The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

Microsoft wireless keyboards crypto cracked

Posted by Xavier Ashe on December 4, 2007

Security researchers have cracked the rudimentary encryption used in a range of popular wireless keyboards.

Bluetooth is increasingly becoming the de-facto standard for wireless communication in peripheral devices and is reckoned to be secure. But some manufacturers such as Logitech and Microsoft rely on 27 MHz radio technology which, it transpires, is anything but secure.

Using nothing more than a simple radio receiver, a soundcard and suitable software, Swiss security firm Dreamlab Technologies managed to capture and decode the radio communications between a keyboard and a PC. The attack opens the way up to all sorts of mischief including keystroke logging to capture login credentials to online banking sites or email accounts.

Dreamlab cracked the encryption key used within Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000 and 2000 keyboards. As most products in Microsoft's wireless range are based on the same technology other products are likely to be insecure. Max Moser and Phillipp Schrödel of Dreamlab Technologies succeeded in eavesdropping traffic from a distance of up to ten meters using a simple radio receiver. More sensitive receivers may make it possible to capture keystrokes over larger distances.

Read the full article on The Register.

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