[ISN] Cordless keyboard wrote on neighbor's computer

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 01 2002 - 01:18:39 PST

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    01 November 2002 
    While a Stavanger man typed away at his desktop computer his text was
    also streaming in on his neighbor's machine in a building 150 meters
    away. Hewlett-Packard have never received a complaint like it.
    Newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad had an inside track on the weird tech
    story since the incident involved two of their graphics workers.  Per
    Erik Helle got a jolt when his home computer suddenly seemed to
    develop a life of its own.
    "About 10 pm I was sitting and watching TV when the computer, which
    was in sleep mode, suddenly began to buzz. I looked over and noticed
    it was waking up. I also saw a red light on the keyboard's receiver
    box blinking as if I was writing something," Helle said.
    A game which he could not remember using that day appeared on the
    screen. When Helle went over to shut it off the screen displayed a
    message asking him if he "really wanted to delete this file?". Not
    knowing what it meant, he answered no to play it safe.
    The machine was not finished. A series of beeps and clicks that hinted
    at error messages came so quickly that Helle again got the impression
    someone was writing. So he turned on his word processor.
    He saw text ticking in live, and could tell from the message that it
    was his neighbor Per Arild Evjeberg, also his boss at Stavanger
    Aftenblad, who was writing. A phone call quickly confirmed that Helle
    was watching Evjeberg type live.
    "If HP can't find a decent explanation for this I don't dare use this
    keyboard. I changed the signal channel and now Per Erik doesn't get
    it. But now I don't know who might be reading what I write as I write
    it," Evjeberg said.
    Evjeberg and Helle had received new HP machines from the same company
    and Helle had one time earlier noticed a registration form appear with
    his neighbor's information in it.
    HP product manager Tore A. Särelind believes that only a combination
    of unusual circumstances could result in the keyboard signal traveling
    150 meters and through one wooden and one concrete wall.
    "With the conditions and distance described we have no logical or
    technical explanation for how this is possible. The keyboard should
    have a theoretical radius of about 20 meters - assuming a clear path
    from keyboard to receiver," Särelind said.
    Särelind said the next generation of keyboards would use a new
    technology which would choose randomly between 256 available channels,
    and promised to send both Evjeberg and Helle a copy.
    Stavanger Aftenblad reported that another company using the equipment
    claimed that a user managed to type on two computers on different
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