There's no shortage of creativity when it comes to hackers.
According to Reuters, U.S. security researchers have shown that standard equipment inside computers and printers can be hacked into to send data as sound waves.
Ang Cui, a lead researcher at Red Balloon security, demonstrated such hijacking for a group of reporters at the annual security conference Black Hat in Las Vegas on Wednesday (August 5). He added that he would release a "proof-of-concept" code afterwards. Doing so would seemingly provide researchers and hackers the know-how to put this manipulation into their practices.
How the attack works, according to Reuters, is it overtakes control on general-purpose input/output circuits and vibrates them at a frequency of the researchers' preference, allowing it to be audible or not. In addition, the vibrations can be picked up via an AM radio antenna from a short distance away.
Cui calls the makeshift transmitting antenna the "Funtenna," adding that hijacking with it would be hard to detect nor trace because there would be no traffic logs or accounts of such data leaving. Essentially, hackers would need an antenna close to the desired premises to pick up on the sound waves and they'd also need to pinpoint a method to access a targeted machine—whether computer, printer or another device—and manipulate its data, coverting the format for transmission.
Just because computers and printers are specifically mentioned in Reuters' report, security researchers believe many devices can be hacked into to send data as sound waves as well.