The Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University may not be an every day name in security. But every few years, the come up in the news for finding another theoretical way to defeat air gapped security. They’ve found ways to exfiltrate data by using the sound of a computer fan, and the whirring buzz of a mechanical hard drive. These all require some pretty serious infiltration on the machine already, but conceptually they’re all fascinating.
This time, the researchers targeted a router for their Mission Impossible-style hack. On an infected router, they were able to use the LED activity lights to transmit binary data. This in turn could be picked up by an optical sensor or camera, and then read, without ever having direct access.
The most impressive part is that the rate of transmission is relatively fast, at least compared to their acoustic exfiltrations of the past. Each light is able to send at about 1 kilobit per second. In their video example with eight lights, they could send data at 8000 baud.
As I said before, the Cyber Security Research Center is all about concepts, not practicality. While this demo is really interesting and creative, it seems like if you’re able to get malicious firmware on a router, you have a wide variety of exploits to gain access to data much more effectively.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing what their next vaguely terrifying but essentially impractical exploit is down the line.
- Episode 8 – Wireless Misconceptions - August 17, 2017
- Dueling AMD and Intel Server CPUs, HyperGrid Brings On-Demand to the Data Center, and Old World AI in Gestalt Server News 17.8 - August 16, 2017
- Sprucing up the lab with ioFABRIC & NVMe - August 16, 2017
- AMD Threadripper X399 Motherboards RANKED (by tackiness) - August 15, 2017
- Will Killing Net Neutrality End the Public Cloud? - August 15, 2017
- Cloud is More Than a Data Center: The On-Premise IT Roundtable - August 15, 2017
- Red Hat Launches the PodCTL Podcast - August 14, 2017
- Intel’s new ‘Ruler’ SSD pushes for petabyte capacity - August 14, 2017
- Babies vs Wi-Fi - August 11, 2017
- End Users, Vendors, and Learning from Influencers - August 11, 2017