Drones can pull data via computer's blinking LED

Feb 27, 2017, 3:09 AM EST
(Source: Camilo Rueda López/flickr)
(Source: Camilo Rueda López/flickr)

The security researchers at the Ben Gurion University in Israel have developed a technique that allows drone cameras to steal data via blinking L.E.D. of a malware-infected computer. The method, devised to breach the security protection called “air gap” could be a potent way for hackers to whip data from highly sensitive computer systems even if they are isolated from the internet.

To launch such a hacking attack, one would have to first infect the computer with a malware using a U.S.B. or S.D. card, notes Naked Security. The malware can then control the system’s hard disk drive L.E.D., turning it on and off with a kind of “morse-code-like patterns,” which can be monitored and decoded by a hovering drone.

The data streaming rate in this case could be fast enough to expose encryption keys, keystroke logging, or text and binary files within seconds, notes Wired. Ben-Gurion researcher Mordechai Guri says that the technique raises little suspicion as no one suspects the routine blinking of the computer L.E.D.