How Hackers Can Use Your LCD Screen To Spy On You

Recently, the security researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Tel Aviv University, Cornell Tech, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan discovered a new type of ‘Physical’ side-channel attack. In this attack, hackers can steal your sensitive information by measuring the effects of the same on the physical environment.


Well, if you keep great interest in the security world, then you might be very familiar to the fact that hackers already got the ability to hijack your computer webcam. Do you know the even worst thing? Through the right malware injection and a little luck, hackers can take control of your webcam to snap your pictures, record videos, etc.

However, protecting webcam is rather an easy process, and users just need to place a piece of electrical tape over it when it’s not in use. However, we are going to talk about something which might be the biggest concern in the security world.

Recently, the security researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Tel Aviv University, Cornell Tech, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan discovered a new type of ‘Physical’ side-channel attack. In this attack, hackers can steal your sensitive information by measuring the effects of the same on the physical environment.

The new exploit which is dubbed as Synesthesia actually measures the ‘acoustic leakage from LCD screens’ and the exploit can target all LCD screens with both LED and CCFL backlights. The attack uses microphones embedded in some computer screen or webcams.

Researchers have also showcased the attack by creating a simple program that just displayed patterns of alternating black & white color which we call Zebra pattern. The interesting thing is that security researchers were able to relate the changes in the zebra pattern with the changes in the acoustic signature.


Not only that, but the researchers were also able to narrow down the leakage source to the component that’s supplying the power to the monitor’s digital board. The worst thing that can raise serious concerns is that researchers have discovered that smart speakers, smartphones, and distant microphones can also capture this leakage.

Researchers have later used a specially-trained machine learning algorithm to translate the recordings. So, what does that means? It simply means that if any trained hacker can simulate such an attack, he/she can get to know every on-screen activity. For further information, you can read the research paper.
How Hackers Can Use Your LCD Screen To Spy On You How Hackers Can Use Your LCD Screen To Spy On You Reviewed by Chukwumah Rapheal on October 01, 2018 Rating: 5

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