09:53 GMT09 March 2021
Listen Live
    Tech
    Get short URL
    147
    Subscribe

    We’ve heard of heat waves being used to hack into air gapped computer systems – but sound waves have become the latest possibility to hijack millions of devices in office buildings.

    A transmitting antenna, dubbed 'Funtenna' has been developed by Red Balloon Security, which can attack programs by taking control of two physical prongs on a laptop, computer or printer. 

    The 'Funtenna' communicates with the electronic circuit of the device, which vibrates the frequency of the soundwaves. These vibrations can then be picked up by an AM radio antenna and manipulated to send information out of an office through sound waves.

    The Funtenna, according to lead researcher Ang Cui serves as another channel to catch data emitted from devices.

    Cui told reporters ahead of the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas that hackers would need an antenna to be close to the targeted building to pick up the sound waves successfully. Hackers would also need to find some way to get inside a targeted machine to convert the data to the right format for transmission. 

    By using an antenna to connect, for example, to a printer connected to a computer network, it would be possible to steal data from computers that aren’t connected to the Internet.

    In a recent demonstration for reporters, Red Balloon Security infiltrated a laser printer, manipulated its energy forcing it to emit electronic radiation to access its radio waves through the antenna, which then records a computer code.

    "You have network detection, firewalls…but this transmits data in a way that none of those things are monitoring, this fundamentally challenges how certain we can be of our network security," said Cui.

    Related:

    Hacking Gets Hot: Heat Leaks Sensitive Data From Secure Computers
    Hackers More Motivated by Mass Tech Destruction
    Security Expert Names Six Ways to Hack US Elections
    Homeland Security: New Cybersecurity Bill to 'Sweep Away' Internet Privacy
    Snowden Effect Driving Millions Into Crypto War and Dark Web
    Tags:
    networks, data, transmission, hacking, technology, computer, security, US
    Community standardsDiscussion