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Oh dear boy! Here comes help!!

Agent Hunt.. You can now sweat at will in your next mission.. Yes.. You need not catch your sweat in hands.. You may use the new technology in MI 7 to hack computers. The technology is called BitWhisper.

What is BitWhisper

BitWhisper is a technique by which one can access data from an air gapped systems. Air gaped systems are nothing but computers that are neither connected to the internet nor to the other computers that are connected to the internet.  And so are definitely very difficult to hack in unless Tom Cruise is called in. These air gapped systems are considered to be highly secure and are used only for military operations these days.

Guess not anymore uh? 😉  BitWhisper has conked it out.

Concept of BitWhisper

BitWhisper is a bi-directional communication channel that allows two close air gapped computers to communicate via heat. This happens with the help of the heat emissions of the computers and the built-in thermal sensors.

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Working of BitWhisper

Every computer has built-in thermal sensors to monitor the temperature of the system and to trigger the internal fans ON to cool the system down. BitWhispers uses these sensors to send commands to the air-gapped system or to siphon data from it.

The video below shows how the computer on the left emits heat and sends commands to the air-gapped computer on the right to rotate the toy.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWRk51oB-1Y&w=560&h=315]

BitWhisper is being developed at Cyber Security Research Centre, Israel. The researchers said they will publish the paper soon. For now all the information we know about the BitWhisper is that it will need in order for a bitWhisper attack to be successful, both computers must be compromised with malware and the air gap system must be within 40 cm from the attacker system. Also, BitWhisper can steal only 8 bits an hour, which still okay to steal a password.

As the technique is an attack vector, the NSA has likely considered it too!

Subhashini

Techno freak designed to design technology. An electronic design engineer, passionate about writing!

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