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You can already ‘steal your data’ through the brightness of your screen

Researchers found a method that does not require internet connection.

2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

You can already ‘steal your data’ through the brightness of your screen
You can already ‘steal your data’ through the brightness of your screen

There are already ways to extract data from computers without the need to use a network connection or outdated physical theft, but a new hacking method could be one of the smartest examples. Researchers have found a way to steal data from “offline” computers (that is, they are not connected to other devices) using the brightness of an LCD screen . The screen technique so that another nearby device equipped with a camera can detect them. That is, theoretically, a hacker could trick someone to load malware on their computer through a USB drive and use nearby security cameras to capture that information.

However, you don't have to fear using your laptop in the Starbucks, as this method is unlikely to become common among hackers in the short term. A data thief would still have to violate the victim's computer and have hijacked cameras within the line of sight of the screen.

The technique of data theft through screen brightness could be useful for intelligence agencies that perform Hollywood-style intrusions, but a common attacker could not simply sit outside your home and read data from your computer monitor. Even so, this research gives ultra-secure facilities such as embassies or military centers something to think about: not putting cameras behind computers for fear that a rival nation will do some Mission Impossible spying .

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