Researcher Exploits Power Supply to Transmit, Steal Data From a PC


Level 44
Thread author
Top Poster
Nov 10, 2017


A researcher in Israel devised the attack as a way to steal data from 'air gapped' PCs, or computers that have been sectioned off from the internet.

A security researcher has developed a way to pluck data from a highly guarded PC by manipulating the hardware’s power supply to generate radio waves and secretly transmit the stolen data to a nearby smartphone.

The research comes from Mordechai Guri at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Over the years, Guri has helped devise numerous ways to exfiltrate data from air-gapped PCs, or highly protected computers that are deliberately isolated from the internet.

In a new research paper(Opens in a new window), Guri shows that it’s possible to use malware to rig a PC’s power supply to transmit data from the computer, such as documents, keystrokes, and passwords. The reason is that a power supply can generate radio signals in the low-frequency band between 0 to 60kHz, which can be decoded.

“By regulating the workload of the CPU, it is possible to govern its power consumption and hence control the momentary switching frequency of the SMPS (switch-mode power supplies),” he writes in his paper. “The electromagnetic radiation generated by this intentional process can be received from a distance using appropriate antennas.”

The rest


Level 70
Top Poster
Content Creator
Oct 9, 2016
Ummmm lol this guy is exfiltrating data from a power supply, what do you think? An anti-keylogger is not going to do much against his methods.

Bravo 10/10 for this attack 👍 I tip my hat to the researcher 🎩
Sure. The change in the depressed key of the attached physical KB would cause an electrical change in the power supply which in turn caused a small change in frequency. This frequency when decoded will form the character of the key

If you use a BT mouse with a screen virtual KB would that defeat it?

The best is not to put the PC near a walkway or near the adjacent room..................put in the center of the room 😁

ForgottenSeer 69673

All I can say is if a key press from a power supply's harmonic frequencies off the power bus, the power supply is crap and not filtered very well and is probably generation a ton of noise as well. (n)

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