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Laptops and flat panels also vulnerable to Van Eck eavesdropping

Darren Murph
April 21, 2007
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Those who wander into the realms of spying, phreaking, and dubious eavesdropping are likely familiar with Wim Van Eck, but for those new to remote screen-grabbing scene, you should probably take note. Back in the day, Mr. Eck "proved it was possible to tune into the radio emissions produced by electromagnetic coils in a CRT display and then reconstruct the image," effectively rending the images on a distant monitor without the user knowing. Now, however, a modern day guru in his own right has found that the methodology used in 1985 can still be potent today, albeit on laptops and flat panel LCDs. Markus Kuhn has since discovered that by tuning into the radio emissions produced by the cables running into a monitor, hackers can garner the pixels one at a time, and carefully stack them together to form a picture of someone else's screen. Reportedly, Markus was able to "see a PowerPoint presentation from a stand 25 meters away (pictured)," and he also noted that laptops with metal hinges were particularly good targets as they tended to broadcast the necessary signals quite well. Of course, we aren't encouraging the act of on-screen voyeurism without appropriate consent, but if you're interested in seeing what's behind the (faraway) LCD, be sure to hit the read link and push aside those morals for a moment. [Warning: PDF read link]

[Via Slashdot]



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