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Time to upgrade to SSD – sounds from mechanical hard drives can now be used for computer intrusion

Not having the computer connected to the Internet is soon no guaranteed protection against hacker attacks. A group of researchers have discovered a completely new way to steal information simply by listening to the sounds from the hard drive.

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The attack was designed with the aim of copying information from computers that lack an Internet connection for security reasons. In the past, the research group has, among other things, found ways to send information through computers’ fan systems. The “hack” in question takes place by inserting, for example, a USB stick with the malicious software “Diskfiltration” into the computer – after which the hard drive is manipulated to send out binary signals.

Then a mobile phone loaded with the necessary software is placed near the computer. The program then records various sounds coming from the hard drive and then decrypts the signals. So far, the researchers have managed to obtain a sufficient number of “ones and zeroes” to decipher saved passwords.

In theory, the hacker could easily infiltrate various security systems equipped with only USB sticks and mobile phones. If owners of said security systems have not yet switched to SSD hard drives, that is.

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