Why wireless keyboards are a bad idea

It’s a bad idea for two reasons: 1) possibility of interference (see one of my old posts) and 2) data can be sniffed.

A great example of the sniffing part is the development of the $10 keysweeper.

The “Keysweeper” looks and functions like a generic USB phone charger, but conceals Arduino-powered sniffing gear within.

The device targets Microsoft wireless keyboards and contains a host of functions allowing hackers to monitor keystrokes in real-time and have SMSes sent when certain keywords such as login credentials are typed by victims.

“Using a few-dollar Arduino and a US$1 Nordic RF chip we can decrypt these packets and see any keystroke of any keyboard in the vicinity that’s using the Microsoft wireless keyboard protocol and it doesn’t matter what OS is used.”

keysweeper_1keysweeperVery interesting project – by changing the design slightly, you could also take over someone’s keyboard. Nice for April 1 pranks! (via The Register)


6 comments on “Why wireless keyboards are a bad idea

  1. That’s the reason wireless communication without a decent encryption shouldn’t be used for sensitive information.

  2. Using a high gain directional antenna, you can also stiff the RF from a standard wired keyboard. Also, this also doesn’t target Bluetooth, which data is encrypted and authenticated in transit.

    Although Bluetooth keyboards can create RF interference, they are more secure than their wired counterparts.

  3. According to this video (link below) wifi + other rf signals are very dangerous!

    What They Are Not Telling You About WIFI

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