Gee, it sounds like something out of one of those 1970s TV shows about government spies, but it’s reality: Plug this little thing into a wall socket and it records the keystrokes of a person nearby typing into a Microsoft wireless keyboard. The little gadget sends the information back to the gadget’s owner over the Internet.
An article on threatpost.com explains that KeySweeper can alert its operator when keystrokes spell out something that the thief-operator would be interested in, such as a bank’s website address. The device continues working even when removed from the wall socket.
As for making a KeySweeper, Kamkar says that it’s not wise for a person without strong knowledge of electrical things to attempt to construct one.
To remain as inconspicuous as possible, the KeySweeper relies upon low profile hardware and very low power. It can also be powered by a battery because it’s installed inside a USB wall charger. So if you unplug the device (and thus disconnect it from A/C power), KeySweeper is still going, relying on its battery inside.
And if you think that KeySweeper is difficult to detect, you’re correct. It could be sitting in someone’s lap one table over from you at the Internet cafe and recording your keystrokes.
Your only protection then would be to use a keyboard that requires an electrical cord, or, a wireless one that’s not from Microsoft. Kamkar’s device works only with Microsoft because of the technological compatibility that Microsoft’s wireless keyboards have with the gadget. It is likely however that devices such as this will become more common and will also work with other keyboards.
So how do you protect yourself? Seems difficult if not impossible. One way would be to reduce the amount of data that could be exposed. The most sensitive data is generally passwords and credit card data. A password manager will enter all this data for you and not require keystrokes. This is the most effective and secure “autofill” available that bypasses keystrokes.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- How to hide your Cash at Home
It’s good to have a stash of cash for emergencies. If the grid goes down and the power goes out, an ATM or bank does you no good. But there are security issues too. Where do you put it? A safe is certainly a smart idea. You can get creative too. What burglar would not think
- Things You should and shouldn’t do on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is the location where you can get online: airport, airplane, coffee house, hotel, motel and more. Many people don’t give this a second thought, unaware of how risky this really is. Public Wi-Fi is very non-secure, a goldmine for hackers who want to steal your identity and commit fraud, destroy your website, you name
- Workplace Safety Tips: Identifying Fire Hazards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide an exhaustive (and exhausting) detailed reference of fire safety standards here. Many states such as IOSHA (Indiana) have adopted these workplace safety tips and summed them up different fire hazards in a convenient way: General Fire Safety Tips To eliminate fire hazards, you can install a fire alarm system
- Free Mobile Apps = Drained Battery
Go through your smartphone right now. Look at each app and seriously consider whether you need it. If not, delete it. Then, determine which of the free apps are worth upgrading to the paid versions, since free apps that contain advertising that puts an additional drain on your battery. Using a special energy-profiling tool, researchers from Microsoft and
- Most Unwanted Criminals: Phishers, Shoulder Surfers and Keyloggers
McAfee’s most unwanted criminals have included pickpockets, Trojan viruses, and ATM skimmers, dumpster divers, spies, and wireless hackers and now phishers, shoulder surfers, and keyloggers. Identity theft can happen online or on the ground to anyone with a pulse, and even to the deceased. The key is awareness, vigilance, and investing in products and services that