Did you know that there is a way to hack into any computer without even touching it? Using only commercially available equipment that can detect and interpret the radiation emitted by your computer, say from a simple CRT monitor, someone can spy on you from quite a distance. Technologies of this type have been termed TEMPEST which refers to equipment that can read the electromagnetic emanations from computing devices in order to extract data from them.
The term TEMPEST (not an acronym) was coined somewhere around the 1970s as a codename for an NSA operation to secure electronic communications equipment from potential eavesdroppers and for their ability to intercept and interpret electronic signals from other sources. Compromising emanations consist of electrical, mechanical and acoustical (either intentionally or not) by any number of sources; interception ranges vary depending on the source of the information.
So many devices can be used in this manner. For example, normal computer keyboards make slightly different noises when each key is pressed. These differences are generally unidentifiable but with the right equipment it is possible to log key strokes audibly to steal the information being typed. Even the high-frequency noises that your computer’s CPU makes includes information about the instructions you have just executed.
It’s just amazing what someone can use to steal important information now-a-days!
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