Stealing Keys from PCs using a Radio with Device Concealed in Pita Bread is Possible

News - (on June 23, 2015 04:21 AM)

Hackers Steal Data Using Something Inside Pitta Bread

A recent research have demonstrated that encryption keys could be stolen from any Computer using a cheap component as smaller as made out of sight in Pita Bread is now possible

A research, made by four-strong team namely Daniel Genkin, Lev Pachmanov, Itamar Pipman, and Eran Tromer, from Tel Aviv University for an Israeli security have suggested that it is not hard to stead any type of data signaling from any computer with a very small device which could be concealed even in Pita Bread.

Pita or pitta is a soft, slightly leavened flatbread baked from wheat flour. It is used in many Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisines and resembles other slightly leavened flatbreads, however, now could be used to hack a PC instead.

According to the researchers, now it is not a rocket since to capture radio emissions given off by laptops that inadvertently leak data about the keys. They experimented and showed that they do not need expensive, bulky equipment to carry out all this as previously it was required.


The researchers have managed to monitor the radio signals given off by laptops when their central processing unit is crunching data. They discovered different activities performed on laptop or a computer had a characteristic pattern of radio activity, which could be monitored to steal any type of data even when a user was decrypting a file.

The researchers made it possible to steal a key used in decrypting email sent to a laptop by monitoring the pattern of the radio signals. Later on, the team managed to create a mobile version gadget smaller than Pita Bread, which was used to carry out an attack from a distance of about 50cm (1ft 8in), said the researchers.

Mr. Steve Armstrong, managing director of Logically Secure, told tech news site The Register "If they can do it at 10m (32ft) in a different room, I would be impressed. If the device needs to be within 20cm, I am not."

However, this is a first step that enables researchers to manage an attack to steal encryption keys from a very small distance, but with a very small device, through catching radio signals given off by PC or CPU, later steps have opened the window of hope to create better than the current one.

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