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Keyboard Sniffers Can Steal Data

Just when you think things are getting a little safer, more depressing news appears. This time it’s thanks to a pair of doctoral students, who have used a simple radio antenna to eavesdrop on the electromagnetic signals raised each time a key on the computer keyboard is depressed, according to the BBC.

The students, Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini from the Security and Cryptography Laboratory at the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), have developed four separate attacks that work on 11 keyboards connected either by USB or PS2 socket, as well as on laptop keyboards. In one case the attack worked at a distance of 20 meters.

They’re expected to release results of their research soon, but their work builds on research by University of Cambridge computer scientist Markus Kuhn.

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