[ISN] Type Me Your Password

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jun 15 2001 - 13:14:52 PDT

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    By Robert Blincoe
    Posted: 15/06/2001 at 13:45 GMT
    Wireless keyboards are insecure and hackers can sniff-out every
    password you type on them.
    This is the verdict of a warning posted on Bugtraq by German security
    outfit Daten-Treuhand. The company has tested Logitech's Cordless
    Desktop product and outlined how a hacker could intercept a users'
    You connect your cordless keyboard to your PC by first pressing a
    connect-button on the receiver, and then another button on the
    keyboard. A fixed set of transmit-codes are sent between the receiver
    and the keyboard until the receiver locks in on the first undistorted
    code it gets. Keystoke data is then transmitted between the two via
    The problem arises because each transmitter/receiver pair does not
    appear to be hard-coded to match each other, according to Axel Hammer
    of Daten-Treuhand. "They simply seem to run out of the fab and the
    customer connects them the first time he is using the set, according
    to the manual. This leaves the crucial backdoor to connect whatever
    device you have to whatever receiver you have," he wrote in his alert.
    "The receiver waits for 30 minutes after initialising a connect for
    new devices to sync to them, even if there has been an undistorted
    reception of at least one sync-code. An attacker is able to sniff the
    connect-sequence of a victim's device from far and to lock-in to the
    code of the victim's devices or to take control of a victim's device."
    Hammer says that it is possible for the victim and the attacker to
    read the keystrokes without the victim noticing the attack. And to
    sniff a connection of wireless devices, all you need is a receiver
    from the same manufacturer, same model, and by slight modifications it
    is possible, to extend the range of the receiver to about 30m.
    Daten-Treuhand recommends using infra-red devices if you have to go
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