Power Supplies can leak your data: Researcher

Dr Mordechai Guri and his team discovered a way to steal data via ultrasonic frequencies from PC power supplies. This unconventional form of data theft is called POWER SUPPLaY.

This achieved by first having a malware installed in the PC. It alters CPU workload, causing the power supply to change its ultrasonic frequencies accordingly. This frequency gets detected by a smartphone with a maximum distance of 5 metres.

How it is done…

This works by recording vibrations from PC power supplies between 20 kHz to 20 MHz range. The vibrations are equivalent of a coil whine, except that it is inaudible to humans. These hacks are something you’d see in cheesy spy movies. But seeing this achievable is nothing short of impressive and shocking. With both attacks, it requires an infected PC and a smartphone to receive and decrypt vibrations.

It wasn’t too long ago Dr Guri and his team published another unconventional cyberattack method called ‘Air-ViBeR’. This method uses vibrations from PC fans via speed regulation. Via a smartphone, it picks up the recording and decrypts it. His past methods of extracting data included HDD activity LED, brightness changes, keylogging via electromagnetic signals to name a few.

Impressive, but…

Impressive as it sounds, it doesn’t look to be practical and feasible. The researcher showed it has a high success rate. However, the transmission is up to 50 bits per second, equivalent to 22Kb/ hour. But Dr Guri’s research is meant to show what can and cannot be done through alternative methods.

VIA: Toms Hardware


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