Israeli computer experts at Ben-Gurion University have shown that it might not be necessary for the device to be connected to the Internet for computer hacking and data pillaging. They developed a new method called “air-gap” that allows data exchange between two unconnected computers, through the speakers or headphones.
In combination with malware, this method can turn the speakers on the tapping devices, but also in the devices for sending information, even in cases where the microphone is not connected to the computer.
Israeli experts proved last year that it is possible to collect audio recordings from everything that happens around the computer through the headphones connected to that computer. With specially designed malware, they managed to turn locally stored files into audio files and then transfer them to another computer within a radius of one to nine meters using “air-gap” and ultrasonic waves.
Although for the needs of this project, called “Mosquito” (Mosquito), experts had to devise a separate protocol, proving it was possible to get into an isolated computer and steal data.
They also pointed out that companies and organizations that work with confidential information should also consider this way of system incursion and data theft, as well as that they should physically exclude the audio equipment of computers. The Israeli project focused on computers, but imagine just what kind of harm the mosquito could do if the basic protocol is adjusted for smartphones and is used for illegal activities.