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Emanation-based Attacks

Did you know that people can know what you are typing on your keyboard just by analysing the small differences the sound of the keys on your keyboard make? In fact, a computer can quite accurately determine what you are typing - just by listening - from 20 meters away, if it has been trained on the keyboard you're using. The light reflected from your screen, onto the walls and out the window, can even be reconstituted, to a certain degree. The idea that an attacker can compromise your computer's security by analysing the emanations from it - and thus completely bypass most conventional security measures - may come as a shock. The report below is a project I did for my Software Security paper in my Honours degree at the University of Auckland in 2005. It examines the threats caused by 3 types of emantion-based attacks in order to discover who, if anyone, should worry about such attacks, and what can be done to prevent them.

Threat Analysis of Emanation-Based Attacks


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