Hacker Can Steal Data from Air-Gapped Computers [source: thehackernews]

Do you think it is possible to extract data from a computer using its power cables?

If no, then you should definitely read about this technique.

Researchers from Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev—who majorly focus on finding clever ways to exfiltrate data from an isolated or air-gapped computer—have now shown how fluctuations in the current flow “propagated through the power lines” could be used to covertly steal highly sensitive data.

Sound something like a James Bond movie? Well, the same group of researchers has previously demonstrated various out-of-band communication methods to steal data from a compromised air-gapped computer via lightsoundheatelectromagneticmagnetic and ultrasonic waves.

Air-gapped computers are those that are isolated from the Internet and local networks and therefore, are believed to be the most secure devices that are difficult to infiltrate or exfiltrate data.

“As a part of the targeted attack, the adversary may infiltrate the air-gapped networks using social engineering, supply chain attacks, or malicious insiders. Note that several APTs discovered in the last decade are capable of infecting air-gapped networks, e.g., TurlaRedOctober, and Fanny,” researchers said.

“However, despite the fact that breaching air-gapped systems has been shown feasible, the exfiltration of data from an air-gapped system remains a challenge.”

Dubbed PowerHammer, the latest technique involves controlling the CPU utilization of an air-gapped computer using a specially designed malware and creating fluctuations in the current flow in morse-code-like pattern to transfer data hints in binary form (i.e., 0 and 1).

For more, click here.