Sniffing keystrokes via laser, power lines


Researchers from Inverse Path showed a couple interesting techniques for sniffing keystrokes at CanSecWest. For their first experiments they used a laser pointed at the shiny back of a laptop. The keystrokes would cause the laptop to vibrate which they could detect just like they would with any laser listening device. They’ve done it successfully from anywhere between 50 to 100 feet away. They used techniques similar to those in speech recognition to determine what sentences were being typed.

In a different attack, they sniffed characters from a PS/2 keyboard by monitoring the ground line in an outlet 50 feet away. They haven’t yet been able to collect more than just single strokes, but expect to get full words and sentences soon. This leakage via power line is discussed in the 1972 Tempest document we posted about earlier. The team said it wasn’t possible with USB or laptop keyboards.

[Thanks Jeramy]

USB sniffing in linux


[Robert] sent in this tutorial on how to set up USB sniffing in linux. Useful for seeing exactly what is being communicated to and from your USB devices, this ability is built into linux. [Bert], the author, shows us the steps involved and how to filter it to get the data we desire. You can specify exactly which device to capture data from. His example, shown above, is a session with an Arduino.

Zigbee AES key sniffing


[Travis Goodspeed] posted a preview of what he’s working on for this Summer’s conferences. Last weekend he gave a quick demo of sniffing AES128 keys on Zigbee hardware at SOURCE Boston. The CC2420 radio module is used in many Zigbee/802.15.4 sensor networks and the keys have to be transferred over an SPI bus to the module. [Travis] used two syringe probes to monitor the clock line and the data on a TelosB mote, which uses the CC2420. Now that he has the capture, he’s planning on creating a script to automate finding the key.

New WPA TKIP attack


[Martin Beck] and [Erik Tews] have just released a paper covering an improved attack against WEP and a brand new attack against WPA(PDF). For the WEP half, they offer a nice overview of attacks up to this point and the optimizations they made to reduce the number of packets needed to approximately 25K. The only serious threat to WPA so far has been the coWPAtty dictionary attack. This new attack lets you decrypt the last 12 bytes of a WPA packet’s plaintext and then generate arbitrary packets to send to the client. While it doesn’t recover the WPA key, the attacker is still able to send packets directly to the machine they’re attacking and could potentially read back the response via an outbound connection to the internet.

[photo: niallkennedy]

[via SANS]

Eavesdrop on keyboards wirelessly

Every time you press a key on your keyboard, a small burst of electromagnetic radiation is let out. This radiation can be captured and decoded. Though it only affects some models, this is pretty serious. They tested 11 different keyboards and they were all vulnerable to at least one of the four methods of attack. Tests have shown that the data can be read through walls and up to 65 feet away. That is pretty scary stuff. Someone could be setting up in the apartment or office right next to yours to listen to every keystroke you type.  Check out the second video after the break.

Continue reading “Eavesdrop on keyboards wirelessly”

WarBallooning at Defcon

[rocketman] has posted about a new event at Defcon dubbed WarBallooning. They are using a Kismet drone (a modified WRT54G), a webcam, and a few high gain antennas. The balloon will be launched at about 15 stories and will be remotely fed targets chosen directly by the Defcon participants. The the directional antenna will be mounted to the camera so pan and tilt can be controlled. The Kismet CSV files will be available for everyone after the event.

If you are interested in WarDriving or building you own high-gain antennas, we suggest you check out this WiFi biquad dish antenna mounted on a car. If cars are too boring, or you do not have one, you could always go WarSailing or WarFlying. Yes, the permutations are endless.

[photo: JoergHL]