If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, tapping away on your laptop, feeling safe from hackers because you didn’t connect to the shop’s Wi-Fi, think again. The bad guys may be able to see what you’re doing just by analyzing the low-power electronic signals your laptop emits even when it’s not connected to the Internet. And smartphones may be even more vulnerable to such spying. Researchers are investigating where these information “leaks” originate so they can help hardware and software designers develop strategies to plug them. By studying emissions from multiple computers, the researchers have developed a metric for measuring the strength of the leaks – known technically as “side-channel signal” – to help prioritize security efforts.
Provided by Georgia Tech