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Cybersecurity Researchers Claim Every Network Router at Risk of Secretly Leaking Data

Is your router leaking data?

Scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to covertly siphon sensitive files, passwords, or other critical data from any common router using its light-emitting diodes.


Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center in Israel have demonstrated a method for stealing information by exploiting a network router's light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The researchers say they employed their proprietary xLED malware to hijack the router and commandeer the LEDs to flash a pattern that transmits data.

"Sensitive data can be encoded and sent via the LED light pulses in various ways," notes BGU's Mordechai Guri. "An attacker with access to a remote or local camera, or with a light sensor hidden in the room, can record the LED's activity and decode the signals."

The researchers say xLED can make routers leak data at rates from 10 bits/second to more than 1 Kbit/second. The malware also can make the LEDs pulse at more than 1,000 flickers per second for each light.

The researchers note they used a drone to steal data from LEDs on an air-gapped computer.

From TechRepublic
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