LCD TEMPEST Air-Gap Attack Reloaded

Mordechai Guri, Matan Monitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 1998, researcher showed how attackers can transmit data from computers through electromagnetic radio waves generated by the computer video card. 20 years later, we examine this type of threat in a context of modern cyber-Attacks. In this type of threat, attackers can covertly leak sensitive data from isolated ('air-gapped') computers using the electromagnetic emission from the video card. We present related work and give a brief technical background. We tested the TEMPEST attack with modern LCD screens and affordable user-defined-radio hardware available today for only 30. We implement a transmitter malware that can modulate binary data and transmit it over electromagnetic waves emitted from the video cable. We also implement a remote receiver, which demodulate and decode the transmission using GNU Radio. We present an analysis of the frequency range, effective distance and the bandwidth of this covert-channel. We found that malware can covertly leak data (e.g., encryption keys, keylogging data and documents) from air-gapped computers to a nearby RF receiver via the electromagnetic emission. The effective bitrate of this channel is 60 bit/sec to 640 bit/sec.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on the Science of Electrical Engineering in Israel, ICSEE 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538663783
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2019
Event2018 IEEE International Conference on the Science of Electrical Engineering in Israel, ICSEE 2018 - Eilat, Israel
Duration: 12 Dec 201814 Dec 2018

Publication series

Name2018 IEEE International Conference on the Science of Electrical Engineering in Israel, ICSEE 2018

Conference

Conference2018 IEEE International Conference on the Science of Electrical Engineering in Israel, ICSEE 2018
Country/TerritoryIsrael
CityEilat
Period12/12/1814/12/18

Keywords

  • aie-gap
  • data-leak
  • electromagentic
  • exfiltration
  • software-defined-radio (key words)

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