Tempest Attack

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Patrice, Apr 24, 2003.

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  1. Patrice

    Patrice Registered Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I'm sure, most of you haven't ever heard about so called Tempest Attacks. So let's see what this is:

    Another kind of attack that has been used by well-equipped opponents involves the remote detection of the electromagnetic signals from your computer. This expensive and somewhat labor-intensive attack is probably still cheaper than direct cryptanalytic attacks. An appropriately instrumented van can park near your office and remotely pick up all of your keystrokes and messages displayed on your computer video screen.

    This would compromise all of your passwords, messages, and so on. This attack can be thwarted by properly shielding all of your computer equipment and network cabling so that it does not emit these signals. This shielding technology, known as “Tempest,” is used by some government agencies and defense contractors. There are hardware vendors who supply Tempest shielding commercially.

    Some newer versions of PGP can display decrypted plaintext using a specially designed font that may have reduced levels of radio frequency emissions from your computer’s video screen. This may make it harder for the signals to be remotely detected. This special font is available in some versions of PGP that support the “Secure Viewer” feature. Note that laptop computers with LCD displays have no need for this special font, because they produce no video emissions.

    And there's another nice free tool called Zero Emission Pad. For further info look here:

    http://www.centurionsoft.com/steganos2/features.html

    Best regards!

    Patrice
     
  2. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Impressive looknig stuff but as paranoid as I am I just don't feel I'm important enough to need to block those emissions yet...
    I want my privacy but I don't really think I need to worry about anyone using that method on me unless I run afoul of the feds... and I'm doing nothing wrong!

    I did think - it appears that "safe drive" is a virtual drive - but an actual HARD drive that did taht would be nice; wouldn't mind having a 3rd hard drive that would "disappear" on command...
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice Registered Member

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    Hi Detox!

    Personally I think like you! And besides most of the time I'm using a laptop, so there's no video emission. But, it's important to know such things. One of my principles is:

    YOU SHALL KNOW HOW THEY ATTACK, SO THAT YOU CAN DEFEND YOURSELF!

    That's why I thought, it could be helpful to some others as well! ;)

    Regards,

    Patrice
     
  4. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Don't take me wrong mate; it was/is very good info to know!

    I just won't take those precautions yet ;-)

    But I totally agree; there is no such thing as too much knowledge!
     
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