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KeySweeper: The Fake USB Charger That Records Everything You Type

TodayNewsReview / Technology / Phones / KeySweeper: The Fake USB Charger That Records Everything You Type 372 Views

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15 months ago, Samy Kamkar, a white hat hacker, revealed a proof-of-concept attack platform called KeySweeper. It was a stealthy Arduino-based hacking device that looked like a USB wall charger.

KeySweeper silently recorded and decrypted any keystroke from a Microsoft wireless keyboard around it. The keystrokes, it recorded, were logged online and alerts were sent when a person typed some particular words or URLs. Moreover, if unplugged, it continued to work with its help of its internal battery.

Microsoft’s keyboards use 2.4GHz wireless protocol and Samy exploited the same proprietary protocol.

Samay Kamkar open sourced the details of this hacking device whose making costs just $10-80. These are the components that are needed to make a KeySweeper device:

Arduino/Teensy microcontroller
NRF2401+ 2.4GHz RF Chip
AC USB Charger
SPI Serial Flash Chip
3.7 LiOn/LiPo battery
Adafruit FONA and SIM card (optional)

Samy has also shared KeySweeper’s source code on GitHub and written about the other pieces of software on his website.

Now, the government is looking concerned about this live web monitoring too and the FBI’s Cyber Division is warning the private industry about the same.

Here’s what the FBI has to say about KeySweeper:

If placed strategically in an office or other location where individuals might use wireless devices, a malicious cyber actor could potentially harvest personally identifiable information, intellectual property, trade secrets, passwords, or other sensitive information
The federal agency calls it dangerous as security managers may miss the leak as the data is intercepted before it reached the CPU.


This device could be used to steal a wide variety of sensitive information, varying from bank passwords to trade secrets.

So, keep an eye on any unknown USB charger lurking around in your home or company and stay safe.

Credit: fossbytes.com

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