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New Air-Gap Attack Uses SATA Cable as an Antenna to Transfer Radio Signals

New Air-Gap Attack Uses SATA Cable as an Antenna to Transfer Radio Signals
July 19, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
A new method devised to leak information and jump over air-gaps takes advantage of Serial Advanced Technology Attachment ( SATA ) or Serial ATA cables as a communication medium, adding to a  long list  of electromagnetic, magnetic, electric, optical, and acoustic methods already demonstrated to plunder data. "Although air-gap computers have no wireless connectivity, we show that attackers can use the SATA cable as a wireless antenna to transfer radio signals at the 6GHz frequency band," Dr. Mordechai Guri, the head of R&D in the Cyber Security Research Center in the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel,  wrote  in a paper published last week. The technique, dubbed  SATAn , takes advantage of the prevalence of the computer bus interface, making it "highly available to attackers in a wide range of computer systems and IT environments." Put simply, the goal is to use the SATA cable as a covert channel to emanate electromagnetic signals and transfer a br

Researches Detail 17 Malicious Frameworks Used to Attack Air-Gapped Networks

Researches Detail 17 Malicious Frameworks Used to Attack Air-Gapped Networks
December 02, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Four different malicious frameworks designed to attack air-gapped networks were detected in the first half of 2020 alone, bringing the total number of such toolkits to 17 and offering adversaries a pathway to cyber espionage and exfiltrate classified information. "All frameworks are designed to perform some form of espionage, [and] all the frameworks used USB drives as the physical transmission medium to transfer data in and out of the targeted air-gapped networks," ESET researchers Alexis Dorais-Joncas and Facundo Muñoz  said  in a comprehensive study of the frameworks. Air-gapping is a network security measure designed to prevent unauthorized access to systems by physically isolating them from other unsecured networks, including local area networks and the public internet. This also implies that the only way to transfer data is by connecting a physical device to it, such as USB drives or external hard disks. Given that the mechanism is one of the most common ways  SCAD

New Malware Jumps Air-Gapped Devices by Turning Power-Supplies into Speakers

New Malware Jumps Air-Gapped Devices by Turning Power-Supplies into Speakers
May 04, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researcher Mordechai Guri from Israel's Ben Gurion University of the Negev recently demonstrated a new kind of malware that could be used to covertly steal highly sensitive data from air-gapped and audio-gapped systems using a novel acoustic quirk in power supply units that come with modern computing devices. Dubbed ' POWER-SUPPLaY ,' the latest research builds on a series of techniques leveraging electromagnetic, acoustic, thermal, optical covert channels, and even power cables to exfiltrate data from non-networked computers. "Our developed malware can exploit the computer power supply unit (PSU) to play sounds and use it as an out-of-band, secondary speaker with limited capabilities," Dr. Guri outlined in a paper published today and shared with The Hacker News. "The malicious code manipulates the internal switching frequency of the power supply and hence controls the sound waveforms generated from its capacitors and transformers.&q

Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers Using Screen Brightness

Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers Using Screen Brightness
February 05, 2020Mohit Kumar
It may sound creepy and unreal, but hackers can also exfiltrate sensitive data from your computer by simply changing the brightness of the screen, new cybersecurity research shared with The Hacker News revealed. In recent years, several cybersecurity researchers demonstrated innovative ways to covertly exfiltrate data from a physically isolated air-gapped computer that can't connect wirelessly or physically with other computers or network devices. These clever ideas rely on exploiting little-noticed emissions of a computer's components, such as light, sound , heat , radio frequencies , or ultrasonic waves , and even using the current fluctuations in the power lines. For instance, potential attackers could sabotage supply chains to infect an air-gapped computer, but they can't always count on an insider to unknowingly carry a USB with the data back out of a targeted facility. When it comes to high-value targets, these unusual techniques, which may sound theoretica

How to Steal Bitcoin Wallet Keys (Cold Storage) from Air-Gapped PCs

How to Steal Bitcoin Wallet Keys (Cold Storage) from Air-Gapped PCs
April 24, 2018Wang Wei
Dr. Mordechai Guri, the head of R&D team at Israel's Ben Gurion University, who previously demonstrated various methods to steal data from an air-gapped computer, has now published new research named " BeatCoin ." BeatCoin is not a new hacking technique; instead, it's an experiment wherein the researcher demonstrates how all previously discovered out-of-band communication methods can be used to steal private keys for a cryptocurrency wallet installed on cold storage, preferably an air-gapped computer or Raspberry Pi. For those unaware, keeping your cryptocurrency protected in a wallet on a device which is entirely offline is called cold storage. Since online digital wallets carry different security risks, some people prefer keeping their private keys offline. Air-gapped computers are those that are isolated from the Internet, local networks, Bluetooth and therefore, are believed to be the most secure devices and are difficult to infiltrate or exfiltrate.

MOSQUITO Attack Allows Air-Gapped Computers to Covertly Exchange Data

MOSQUITO Attack Allows Air-Gapped Computers to Covertly Exchange Data
March 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
The team of security researchers—who last month demonstrated how attackers could steal data from air-gapped computers protected inside a Faraday cage—are back with its new research showing how two (or more) air-gapped PCs placed in the same room can covertly exchange data via ultrasonic waves. Air-gapped computers are believed to be the most secure setup wherein the systems remain isolated from the Internet and local networks, requiring physical access to access data via a USB flash drive or other removable media. Dubbed MOSQUITO , the new technique, discovered by a team of researchers at Israel's Ben Gurion University, works by reversing connected speakers (passive speakers, headphones, or earphones) into microphones by exploiting a specific audio chip feature. Two years ago, the same team of researchers demonstrated how attackers could covertly listen to private conversations in your room just by reversing your headphones (connected to the infected computer) into a micr
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