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Security Researchers Found Hackers Can Easily Spy On Wireless Keyboards

By Victor Thomson , Jul 29, 2016 04:50 AM EDT
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According to security researchers, hackers can perform a keysniffer attack to get your password if you type on a wireless keyboard nearby.

According to CNET, At first glance, the new hacking technique called "keysniffer" is pretty dangerous. Security researchers at cybersecurity firm Bastille have studied attacks based on this technique and they found that hackers are able to detect every key users press on their wireless keyboards.

By using keysniffer hack technique, attackers can detect remotely user passwords and answers to security questions. The security flaw exploited by keysniffer affects keyboards manufactured by major brand names such as General Electric, Toshiba and HP.

There is also some good news for the users of wireless keyboards. Hackers need to be pretty close in order to pick up the confidential data. The keysniffer hack attack works only within 250 feet. This means that only hackers in the physical neighborhood can take advantage of this security flaw.

According to Bastille researchers, wireless keyboards vulnerable to the keysniffer attack are sending out over an unencrypted connection each character a user type. Because the digital data communicated by the keyboard to the computer is not encrypted, it is easy for hackers to intercept and read.

The security research team from Bastille has been led by Marc Newlin. They have tested keyboards from 12 manufacturers. In addition to keyboards from General Electric, Toshiba and HP, the team has found that wireless keyboards from Anker, Radio Shack, Kensington, Best Buy's Insignia brand and EagleTec were also vulnerable to the keysniffer hack attack.

Bastille's Newlin said in a statement that users expect manufacturers to design and build security protection into their wireless keyboards. However, as the security research team has demonstrated, this is not always the case.

PCMag reports that the security vulnerability found in eight different brands of wireless keyboards is not something easy to fix and Bastille suggest users stop purchasing those models. Keyboards made by Logitech, Bluetooth keyboards and keyboards made by a few other manufacturers are not affected because they use more advanced security, according to Bastille.

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