Researchers Hack Computer Fan. Seriously!

doesn’t involve exploiting bugs or vulnerabilities in software. Instead, they found a way to do it by controlling a computer’s cooling fan.

Amazingly, they found hackers could encode stored data into fan vibrations by imperceptibly slowing down or speeding up the fan’s rotation. The fan causes the computer itself and the surface it’s on to vibrate and these vibrations can be picked up by a smartphone and then retrieved by a hacker.

“We observe that computers vibrate at a frequency correlated to the rotation speed of their internal fans,” lead researcher Mordechai Guri told Tech Xplore. “These inaudible vibrations affect the entire structure on which the computer is placed.”

“The malware in question doesn’t exfiltrate data by cracking encryption standards or breaking through a network firewall,” he said. “Instead, it encodes data in vibrations and transmits it to the accelerometer of a smartphone.”

While the process of transmitting the data is extremely slow, and therefore not likely to be adopted by hackers (spy services maybe?) it is yet another demonstration of how it is possible to access a computer that is air-gapped, meaning it is isolated and not connected to the internet.

Guri is head of R&D at the univerity’s Cyber-Security Research Center. He and his team specialize in finding ways to access data from highly secure systems and devising methods of protecting against the threats.

In the case of the fan vibration hack, a simple method of protecting against it is to make the fan speed unchangeable.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Marketing Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond

How to Tailor Your LinkedIn Profile for the Jobs You Want
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Tailor Your LinkedIn Profile for the Jobs You Want

Perks of Being an Agency Recruiter
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Perks of Being an Agency Recruiter

#WeAreGreen Key: Spotlight on Carson Perrero
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreen Key: Spotlight on Carson Perrero

Green Key Unlocked: Company Culture in Pandemic Aftermath
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Company Culture in Pandemic Aftermath

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Greenbaum
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Larry Greenbaum

How to Format Your Resume
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Format Your Resume

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kiki Tyler
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Kiki Tyler

The Six Stages of Career Growth
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

The Six Stages of Career Growth

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Travis Lau
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Travis Lau

Respiratory Therapy as a Career Choice
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

Respiratory Therapy as a Career Choice

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Elizabeth Stoler
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Elizabeth Stoler

How to Decide Between Multiple Job Offers
General Interest

How to Decide Between Multiple Job Offers

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Nicole Rusnak
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Nicole Rusnak

What to Leave Off Your Resume
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Creative Financial Services General Interest Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

What to Leave Off Your Resume

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Gabianelli
General Interest Green Key News Pharma Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Todd Gabianelli

Green Key Unlocked: Post-Pandemic Hiring Trends in Financial Services
General Interest

Green Key Unlocked: Post-Pandemic Hiring Trends in Financial Services

What to Include on a Resume
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Creative Financial Services General Interest Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

What to Include on a Resume

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brooke Stemen

Stemen shared her recruitment journey with us, including her college experience, how she landed at Green Key, and what her...
Read More
Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA

Green Key Unlocked: The Value of the MBA

Returning to school is a huge decision many working adults consider at some point. The urge to advance your career and...
Read More
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Amy Raymond

Welcome to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on the people behind our powerhouse recruiting team.  In this week’s installment, Amy...
Read More