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Stealing Data Via Electrical Outlet 208

Ponca City, We love you writes "NetworkWorld reports that security consultants Andrea Barisani and Daniele Bianco are preparing to unveil their methodology at the Black Hat USA conference for stealing information typed on a computer keyboard using nothing more than the power outlet to which the computer is connected. When you type on a standard computer keyboard, electrical signals run through the cable to the PC. Those cables aren't shielded, so the signal leaks via the ground wire in the cable and into the ground wire on the computer's power supply. The attacker connects a probe to a nearby power socket, detects the ground leakage, and converts the signal back into alphanumeric characters. So far, the attack has proven successful using outlets up to about 15 meters away. The cost of the equipment to carry out the power-line attack could be as little as $500 and while the researchers admit their hacking tools are rudimentary, they believe they could be improved upon with a little time, effort and backing. 'If our small research was able to accomplish acceptable results in a brief development time (approximately a week of work) and with cheap hardware,' they say, 'Consider what a dedicated team or government agency can accomplish with more expensive equipment and effort.'"

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