Feeds

Twinkle, twinkle little LED (now I know what's in your head)

Pass the duct tape, Alice

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Security researchers have published a paper warning that LED status indicators on datacomms kit can leak information to eavesdroppers.

A paper, Information Leakage from Optical Emanations, by Joe Loughry of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and David A.Umphress of Auburn University in Alabama explains how it's possible to correlate flickering lights with information flowing through a device.

On the face of it this seems impractical but the researchers have carried out tests which show "that it is possible to intercept data under realistic conditions at a considerable distance". Snoopers could intercept data from at "least across the street" using inexpensive equipment (which they haven't actually built yet), they suggest.

"Many different sorts of devices, including modems and Internet Protocol routers, were found to be vulnerable" to what the researchers describe as an "Optical Tempest" attack. Tests suggest lower speed device (such as 56Kbps) might be most subject to the theoretically undetectable attack.

The ability to monitor computer by intercepting stray radio-frequency emanations computers and displays has been common knowledge for some time, but there's been little mention of spying on signals in the optical spectrum.

One drawback is that such signals may be a noisy representation of the data flowing through them, as Loughry and Umphress acknowledge. Another difficulty, is that an attacker would need line of sight for effective snooping.

Paranoid punters may want to review that paper on the subject before deciding if they need to put duct tape over their LEDs or equipment redesign, both of which are suggested as countermeasures by the researchers. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?