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Why does my typing appear on my neighbour's PC?

HP wireless keyboard roams far and wide

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HP's wireless keyboards can transmit data to other computers in faraway buildings. No this is not a feature but an astonishing security flaw, discovered by two neighbours in Stavanger, southern Norway.

"Per Arild Evjeberg and Per Erik Helle made headlines (in Norway) when they discovered that text Evjeberg was typing in was appearing in Helle's apartment, 150 meters and at least two walls away," Aftenposten reports (relax it's in English).

"'It was discouraging. When Per Arild started typing with his new keyboard it popped up on my screen again. It isn't his keyboard that is the problem, it is the keyboard in general. HP must realize that the sender is emitting far too powerful signals. Users have basically no control over who receives the signals,' Helle said."

HP Norway says it is treating the problem 'deadly seriously' and it's worried that the problem is "much larger than we first believed". The company proposes to conduct on-site tests, but if it the problem is not isolated to the keyboard, or to some peculiar set of circumstances unique to Stavanger then it may have to consider a recall.

HP has sold 65,000 wireless keyboards in Europe and smaller numbers in North America, Aftenposten reports. ®

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