Created a way to steal data from the computer through the fan

Experts have shown the method of data theft from the computer through the cooler. To do this, the system was installed BY arbitrarily changing the fan speed. Lying next to the PC, the smartphone recorded the sound changes and record the data.

Researchers from the University of Ben-Gurion University in Israel have demonstrated a method of online identity theft with the isolated network from a personal computer by changing the fan speed. New data access method has received the name Fansmitter.

They have installed the application that caused the fan to change the rotation speed from one preset value to another and back again in accordance with the transmitted at the moment a bit of data. Lying next to the PC, the smartphone detects changes in the frequency of the sound of the fan and receives the data.

Previously, researchers demonstrated a similar method of data theft from a standalone network computer, using for this purpose the built-in speaker. After that, some companies have introduced a policy of purchasing computers without speakers. In the new method, it is not needed. In this case cooling fan is in almost any modern computer, and to refuse it is impossible.

The researchers conducted several experiments, using different rotation speeds of the fan. At speed 1000-1600 rpm (1000 rpm to zero and 1600 rpm for the unit) they were able to achieve data transfer rate of 3 beats per minute when the distance of the recording device at 1 meter from a PC.
Increasing the speed to 2000-2500 rpm, the researchers were able to obtain a speed of 10 bits per minute at a distance of 4 m. Finally, the interval 4000-4250 rpm, the researchers were able to obtain the data transmission rate of 15 bits per minute, but at a distance of 1 m.

According to Cnews, the experiments were conducted in a research laboratory, where he worked for more equipment, including air conditioning, that is, the presence of background noise.

When the computer cooler makes a sound with a frequency of 100-600 Hz. This range of hearing the human ear, so the computer user can smell a rat when the program. The researchers noted that Fansmitter you can use in those moments when the computer is unoccupied, such as overnight.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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