are willing to eavesdrop on anybody nearby, such as people in an airport
      • Cops and spooks and secret police who are targeting *you*, in which case you've got much more serious security problems than whether your laptop screen can be eavesdropped.
      • by FLEB (312391)
        The real difficulties are getting enough focus to only grab signals from the laptop you're looking for, and not all the other CRTs and TVs and LCDs around...

        Pringles can?
      • ... i.e. just about as long as laptops have been usable. Wireless eavesdropping and TEMPEST issues were a common discussion topic back in the Cypherpunks era, among the technical experts as well as among the tinfoil hat crowd, and a number of us had worked with TEMPEST professionally.

        Not only that... this technique was published! ...in Cryptonomicon! :-)
    • It's not like someone turned on the Vulnerable switch.

      Yeah, sorry. That was me. I just bumped into the damn thing, honest.
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:25PM (#18817497) Homepage Journal

    adding small pieces of wire or cable to a display could make a big difference
    That's why I always carefully remove all the wires from all my electronics.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shadowlore (10860) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:25PM (#18817503) Journal
    For example, adding small pieces of wire or cable to a display could make a big difference.'"

    So adding an antenna makes it broadcast better meaning you can pick it up easier. Shocking. Very useful for remote spying. Step one, add an antenna to the target's display.
  • HDMI? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:26PM (#18817515) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they're just reading the signals that are being sent over the wire? With analog signals this is pretty easy to to, but with DVI it's a lot harder, and way harder still if the signal is encrypted. With the future of display technologies appearing to be heading as close as possible to encryption to the eyeballs, it makes me wonder how long this will remain viable.
    • Re:HDMI? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:36PM (#18817643) Homepage Journal

      wonder if they're just reading the signals that are being sent over the wire? With analog signals this is pretty easy to to, but with DVI it's a lot harder, and way harder still if the signal is encrypted.

      With DVI it's probably a lot harder, but the signal might actually be clearer if you knew how to pick it up, kind of like how you can pick up UWB radio at high ranges. The on-off style of the signal creates a sharper signal. It might require more hardware but I wouldn't be surprised if you could do it at longer range.

      An encrypted signal, of course, will be much harder to deal with whether there's an easy-to-receive digital signal or not.

      I'm skeptical of the idea that the main video link will be encrypted any time soon though, because of the immense bandwidth involved.

      Also, I have to wonder if you could simply pick up the signal between the controller, which decodes the signal (digital or no) and the panel itself...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by chgros (690878)
        I'm skeptical of the idea that the main video link will be encrypted any time soon though, because of the immense bandwidth involved.
        I thought that was already done.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDCP [wikipedia.org]
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The display itself isn't encrypted until the DRM Helmet becomes mandatory. Tempest equipment doesn't care what the signal to the screen is, it reads the signal FROM the screen.

          It wouldn't help pirates much though -- tempest output is seriously low-fi fuzzy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      If they were able to read a signal from a laptop, they were reading a digital signal. Laptops have always used a digital display interface.

      But yeah, encrypted HDMI would make it more difficult.
    • So now there's a good reason to stop encryption to the eyeballs, it'll help the terrierists...
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:27PM (#18817529) Homepage Journal

    The title given to this story on slashdot is awful, especially for a geek news site. Haven't we already established that obscurity is not security? And about a million times over?

    An unpublished vulnerability is no less real than one that has been announced, and is in fact more dangerous because the lack of an announcement leads to a false feeling of security. The real story is that your laptop has in fact been vulnerable to van eck phreaking for years and year, not just "now".

    It's a good thing I haven't had faith in slashdot for a long time now, or I'd be really disappointed. As it is, I'm just pointing this out for those who didn't already notice.

    • by sczimme (603413)

      The title given to this story on slashdot is awful, especially for a geek news site. Haven't we already established that obscurity is not security?

      If you think this is "security through obscurity", you have some remedial reading to do. Hint: this is not STO.

      laptop has in fact been vulnerable to van eck phreaking for years and year

      Add "the definition of phreaking" to your reading list. Yes, I know that phrase was used in the article; the fact that the NewScientist writer was wrong does not exc
    • by owlstead (636356)
      As another reader noticed, this is not security through obscurity. As long as there are Slashdot readers out there that can correct one or two mistakes, and add some interesting/informative stories, then the system still works. Anyway, if you are that disapointed, then why the heck do you keep coming back?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Uh oh, metal hinges pratically imply "ThinkPad"...

    But then, it is pretty obvious that using the notebook ungrounded IS asking for trouble anyway as far as signal interference goes, and those hinges are earth-grounded if you have the notebook plugged to wall power using a three-prong power supply.

    I think I will keep my ThinkPad instead of using cheezy plastic crap, and use low-contrast, antialiased round fonts if I feel secretive. Must also remember to tape over all network leds, and turn on the loud white-
    • But then, it is pretty obvious that using the notebook ungrounded IS asking for trouble anyway as far as signal interference goes, and those hinges are earth-grounded if you have the notebook plugged to wall power using a three-prong power supply.

      Grounding and shielding are two different issues.

      At the frequencies involved, grounding the device is no help at all. (In fact the ground wiring may act as a helper antenna.)
  • by harry666t (1062422) <[harry666t] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:31PM (#18817583)
    Maybe this technique could be used to bypass that DRM stuff and capture movies etc right from the screen, how do you think about it?
  • by Nonillion (266505) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:35PM (#18817625)
    I remember seeing a demo of this back in the 80's. I always had a suspicion this was possible, however some people still balk at this as 'science fiction'. I can assure you it's not. It's this kind of thing that should be waking up manufactures to the perils of shitty RFI design. Spewing broad band spectrum pollution not only causes radio interference, but also opens you to security problems.

    Not to go slightly off topic here, but BPL (broadband over power wires) providers ought to see this as a wakeup call. Coupling broad band ODMF signals on widely spaced wires hanging 40+ feet in the air, radiating like antennas is a HUGE security issue. Not only can BPL be jammed with something as simple as a CB or Amateur radio transceiver, but a creative individual could use similar methods to monitor BPL signals.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Not only can BPL be jammed with something as simple as a CB or Amateur radio transceiver

      Really? I could have sworn you'd need a transmitter.

      but a creative individual could use similar methods to monitor BPL signals.

      Not only do you already have to worry about any signal broadcast over the internet, but the fact that it's sent over a big long wire (as you describe) means it's even more important to use encryption. And what do you know? Any sensitive communications I perform over the internet are already en

      • Parent line, then my reply, appears below:

        Not only can BPL be jammed with something as simple as a CB or Amateur radio transceiver

        Really? I could have sworn you'd need a transmitter.

        I read that no less than three times and still believed that it said "receiver".

        I apologize for this part of my comment.

        Looks like my eyes are failing me, guess I'll go home (for those wondering, yes, I do come in pretty early.)

      • by Nonillion (266505)
        'Not only can BPL be jammed with something as simple as a CB or Amateur radio transceiver
        Really? I could have sworn you'd need a transmitter.'

        A 'transceiver' is a combination transmitter receiver. During some BPL tests BPL signals were completely interrupted by a 5 watt signal on the 40 meter (14MHz) band.

        'but a creative individual could use similar methods to monitor BPL signals.
        Not only do you already have to worry about any signal broadcast over the internet, but the fact that it's sent over a big long w
    • by chochos (700687)
      you've gone way off topic IMHO... people spying on your screen is pretty bad. But this does not make BPL a bad thing... protocols like SSL allow you to transfer information over TCP securely, regardless of the physical medium. If it works on wireless, it works on BPL, right?
    • Not to go slightly off topic here, but BPL (broadband over power wires) providers ought to see this as a wakeup call.

      Broadband providers aren't, I would imagine, particularly concerned about their user's privacy. If they see it as a wakeup call, it'll be a wakeup call to lobby the government to institute regulations favoring BPL because it is easier to monitor for law enforcement and security purposes, and to impose new barriers on broadband systems less easy to monitor.

  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:40PM (#18817681) Homepage
    Russia and the U.S. had been snooping VDT images since the early 1970's or earlier. van Eck just made it public by publishing a paper on how to do it with $100 of Radio Shack parts. cryptome.org [cryptome.org] forum postings include a reference to a 1973 book.
  • Cryptonomicon? (Score:5, Informative)

    by chochos (700687) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:45PM (#18817733) Homepage Journal
    So the hack that is mentioned in Cryptonomicon is pure sci-fi? It says that van-eck was possible on a laptop because of some backwards compatibility issue, in which laptops still refreshed the display 60 times per second or so, even if they didn't need to, so you could pick up on that radiation or something for the phreaking. It wasn't really possible until now? Or is this a different method where you can spy on LCD's using some method specific to LCD's?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by v3lut (123906)
      I don't mean to alarm you... But Cryptonomicon was, in fact, entirely sci-fi.

      Either that, or the vulnerability was because the guy was running Finux. As long as you don't install that you should be fine.
      • by chochos (700687)
        Wow. Thanks for the info. I just killed the torrent I had downloading Finux-2.0.3.4. What I meant was that the van eck phreaking was more fi than sci... AFAIK van eck phreaking is real but only works on CRT (until now), but the hack in the book was done to a laptop, and the description was very convincing, hence my question. Much of the WWII and crypto stuff is pretty accurate also, IMHO.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't mean to alarm you... But Cryptonomicon was, in fact, entirely sci-fi.

        Damn. All this time, I thought that Alan Turing was a real person. I'm so embarrassed!

        But seriously. Cryptonomicon wove real events, real people and real technology with fiction in a pretty seamless way. It's not so bad to ask where the fact ends and the fiction begins, and it's wrong to call it "entirely sci-fi".

        • Cryptonomicon wove real events, real people and real technology with fiction in a pretty seamless way.

          Funny you should say that. One time I was in Malaysia I noticed that 7/11 stores have a sign on the front Buka 24 Jam literally: open 24 hours.

          I am sure it is the same wherever Malay is spoken.

    • in which laptops still refreshed the display 60 times per second or so, even if they didn't need to, so you could pick up on that radiation or something for the phreaking

      You could rig a device that would just take a snapshot of the screen whenever it received input, so while you might not see their screen while they aren't manipulating it, you still get to see what they've done so it doesn't really matter, eh?

    • The radiation goes through the cables of your monitor; wether lcd, plasma or cathode, the signal always has to travel through the wires as electrical current. Just like the hospital can read out the electrical paths on your brain a device can be used to read the electrical current through your wires.

      These Van Eck methods are based on amplifying these "leaky" signals; just like a television could receive signal by just running a cable next to cable-tv or neon light goes lit under high powerlines ; leakage ..
      • These Van Eck methods are based on amplifying these "leaky" signals;

        Yes, but the cryptonomicon was right in an important respect:

        Picking up these leaks could easily be made a whole lot harder if it was
        given any thought at all in the design process.

        The panedisplay could easily have pixels that remember their own state, so
        information only needs to be sent to the pixes that change, and only when
        they change. You could still pick up the signals remotely, but it would
        have to catch them at the right moment (no sec
        • by freaker_TuC (7632)
          If such measure need to be implemented; why not use encrypted streaming as signal with pki? This key doesn't need to be variable; it can change every 15 minutes or so. Within the time this key got decrypted, the new one is already sent to the monitor (if the cipher is worthy enough); which renders the previous one completely useless + which will make it a hell to hack such system because it's a continuesly race against time..

          There could be even an extra button on the screen which could say "authenticate" or
  • TEMPEST in a teacup (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:51PM (#18817795)
    Long before Van Eck publicly demonstrated it, the NSA was well aware of the problem. It extends beyond the CRT. NSA created the TEMPEST program to reduce radiation of information.

    Simply put, change the voltage level or current level of a device and you generate a signal that is conducted along wires and other conductive paths and radiated from those conductive paths. Interception of the conducted or radiated changes can be used to re-create
    the original information. Wether the information is in serial, paralell or raster format it is a relatively trivial problem given some time and computing resources.

    Is it a problem for most of us? Given that someone will try the easiest ways to get the information, using Van Eck or other types of TEMPEST
    attacks is much less likely than social engineering or other means to get your information.

  • by HerrEkberg (971000) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:52PM (#18817807) Homepage
    So this is what all those fancy 3D desktops are good for. Just set wobbliness and fuzzy effects to max and no one will be able to make sense of what is going on on your screen (including you - trust no one).
  • At last! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ThanatosMinor (1046978) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:59PM (#18817909)
    I can spend $2000 to be able to read my laptop that's across the room while I'm still in bed. Now all I need is some sort of glove I can hook up to a robotic arm so it can type for me. Or better yet, I can invent a fing-longer!

    Sigh If only they would make a portable version of my laptop...
    • Take your laptop and get a USB 2.0 hub, you'll need the extra slots. Hook the laptop up to a full-sized monitor (LCD or CRT, it doesn't really matter, but the bigger the better.) Ok, now plug in a printer, external HDD (to store your movies, of course), an external HD-DVD and/or blueray drive, and dual-layer DVD-RW if one is not part of your laptop. Plug it in to your cable modem via cat-5e to the ethernet port (to avoid people snooping, of course. Can't trust those wireless networks.)

      Now all you need i
  • TEMPEST (Score:5, Informative)

    by Detritus (11846) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:02PM (#18817933) Homepage
    The NSA, and other intelligence agencies, have been exploiting stuff like this for more than fifty years. Technology changes, but the fundamental principle, interception of EM radiation stays the same. You can even spy on certain models of electric typewriters. If you ever get the chance to look at TEMPEST certified hardware, you will see the lengths that the engineers have to go to, to shield and filter an electronics device. Besides the box itself, all cables have to be well shielded and filtered, or they just function as antennas for your sensitive data.
    • by Sanat (702)
      I used to work a lot with Tempest hardware. Things with motors (such as a typewriter) would have a huge flywheel added to it so there was no slowdown during the typing of different letters and numbers. I saw a demonstration of how the Selectric typewriter could easily be read just by monitoring the power line. Adding a flywheel would defeat this ability to accurately monitor what was being typed.

      You are right about the grounding too. All grounding straps on panels had to be connected tightly and any other
  • LCDs and plasma have been favored by DMCA people as a way to beat the analog hole. Here's another nail in that coffin.
  • I was fully expecting Neal Stephenson [nealstephenson.com] to drop into this thread and yell, "First!" [nealstephenson.com]

    You know... I might have to re-read this book soon.

  • Not too surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mobby_6kl (668092) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:16PM (#18818093)
    This shouldn't be too surprising to anyone who's tried listening to audio output from a typical laptop. You can hear everything, including processor load, disk access, mouse or window movements (the sound noticeably changes depending on the cursor, hovering over a text area sounds differently than over the desktop or window resize areas) and typing. I'm sure some of that audio noise also escapes as electromagnetic emission which, can be picked up with appropriate equipment.

    I'm not an expert on Van Eck phreaking, so it's possible that the previously used methods were incapable of detecting this for whatever reason, but the presence of these emissions and the possibility of spying shouldn't be surprising.

    This reminds me of the scheduled tinfoil supplies delivery I need to take care of...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm not an expert on Van Eck phreaking, so it's possible that the previously used methods were incapable of detecting this for whatever reason...

      Previous methods could intercept the signal. Processing it back into an image was the problem.

      CRTs essentially modulate the beam current with the basic video signal. Leakage of that puts into the air precicely what you need to produce a copy of the image part (though the current is cut off for retrace). Also pick up and sort out the spikes from the H and V defle
  • The protagonist (not Hiro Protagonist, the other protagonist) has to write code on a display that he knows is Van Eck phreaked. He has to write code so that the people looking have no idea what he's writing so he has to obfuscate in many clever ways--I forget how.
  • The Commodore 64 Blue Book had a section on this. It talked about how to shield your environment by enclosing a room with screen and grounding it. It also mentioned to coat your power cords with a certain paint high in sulfur content. I also suggest taking measures to prevent access and emissions from your grounding rod, if you're connected to a public utility. That also prevents your light bulb from being used as a microphone.
    • by toddestan (632714)
      I wonder if the most effective way nowadays would be simply gather a bunch of unwanted hardware and fire it all up? If I had 5 dummy laptops running next to the one I'm working on, could they still see what I'm doing from 3 offices away? Could they see what I'm doing on my Athlon system when it's in the same room with a half dozen old PII's all running?
  • Article Polls! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mobby_6kl (668092) on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:30PM (#18818239)
    Holy shit, I just now noticed that this article has its own poll, how awesome is that!

    My first reaction was "WTF did the relatively recent end-of-civ poll go" and then when I voted it showed this article's comment under the poll results, which was another WTF moment. When was this feature added/first used? I can already see great use for the article polls, for example the editors could try to guess the popular tags and use them for poll items.
    • Yes
    • No
    • Hellno
    • Its
    • Chairthrowing
    • CowboyNeal
    • by antdude (79039)
      There was a previous story with a poll. I forgot which story it was. Does anyone remember it?
    • Dude, why stop at the article level? They should enable comment polls. If I may, I'd like to take the first vote on yours. I choose Chairthrowing.
  • Here's my current desktop. [portable-essentials.com]
  • by Tom Womack (8005) <tom@womack.net> on Friday April 20, 2007 @06:58PM (#18818581) Homepage
    This really isn't new news; the work was done in 2004 and presented as

    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/pet2004-fpd.pdf [cam.ac.uk]

    as well as countermeasures; randomising the low-order bit of all your pixels anew in every frame would be ideal, but using colours which have the same number of bit transitions in 'black' and 'white' works almost as well. Looks a bit ugly to have your screen entirely in off-greens and off-pinks, but that's the price of security.

    HDCP actually helps against this kind of thing, because there are no long lengths of wire carrying unencoded video signal.
    • Wouldn't it be easier to apply countermeasures to prevent eavesdropping to an entire room instead of individual pieces of hardware?
  • I was messing around with an AM radio near my PC just 2 hours ago trying to get a useful signal. I noticed something funny going on - every time I moved the mouse making its LED light up, the radio got a strong buzzing noise until the LED powered down again. It's not even a wireless mouse.
  • But how soon until they can read the keyboard LEDs? Then I'll really be screwed.

    (I don't care if it was fiction -- it was a good introduction for a lot of people to basic information security concepts, including those who might otherwise not get or suffer through one.)
  • More information (Score:4, Informative)

    by Masato (567927) on Friday April 20, 2007 @07:52PM (#18819105) Journal
    I recently finished a research project on this subject and have actually had a chance to read a few of Kuhn's paper. From what I've seen and what other researchers have done, not a lot of thought has gone into making most equipment EMSEC compatible, so I'm not at all surprised by this finding. Most of the time, having "secure" equipment isn't required as very few individuals beyond large government entities have the money, resources and knowledge to be able to conduct such an attack. Extensive design and testing is required to ensure that equipment conforms to EMSEC standards and most companies are simply not willing to spend the extra money to certify their equipment for something very few people know anything about. According to Kuhn (see Security Limits for Compromising Emanations [cam.ac.uk] - warning PDF) emissions levels need to be as much as six orders of magnitude lower to prevent unauthorized snooping on most modern equipment.

    Another paper that is very relevant to this article is from a Japanese group who did research on the same topic (LCDs, laptops, etc) A Trial of the Interception of Display Image using Emanation of Electromagnetic Wave [www.nict.jp] - again, a PDF. What's interesting to note from this paper is the fact that the researchers found that minor inconsistencies in the production of the equipment caused slightly different synchronous frequencies to be detected. This means in an office it could be possible for an attacker to "choose" which monitor they wish to look at by its frequency signature.
  • Who needs VNC or networked X any more??
  • For a while I had an old ham radio sitting on my desk(receive only) and when fiddling around with it at certain frequencies I would hear patterns of beeps and for a long time I wondered what these were and then I finally noticed that the beeps synced up perfectly with the activity LED on my router. Granted it would take a lot more then what I had to actually decipher any useful information from it.
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    the thing I don't get is... The guy's apparently successfully reading very weak signals, why can't we use this to create much faster/more stable wifi connections?
  • A monitor with VNC built right in.
  • Nonillion said:
    "however some people still balk at this as 'science fiction'. I can assure you it's not. It's this kind of thing that should be waking up manufactures to the perils of shitty RFI design. Spewing broad band spectrum pollution not only causes radio interference, but also opens you to security problems."

    Amen, Brother.

    And when it "science fictions" across your purview - if you catch it, it becomes pretty real.
    Because these techniques aren't at your favorite |-|ol3 'r US exploit sites. (Why do you

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