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Wireless keyboards prone to keylogging exploit

Wireless keyboards prone to keylogging exploit

by Vyncent ChanJuly 29, 2016
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Is the convenience of using wireless peripherals worth opening yourself up to the risk of being snooped on? Well, you may be doing just that, simply because the manufacturer of your wireless keyboard and mouse decided to not write encryption protocols for the transmissions between the peripherals and their included dongles which connect to your PC. The little dongles are not only easy targets for hackers who want to inject fake keystrokes, but it can also be exploited to allow keylogging by unscrupulous individuals.

HP Wireless Keyboard

You don’t even need an Internet connection to be compromised with this exploit, as it targets the wireless dongle that communicates with your peripherals. The manufacturer of the chips in these dongles, Nordic Semiconductors, supports encryption of the transmissions between peripheral and computer, but requires the manufacturers to write their own encryption software. Well, writing software costs money, so to keep costs down these peripheral manufacturers often forgo encryption.

If you are worried you are using an affected piece of hardware, then head over to the short list at KeySniffer to see whether your peripherals are in the list. However do remember that KeySniffer does not claim that the list is a complete list of all the hardware that can be compromised, so do be careful even if you are using peripherals that are not in the list.

What do we think that you can do to prevent yourself from being a victim of this exploit? Well, for one, use wired peripherals like me. Or if you really need the convenience of wireless peripherals, then go for Bluetooth-connected ones instead.



Pokdepinion: I have never liked wireless peripherals. Now I have an added reason to dislike them.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.

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