Monitor Hack Steals PC Data Through Brightness


Credit: Pixabay

I remember a few years ago when I wrote this story about using imperceptible whisper audio to hack digital voice assistants like Siri and Alexa I thought this was the craziest, scariest, low-budget cyberpunk thing I had ever seen. But if crazy sound hijacking wasn’t wild enough, how about this crazy visual hijacking?

As reported by Hacker News, cybersecurity researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel have developed a way to steal data through the brightness of a PC monitor. Check it out!

By infecting the target PC with the right malware, the monitor then subtly shifts the brightness of the LCD monitor. You can’t see it, but the hacker’s camera can. And by recording the information communicated through those changes in brightness, the hacker can then steal whatever sensitive data they want from the PC. It’s like a Lite-Brite for spies.

The good news is this hack requires so much prior setup that no scammer is going to just randomly do it to you out of nowhere. While it’s true this hack works even on “air-gapped” computers not connected to the internet, you still have to get the malware on there somehow like through a conscious physical USB drive. This is more of an exercise in what’s possible rather than what’s viable. But it’s still nuts that this is even possible.

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