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Way to Hack Wireless Keyboard: Firm Details How Snoopers Swipe Keystrokes

Image: Way to Hack Wireless Keyboard: Firm Details How Snoopers Swipe Keystrokes
Closeup of a Businessman typing on a wireless keyboard. (Stock Photo Secrets)

By    |   Friday, 29 Jul 2016 01:46 PM

Researchers have discovered a way to hack wireless keyboards made by eight different manufacturers, raising security concerns for users.

Cyber-security firm Bastille Research said the vulnerability allows hackers to easily monitor keystrokes from as far as 250 feet, PC Magazine reported.

For less than $100, hackers can purchase a radio transmitter and antenna needed to capture and send keystrokes from the victim's computer.

"When we purchase a wireless keyboard we reasonably expect that the manufacturer has designed and built security into the core of the product," Bastille Research member Marc Newlin said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we tested keyboards from 12 manufacturers and were disappointed to find that eight manufacturers (two-thirds) were susceptible to the KeySniffer hack."

Manufacturers affected are Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric, and EagleTec.

Wireless keyboards typically protect security by encrypting the data transmitted between the keyboard and computer, The Atlantic noted. But sometimes the encryption has weaknesses allowing hackers to decode it. Newlin was looking for such weaknesses when he began researching wireless keyboards, and he was surprised to find that some keyboards weren’t encrypting the data at all.

All of the affected keyboards are "low-end inexpensive models," and Bluetooth devices aren't affected, The Atlantic said. There is no current fix for the problem, and those affected would need to replace the device to ensure security.

Twitter users expressed concerns about the security flaw.




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Researchers have discovered a way to hack wireless keyboards made by eight different manufacturers, raising security concerns for users.
way, hack, wireless, keyboards
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2016-46-29
Friday, 29 Jul 2016 01:46 PM
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