I’m sure if you’ve been paying attention to any of the tech/geek news blogs you’ve seen the attention given to the “COMPROMISING ELECTROMAGNETIC EMANATIONS OF WIRED KEYBOARDS” article. So you already know the buzz, and are probably all running out to build Faraday cages around your offices or workstations. But there really isn’t anything terribly new or ground breaking here. It’s simply a further spin on an old trick.
Anyone who can remember back might recall a little something about “TEMPEST“. It’s the codename given to compromising emanations (CE). This research dates all the way back to 1985 when the security risks of emanations from computer monitors was analyzed.
By no means do I want to take away from the research and proof of concept that Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini have put together. I simply want to focus on the fact that a lot of us, especially those young in the tech and security fields, are forgetting some of the roots. We’ve already pointed out some other old-school hacks that are still relevant today. So while everyone is hardening their systems for super stealth ultra-sensitive attacks against their systems, let’s not forget where we came from, and proper education of old-school attacks deserves some attention as well.
The example I used to segue into this might not be the most stellar example of outdated attacks, as with technology growing, it might even become more of a common-day attack. But the fact that this goes way back, and technology is only making it easier goes to show – things that we think are out of reach today, aren’t far from reach in the not-so-distant future.
So what do you think? What other areas of our past or even present do you think won’t hold any grounds for security in the not-so-distant future? What old-school hacks are still present today that many might be overlooking? Let us know in the comments…