A safe text editor // why??

Julian H. Stacey jhs at berklix.com
Thu Sep 13 16:02:56 CEST 2012

> Is there any truth in the claim from some employers that having a
> mobile phone switched on within about 3 metres of a computer monitor
> allows the potential for remote compromise of the data on the screen
> via the mobile phone network?

I wouldnt believe it's common or easily available.  Lots of hoaxes
on the net, probably some hoaxes feed from internet to vocal & back
to net.  Fortunately there's hoax buster web sites too.  It's an
interesting idea though, probably been tried.

  There's been interest in monitoring frequencies of CRTs for
  decades, but the equipment to do it was a lot bigger than a mobile
  phone. I recall way back discussion of extra metal screening round
  a few sensitive CRTs, beyond normal screening.  Of course normal
  screens had metal chassis or some metal coated plastic to reduce
  RF intereference to neighbouring radio equipment etc.  Back then
  we speculated on efficacy of mesh in front of screen),

  I saw no equipment, any that did might be less likely to
  discuss, as certain areas of employment have laws ...
  It was assumed anything sensitive was in cellars. Not just monitors,
  but humans speaking - spy films & product catalogues have long
  featured lasers shined off [dirt on] windows to pick up conversation.
  Some companies have long had (metal tinted) windows, eg a mobile
  phone operator, a pharmaceutical company & a tank manufacturer,
  where one needs to open & stand by a window to use a mobile.
  Accidental, or an appreciated secondary effect of sun screening
  to save building air con. costs ?

An enhanced non standard phone Might be possible ?
  - If it had an extra radio receiver squeezed in ? difficult
  - If extra software squeezed in ? expensive.
  - extra CPU cycles needed to analyse in real time, 
    (I'll ask a friend in that industry for opinion)
  - Extra antenna for signals might need to be longer for lower freq. ? 
    CRT freqencies are a few Meg I recall
    GSM & UMTS: 1 & 2 Gig

  Then consider options to transfer data back to bad guys:
	Real time high bandwidth data channel, with less processing required ?
	Lower bandwidth more processing & local store, intermittent
	call out on maybe eg an Android smart phone ? or even just
	walk back in office & say "Hi, I left my phone!" & empty it later.
  It would be expensive, but probably investigations have been tried,
  funded likely by governments, maybe large private corporations,
  or indirect from international criminal groups.
  There's lots of concern about Chinese spieing, theyre not short
  of budget. Red army apparently owns Huawei, manufacturer of mobile
  chips, which concerns some a lot.

  Considering value of secrets that might be harvested, & what it
  might cost to try - seems likely some will be experimenting,
  & that those most in the know might be constrained not to say ?

Julian Stacey, BSD Unix Linux C Sys Eng Consultant, Munich http://berklix.com
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