News & Analysis

Hackers may steal your Keystrokes from Wireless Keyboard though KeySniffer

Wireless keyboards and mice which are Radio-based, which use a special USB dongle to communicate with your PC can expose all your secrets-your passwords, credit card numbers and everything you surf or type.

If we go back into February, researchers from IOT security firm namely Bastille Networks demonstrated how they could take control of wireless keyboards and mice without your attention, through MouseJack attacks. Now, some more vulnerabilities are found in these devices which are more worse than the previous ones. Now, it has given remote access to the hackers and they could easily know every key you press on our keyboard.

What’s the cause behind this?

KeySniffer bug affects wireless keyboards from the manufacturers, that use cheap transceiver chips(non Bluetooth chips), which is basically less secure and radio based communication. Main issue with these chips is that, they don’t receive frequent security updates. You could also say that, they use unencrypted radio transmission.

This means anyone within 100 meters range of your computer and around $15-$30 long range radio dongle can intercept your communications between your computer and your wireless device. This basically allows hackers to collect all your informations.

These keyboards are basically made by the following vendors- Anker, Eagle Tec, General Electric, HP, Toshiba etc, which are KeySniffer prone.

You may also be amazed that this isn’t the first time that these attacks are made on the wireless device. Back in 2015 a white hat hacker invented an Arduino based device which discovered the vulnerabilities just like the KeySniffer, and it was named as KeySweeper.

Basically to avoid themselves from this issue, Kensington responded that “only a single version of its keyboards was affected by KeySniffer flaw and that a firmware update with AES encryption has been released”.

Bastille Networks told that there are millions of users of wireless keyboards, as identifies by them. Now, it is an useful advice to all of them that either they may start using Bluetooth or again switch to the wired ones. The Radio based wireless keyboards and mice are the best target for the hackers.

So, guys please be safe from these types of attacks and use all the precautions as prescribed, so that you may not be a victim of this.

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