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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