Feeds

Kit attacks Microsoft keyboards (and a whole lot more)

Sniffing and injecting 'private' traffic

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Security researchers on Friday unveiled an open-source device that captures the traffic of a wide variety of wireless devices, including keyboards, medical devices, and remote controls.

Keykeriki version 2 captures the entire data stream sent between wireless devices using a popular series of chips made by Norway-based Nordic Semiconductor. That includes the device addresses and the raw payload being sent between them. The open-source package was developed by researchers of Switzerland-based Dreamlab Technologies and includes complete software, firmware, and schematics for building the $100 sniffer.

Keykeriki not only allows researchers or attackers to capture the entire layer 2 frames, it also allows them to send their own unauthorized payloads. That means devices that don't encrypt communications - or don't encrypt them properly - can be forced to cough up sensitive communications or be forced to execute rogue commands.

At the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, Dreamlab Senior Security Expert Thorsten Schroder demonstrated how Keykeriki could be used to attack wireless keyboards sold by Microsoft. The exploit worked because communications in the devices are protected by a weak form of encryption known as xor, which is trivial to break. As a result, he was able to intercept keyboard strokes as they were typed and to remotely send input that executed commands on the attached computer.

"Microsoft made it easy for us because they used their own proprietary crypto," Schroder said. "Xor is not a very proper way to secure data."

Even when devices employ strong cryptography, Schroder said Keykeriki may still be able to remotely send unauthorized commands using a technique known as a replay attack, in which commands sent previously are recorded and then sent again.

The device can also be used to spot weaknesses in cryptographic communications by comparing keystrokes to corresponding ciphertext. His analysis shows wireless keyboards made by Logitech most likely use 128-bit AES encryption. But even so, it may still be possible to decipher the contents by exploiting the way the secret key is exchanged.

"We still didn't figure out how to crack that one, but I think it's just a matter of time," he said. Keykeriki, which is the German equivalent of "cock-a-doodle-do," is available here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.