Since the world has become online, we have had the belief that the safest data are those that are not available on the internet, so having them on a PC without a network connection is a guarantee not to fear that hackers can attack us and rob us. Well, they can always do it, but they would have to physically get into our house, take a USB key and do a complete dump before we realize it.
But there are times where “reality surpasses fiction” and this news is a good example of this, because the system devised by Israeli researchers to steal data from computers that are not connected to the Internet seems taken from a 007 movie. We don’t talk to enter a room, prick a USB key and copy all the sensitive data to take them to us, but a system that manages to do it remotely.
As we tell you, this technology is somewhat complicated to imagine but it is possible, so much that they have published a video in which they demonstrate its operation and, worst of all, is that people who are victims of such thefts are not aware at any time that they are subtracting information from them. So it is doubly dangerous.
The key is brightness of the PC monitor
Researchers from the Ben Gurion University of Israel who have shown the world their discoveries that, incidentally, are not as simple to launch as it seems because they depend on the coincidence of three different circumstances: on the one hand the installation of malware on the computer ( offline ), which will be responsible for sending the PC data by changing the brightness of the screen, on the other a security camera that is looking at that computer and, third, a software capable of translating those ups and downs of screen brightness into data.
The first of these requirements requires someone to install it manually on the computer, in person, so it does not seem very easy to achieve if we talk about equipment whose companies or organizations restrict its use to a very small number of employees; on the other hand there are the cameras, which not only must point towards the monitor (at least one), but also have to be hacked so that you can translate those ups and downs of brightness – which by the way are invisible to the human eye – in data; and finally there is the software that transfers all that information to the hacker’s burrow .
As you can see, it is a technological deployment of a high level, so it is to be imagined that nobody would try to steal data from the PC like this because it would not come to mind, unless they are certain that the hacking will give them benefits. Otherwise, it will be a problem that public agencies, entities and large corporations have to face where state secrets, or industrial espionage, are the order of the day.