It is possible to snoop on all keyboards … even through walls

By | October 21, 2008

Here’s one for the paranoia files:

There’s worrying news from the Security and Cryptography Laboratory at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. We’re all familiar with the dangers of computer viruses and malicious software – just last week the FBI warned of the growing threat of computer crime. But it seems that one of the biggest threats to computer security could be the keyboard – even those that are not wireless.

Martin Vuagnoux and Sylvain Pasini have discovered that the electromagnetic waves released every time you strike a key on the keyboard can be detected by a nearby antenna and interpreted by computer software to work out exactly what was typed. Click “continue reading” to see a video.

So, be on the lookout for suspicious people with a giant antenna in the next room, especially if you type your passwords slowly  o n e  l e t t e r   a  t   a   t i m e. 😉 See the video: Compromising Electromagnetic Emanations of Keyboards Experiment 1/2 from Martin Vuagnoux. Snooping was worked out acoustically at least three years ago.

2 thoughts on “It is possible to snoop on all keyboards … even through walls

  1. Blepulpwede

    l’ve just opened a bank account from NatWest. I was wondering if, as soon as Its been activated, can l use my NatWest bank cartd to order things off the internet? Like on shopping and stuff, or will l need a Debit card. I don’t really understand how to order things on the internet as this is my first bank card.


  2. Xeno Post author

    Ordering things off of the Internet is the same as ordering over the phone, except that some stores allow you to enter your credit card number on a web form instead of reading it to a person.

    Be careful. There are a lot of scams. Buy from known big companies or if you must hunt for deals, try shopping using Google’s product search and look for vendors with a lot of stars next to their reputation rating. Ebay and Amazon have good deals too.

    Even doing that, however, just because you see a picture of something doesn’t mean that you will get everything in the picture, for example. You have to ask about the details and get it in writing in email or from their web site, BEFORE YOU ORDER, even if it seems obvious, or you may get less than you expect. This has happened to me twice recently.

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