Saturday, November 04, 2006

Van Eck Phreaking

According to Wikipedia, Van Eck phreaking is the process of eavesdropping on the contents of a CRT or LCD display by detecting its electromagnetic emissions. It is named after Dutch computer researcher Wim van Eck, who in 1985 published the first paper on it, including proof of concept. Phreaking is the process of exploiting telephone networks, used here because of its connection to eavesdropping.

The electro magnetic radiations emitted by the computer's display can be captured with a high gain antenna. Using DSP hardware the picture can be reconstructed from the captured noise. Later Van Eck devices were proved to be effective even against laptop computers.

Wim Van Eck outlined the possibility in Computers & Security in 1985. He concluded: "If no preventive measures are taken, eavesdropping on a video-display unit is possible at several hundred meters distance, using only a normal black-and-white TV receiver, a directional antenna, and an antenna amplifier." To prove his point he took BBC crew around London in a van containing the required equipments and showed them what was on the computer screens at various companies.

There is an open source implementation for Van Eck Phreaking named EckBox.

During cold war KGB and CIA agents is said to have conducted Van Eck attacks against each other. The US Government concerned about EM spectrum security introduced a special class of secure environment called "Tempest Security."

TEMPEST (Transient EMission of PulsE Surveillance Technology) is a U.S. government codename for a set of standards for limiting electric or electromagnetic radiation emissions from electronic equipments. It is a counter-intelligence measure aimed at the prevention of radiation espionage such as Van Eck Phreaking.

50 years of Kerala

God's own country celebrated 50th birthday on 1st November 2006.
PM Manmohan Singh inaugrated the celebrations amidst the issues of security lapses in PM’s convoy .
Kerala is one of the top states in terms of human development index.
100% literate state.
Where first democratically elected communist government in the world came into power.
State rated high by National Geographic for tourism potential.
State where most number of suicides happen.
State with largest rate of unemployment among educated.
State where consumerism thrives on behalf of Keralites abroad.
Place where one MP's election is declared void allegedly making use of communal sentiments of people.
Place where reformists like Sri Narayana Guru who preached on 'one caste, one religion, one god for man' lived and died.
Place where ministers are known for making sensational news.
Land of K R Narayanan, Captain Lakshmi and Shashi Tharoor.
Land that gave birth to writers like O V Vijayan.
State with 44 rivers, excess rain and still facing water scarcity during summer.
Land of Neela Kurinji.
Ideal state once ruled by Maveli.
Land of Kalamandalam and Kathakali.
Place where Vasco da gama landed, paving the seeds of colonialization.
Homeland of valiant and brave Lion of Kerala, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja.
Land of jackfruit, coconut and ayurveda.
Motherland of Raja Ravi Varma.
Abode of Swami Ayyappan.
Birth state of K J Yesudas.
Land of Onam, Vishu, vallamkali and pulikkali.
Geographically Kerala may be 50 years young, but the distinct cultural identity existed even hundreds of years ago.