When someone talks about stealing some data from a PC, what is the suspected source according to you? You may end up guessing Ethernet, WiFi, or Bluetooth. But once in a while, the truth could be something totally different.
This round device has been dubbed PITA by its creators and it works within the two feet distance. This costs less than $300 using the easily available components and the PITA is small enough to fit inside a piece of pita bread. Actually, PITA is an abbreviation of Portable Instrument for Trace Acquisition.
The information fetched from the open air could be stored locally on an SD card that is housed on the device, or it could be transmitted to the spy with the help of WiFi. So, you can capture the electromagnetic waves and use them to decrypt the EIGamal and RSA data from up to 19 inches away.
The PITA is built using simple components like a WiFi antenna, SDR receiver, capacitors to tune the antenna, a loop antenna and is run using 4-AA batteries.
During the research, the researchers focused their attention on GnuPG (or GPG) – a software implementation by the GNU Project and is widely used. It secures sensitive stuff like BitCoin wallets, emails and conversations. Well, the people at GNU have already issued an update against this particular attack.
However, this technique could also be used against RSA and other forms of encryption and the PITA team is working to expand the range of the device.
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