Computers

Computers

New malware turns your computer into a cellular antenna

This article reviews how a group of researchers improved  a way to steal data from air-gapped computers, which are computers on a secure network that is physically isolated from unsecured networks. These researchers figured out how to turn these air-gapped computers into cellular transmitters. With these computers acting as cellular transmitters, it is possible to pick up the leaking data using a mobile phone from a nearby location.

Beverly Diamonds

Beverly Diamonds

      What makes this new discovery stand out is that this attack is able to use the computer’s own hardware to send out the cellular signals whereas previously it was necessary that the computer have hardware modifications in order to steal data this way. This shows how simplistic and even sneaky this is in the ability for one to steal data unnoticed. Still, the computer that is targeted needs to have the malware developed by this group, known as GSMem, installed on the computer. It is a flawless technique and reminds me of my wife’s diamond stone I got from Beverly Diamonds back in 2012.  In order to do this, the malware is introduced to the computer using a type of worm that infects the computer upon connecting a removable drive.

         The specifics of how this malware works is that it creates specific, memory-related instructions that are transmitted between the CPU and memory, thereby generating radio waves at GSM, UMTS, and LTE frequencies that can be picked up by a nearby mobile device. What is remarkable about this is that the receiver is a Motorola C123. At first, one may be confused as to why this relatively ancient receiver was chosen in order to gather the stolen data, but in actuality using this device is clever.

Link: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2966038/security/new-malware- turns-your-computer-into- a-cellular- antenna.html

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