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For $12, Criminals Can Hack and Track Your Wireless Keyboard

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 04, 2016 6:57 AM

Another week, another hacking piece. Only this time, it's not about a threat of your networks, email accounts, or some large bank -- it's your keyboard.

Bastille Networks did some digging around and found that wireless keyboards are the latest crack in the ever growing security levee. For about $12, hackers can acquire a radio device that can both track and inject keystrokes into your machines. Worried yet?

Cheap Hacks With Keysniffer

Yes, you read that right. For about $12, hackers can illicitly barge their way into your machine through the wireless keyboard you could be using right now. The team over at Bastille are calling it "Keysniffer," and its abilities are scary. For example, it can both track your key strokes and also allow hackers to "inject" numbers into your machine -- from as far away as 250 feet. And as we've mentioned, it can be had for dirt cheap.

Non-Encryption

The wireless keyboard weaknesses will be detailed at the Defcon hacker conference that's coming up soon. But Keysniffer basically exploits some rather careless engineering by a number of wireless keyboard companies that rely on wireless technology that is not encrypted. Now you're thinking, "who does that anymore -- especially these days?" Well, lots of people, apparently.

Bluetooth Safety

A good number of wireless devices that hook up seemless with your other tech rely on Bluetooth technology to communicate. This is much more preferred because it essentially bypasses the sort of weaknesses that make Keysniffer such an effective means. Bluetooth is an industry standard that's been through the rungs with regards to security.

Playing It Safe With Security

We've said it before and we'll say it again. For law firms, security is the tradeoff to convenience. We all like to be wireless. The problem is that, as lawyers, we are less in a position to play fast and loose with security and client confidences. Unless it's absolutely a must, we advise practitioners to avoid using wireless mice and keyboards. It's just one less risk to worry about.

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